If your child does have less out of school work it is a clear sign that he or she is probably skipping or rushing homework assignments. Your child may be experiencing a bit of “scatter brain”, meaning his or her mind is racing and he or she can not focus on one thing at a time, for example doing a math problem. The divorce and/or separation is probably causing your child to have feelings that leave him or her empty in side. Your child can begin to feel helpless, which makes doing his or her homework or participating in school extremely difficult. Problems in school is a clear cut sign that your child is not taking the family break up well. Your child may seem fine when he or she is at home, but is your child hiding his or her feelings to make you happy? The emotional trauma of divorce and/or separation can easily trigger poor grades in school, which can make your child even more depressed. If this type of situation continues it may permanently destroy the enthusiasm your child has to learn.
Strategies and Tactics to Monitor School and School Related Activities:
- Be sure to tell your child’s teachers that you are going through a divorce and/or separation. Many parents try to keep this a secret and they should not. Your child’s teachers will be able to keep an eye out for your child and report to you any changes in behavior and/or progress that has been made. Teachers tend to be a very helpful tool for parents that are going through a divorce and/or separation.
- Ask your child daily questions about school and follow up to make sure he or she is doing the required homework. If you are unsure of whether or not your child has homework, contact his or her teacher for a list of assignments for the next few weeks.
- Try to help your child with homework assignments. Your child may recognize this as an opportunity to spend quality time with you. By helping your child with homework, you will be making him or her feel more focused.
- Rewards for doing homework is also an option, but there is a down side to this tactic. If there is not reward, will they still do the homework? If you feel it is appropriate, consider trying something like the following: If your child does his or her homework for the entire week, you will go to the amusement park on Saturday. This type of arrangement is much better than saying: If you do not do your homework, we will not be going to the amusement park this Saturday. Phrase the reward or incentive positively with added enthusiasm. If your child knows that you are also looking forward to the reward, he or she will be less likely to let you down.
- Try to have a set time for homework. This reinforces the routine that your child needs to feel secure. Most children want to know what is going to happen next, they are not typically in favor of living a day of unpredictability.