Helping Kids Cope with Divorce in the Classroom

I read a fascinating article about the distress divorce can cause children and the important role some teacher’s are playing in order to help these children cope. Teachers as role models who spend a vast majority of time with the children play an important role in maintaining a sense of stability in their life. Children during a divorce need stability ot feel safe and secure.

Jill Martin, a Kindergarten teacher in Missouri, feels that teachers play a big role in providing stability and she’s just one of many teachers who feel that school can provide an escape for kids who feel stressed at home. Many people never think of the impact teachers have on their children, but in reality children spend the majority of their day at school. She also says the children know what to expect when they get to school and if teachers know ahead of time and they can be partners with the parents and can help the children get through the tough times.

The article states that it’s invaluable to children that both parents be involved in school functions like parent teacher conferences because it can show kids that you care. The teacher says that if she knows a child whose parents are going through a divorce she gives that child more attention because often, behavioral problems associated with divorce stem from a child feeling unloved and not cared about.

According to the University of Missouri Extension program, approximately one of every two divorces in Missouri involves children and that those children are at a greater risk for problems like aggression, depression, lower self-esteem, and poorer school performance. Most children adjust to divorce successfully. However, it’s typical for children to experience distress for one to two years following a divorce. The University of Missouri gives several tips for teachers:

1. Don’t use terms such as “broken home” or “real parent.”
2. Don’t assume that all members of a family have the same last name.
3. Invite non-residential parents to school activities, programs, and field trips.
4. Adapt Mother’s Day or Father’s cards or gifts so that all children feel included.

If you are in the midst of a traumatic divorce, please contact my San Jose Divorce Lawyers office. We help many individuals through this very chaotic period in their life. Proudly serving the following cities, Fremont, Milpitas, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Mountain View, and Santa Clara.

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