One of the biggest concerns that divorcing parents often have about their children is that the changes to their family will negatively affect how well they do in school. That means not just grades (although that’s a big concern), but involvement in extracurricular activities and behavioral issues.
Parents can play a significant role in keeping their kids on track. Whether your goal is getting them into their first-choice college or helping them keep a grade point average that will get them into one of Illinois’ many fine state schools, you and your co-parent need to make a plan and remain committed to it regardless of your own conflicts with one another.
If you’re already both committed to putting your child’s best interests above your own differences, you’re off to a good start. Let’s look at some other things to focus on:
Agree on keeping schoolwork a priority at both homes
This means making (and enforcing) consistent rules about things like getting homework done before TV or other screen time. It also requires remaining in communication about what projects are due when, when there are parent-teacher meetings and school functions, if there are any disciplinary issues or if your child is struggling in a particular class. You can likely arrange for your child’s school to send communications to each of your homes or email addresses and make sure they have both sets of contact information. As long as you share custody, that shouldn’t be an issue.
Keep up with your child’s extracurricular activities
Whether your child is a cellist, singer, gymnast or soccer player, those extracurricular activities can be just as important to them (and to college admissions officers) as excelling in the classroom. If possible, it’s typically best when both parents can attend their child’s events and cheer them on without drama.
Don’t neglect your college savings plan
Unfortunately, this is something that too often falls by the wayside. As part of your child custody and support agreements, you can commit to continuing your investment in your child’s future.
You can incorporate a lot of these things into your parenting plan, which you can modify as your child gets older and their needs change. Seeing that their parents remain committed to their success can do a lot to boost a child’s confidence and alleviate their stress during and after divorce.