About 40% to 50% of marriages in the United States end up in divorce. Can you imagine how many children get affected by these divorces? A divorce can lead children astray. Schools and teachers play a crucial role in how these kids survive divorce.
Families in Denver and other cities going through divorce mediation does not take into account what children go through. The focus of the mediation is to settle legal, property, and custodial disputes. Children wonder what will happen to them in the future. This causes them to lash out. They also take their problems to school, which affects their social and academic capabilities.
Talk to the Children
Teachers must have an open conversation with their students, especially those whose parents are divorcing. They have a range of emotions—from indifference to rage. You should let the children talk. Listen to them. Ask them how they feel—if they are okay and if they understand what’s happening. If they have questions, try your best to answer them. Do these in private because they are not comfortable letting others hear their problems.
Provide Emotional Support
Be very in tune with how your students feel. If you feel that they need space, let them have it. If they want to talk, lend an open ear. What children of divorcees need is to a place where they can feel safe. They need to be heard, too. They often feel that they don’t have a say in their lives because of their parents’ divorce. Remove these ill feelings by lending an ear and comforting them during difficult times.
Develop a Relationship with the Parents
Parents who are divorcing can be selfish. After all, they are undergoing the most difficult process. They neglect the emotional needs of their children. Discuss with the parents what they need to do for the children. Do they need to be present in the children’s school activities? Do they need to take them to therapy? Let them know what you have observed about the children in school.
Make Sure the Children Remain Active in School
Encourage the children to be active in school activities. That will take their minds off their family problems. If they are active, there’s a better chance that they can deal with the issues. Physical activity releases the happy and feel-good hormone called endorphins. These are associated with a mental health boost. People with endorphins in their systems feel happier.
Be Consistent with Routines and Rules
Don’t give the children whose parents are undergoing divorce special treatment. Most of the time, that will make them feel different from their classmates. You will only be fortifying the belief that their problems will define them. Treat them the same way you will treat their classmates. Make them follow the classroom rules. Do not change the class’ routine because of them.
The teacher-student relationship has a huge impact on many children. These are the kinds of things they will bring with them to the future. These kids will never forget how you have been instrumental in helping them survive their parents’ divorce. Focus on helping them transition to this new life. Making them understand that a divorce is never their fault is a gift that they will treasure forever.