No responsible parents want their divorce to negatively affect their child’s life – and certainly not their future. If you and your co-parent have placed an emphasis on academic achievement, you’re likely aware of all the studies showing that divorce has an adverse effect on children’s educational achievements.
Of course, there are many factors that can make that more or less likely to happen. Parental involvement is one of them. Divorced parents don’t have to be any less involved in their children’s schooling than married ones. You just have to work a little harder to maintain your involvement and consistent expectations regardless of which home your child is in.
Agreeing on rules and expectations for your child that you both enforce (and that are similar to what they’re used to) can help make the transition to living in two homes easier. It also helps give them a feeling of security that even if their parents seem to agree on nothing, they’re still a parenting team.
Keeping grades and homework a priority
It may be tempting to let your child’s grades slide while their life is in transition. However, that’s not going to help them. You can keep your child’s education a priority by:
- Designating certain hours of the days for homework and school projects
- Requiring homework to be done before anything else
- Agreeing on disciplinary or corrective actions if grades fall
- Ensuring that the school communicates with both of you regarding grades, assignments, events and issues
- Try to attend parent-teacher meetings together
- If there’s an issue, commit to working on it together rather than blaming your co-parent
Of course, it’s also crucial that you communicate with one another. Even if you have difficulty talking or texting with your co-parent, you need to share information about assignments and projects as they transition between homes. Don’t count on your child to do it. You might find that keeping a shared journal on a co-parenting app is helpful.
You can detail much of this in your parenting plan. This will help you agree on goals for your child and set expectations for them as well as for yourselves. With experienced guidance, you can craft a plan that works for your family.