Parenting through your children’s teenage years can be difficult even under ideal circumstances. After all, hormonal changes can make teens unpredictable. Still, if you are going through a divorce, you may want to prepare yourself to address some academic concerns.
While teens often react negatively to the news of their parents’ divorces, you can take steps to help your son or daughter cope.
Common academic consequences of divorce
Just as every family is different, every teenager responds a bit differently to divorce. Nevertheless, teens whose parents are going through the divorce process often have a higher chance of each of the following:
- Performing poorly on standardized tests
- Neglecting class assignments
- Experiencing a drop in grade point average
- Engaging in disruptive behaviors at school
- Dropping out of high school
- Deciding not to attend college or a trade school
Your role as a parent
As a parent, you have a primary role to play in your teen’s education. If your divorce is negatively affecting your child’s academic performance or goals, you may need to act quickly to prevent long-term damage. Ensuring pre and post-divorce family stability, including encouraging your child to maintain a quality relationship with his or her other parent, may be key.
Remember, you simply may not be able to deal with the fallout of your divorce by yourself. Asking your child to meet with a family therapist may be a good idea. Likewise, you may need to arrange tutoring to help your teen get back on track.
With your divorce, you undoubtedly have a great deal on your plate. Ultimately, though, because a poor academic record in high school may plague your son or daughter for years, any effort you put into helping your teen academically is likely to pay off considerably.