When parents separate, it usually has a huge impact on the life of the children. This impact can manifest itself in many forms, including emotional problems and behavioral problems.
One of the most common negative effects of divorce on a child is a decline in their academics. Even children who once were over-achievers in school can sometimes see a marked drop in grades after their parents divorce.
Their academic achievements might be severely limited
This overall decline in academics can be explained by a number of individual factors that, when taken together, have a significant impact on the child.
Having their family break apart can cause emotional distraction, lower educational aspirations and behavioral issues. These factors often result in a lower GPA, and if left unaddressed, sometimes even result in the child not completing high school.
A child’s ambition can be further damaged by additional factors that often accompany divorce, and which destroy a sense of stability in their lives.
For example, if you have relocated your child, making them adjust to a whole new school and a new peer group, this could compound the challenges they face from a new home family dynamic. This is because both home life and school life have changed radically at once, and the child feels as if they have lost control over every aspect of their life.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do in order to make the transition to your child’s new life more bearable for them, and to minimize the divorce’s effect on their academics.
How can I mitigate some of the negative effects of divorce on my children?
As a parent, you have a lot of influence over your child’s life. Even when they are angry or sad, your child looks to you to provide the stability that is supposed to come from a parental figure.
Maintaining a predictable routine is perhaps a simple step that can have a profound impact on your child’s sense of stability. Regardless of the age of the child, if their daily routine continues as similarly as is possible – given your circumstances – to what it was before the divorce, they will be less likely to feel like their entire life has turned upside down.
In addition, it’s essential that you stay involved in their academics. If you always helped them with their homework, asked them about their day at school and helped them to make academic decisions, continue to do so. They probably need your help now more than ever.
Finally, celebrate their successes. Divorce can be a blow to a child’s confidence and knowing that they have a supportive parent that is interested in their success can encourage them to ride out the bumpy period immediately following a divorce.
Divorce can be brutal on children. Happily, though, if you are invested in being supportive and taking an active role in your children’s academic success, you can mitigate much of the pain and hardship caused by the divorce.