When a mom finds herself in the middle of a separation or divorce, one of the first worries should be how to make sure that it doesn’t affect her girl child in school.
The case of divorce has been associated with lots of problems for female children and teenagers including poorer peer relations, low self-esteem, diminished academic performance, health problems, aggression, conduct problems, noncompliance, and depression.
And research has shown that while divorce can be hard on a girl child, it’s often the fighting of the parents that most directly affects and impacts them, especially in their academics, as is often reflected in their grades.
So today, we are going to look at how a single mom can ensure that the divorce she is going through, or just got, doesn’t affect her girl child in school.
If you’re interested I wrote a post about spending quality time with your daughter
you can also check out the freebies in the resource library to lift your daughter’s mood or help you both have an easier life
First of all, let’s see the signs that the daughter is having academic problems:
How can you notice if your daughter is having problems at school?
Not having friends
Your child will shut other children out and won’t try making new friends. And even if other children are trying to reach your child, she will refuse and keep saying that she doesn’t have friends.
Avoiding contact with his/her friends
Your child will start avoiding his friend’s calls, messages, visits…etc and will always have an excuse for that.
Keep silent most of the time
The child won’t be talkative, not even with you.
If your child likes colouring or drawing, then the drawing or shapes represent their mood or psychological feeling.
On the other hand, the colours they choose also show they’re mood and what lives in their mind.
Always wanna skip school
The way your child walks, talks or even stands shows that they’re affected by the divorce.
Even the way they hold their hands or lose attention show you how deep they are lost because of the divorce.
Academic dropped performance
The school performance will say it all. There are two paths that show you what to do.
Path 1: Being closed
If your child is wearing a hoodie, staying in the corner, avoiding others, eating alone or not eating at all, avoiding participating in the class then this is the closed type.
Path 2: Being over open
If your child is trying to be the popular one, try to walk with others around, want to have force and power over others then your child is over open to fill a gap.
In both cases, there is a high possibility your child is facing problems at school that you need to solve.
Stress & Anxiety
Children tend to be stressed with divorce wither they like the separation or not.
If they felt that the father wasn’t good enough, then the divorce will be their relief, but they’ll be stressed because they’ll keep asking themselves if you will ever go back together.
If on the other hand, your child felt that divorce was unfair because the father was good then this too will cause confusion and stress.
You’ll notice these things when the child is stressed:
Lack of sleep
Getting panicked fast
Getting mad or upset over the simplest things
The child will have awkward sleeping pattern, either sleeping too much or sleeping too little and that’s, of course, they are either overthinking or want to run away from reality.
Sometimes talking, crying, screaming while she’s asleep will show you that there’s something wrong.
Lack of confidence
Your daughter will always think she isn’t good enough or worthy to befriended or get closer to. She will not be able to make choices or answer questions at school. She will keep thinking that she’s wrong.
This is one major problem that needs a whole post alone. Because of all the reasons mentioned above, your child will be so opened to be bullied. She will be easy prey for mean and awfully raised children.
The signs above can be implemented here as signs of being bullied at school.
There are many ways to bully your child such as:
Taking her food/money from her.
Throwing her stuff out of the bag.
Tearing her notes or books.
Pouring drinks or dirt’s into her bag.
this video is heartbreaking and we don’t want our daughters in the same way
What is your role to solve these problems?
Talk to your child
Your child needs talking, and you need to explain that divorce is not the end of the world.
If the father is bad, then assure the child that nothing wrong will happen and you’re following the legal steps to keep the child safe.
If the father is good, then show the child that the divorce happened under friendly perspectives and you are still a friend with the father but you can’t go on together.
And If she is being bullied tell her that you can solve the problem once and for good.
Teach her what to say or do
You need to raise her self-esteem and teach her how to talk and reply to bullies and what to do when they bully her.
Act it with her till she gets the hang of it and gives her a scenario to follow.
Make a list of how bad things can go
Make a list with your child of the good things of being a whole family and the good things of not being a whole family
Make sure, to be honest, and include your point of view in all of this and how you feel about it.
Give examples of children living in a whole family but there are issues, negativity and fights so it isn’t always a bad thing to have a divorce.
Spend some time together
Go out, join a club together, have morning or sunset walk, go on a picnic, watch a movie, cook ….etc
There are many ideas to spend time with your child and be closer.
Throw parties at home
Try to throw a party at home if the child doesn’t want to go out. Talk to the mothers of the other children and invite them too.
Let your child be more socialized and start breaking the guarding walls.
Talk to the school
Explain to the school your situation and what’s the child is going through this will help them understand what he/she is going through and how to protect and help your child.
And give them your idea of fearing that your daughter is being bullied.
There are rules to follow if you must avoid letting your divorce affect your daughter’s education in school, and one of such rules is criticism.
Never criticize your former spouse in front of your daughter.
This is because she loved both you and him, and if you should criticize him in front of her, it could harm her self-esteem.
So, if you must criticize, do that in front of your therapist, or when you’re alone in the room, and never when your daughter is around.
If you must communicate with your ex-husband, thanks to the modern-day technologies, you can simply call or send them a text if you want something.
Refrain from having to use your daughter as an intermediary messenger to deliver messages to your ex-spouse.
That will only cause her to feel like she is going to lose it because you guys are now apart. And that could affect her grades in school, so don’t do it.
From time to time, reassure your daughter that she is loved and that the divorce wasn’t her fault.
This is because in most cases, at least from many that I’ve read about divorces, some kids tend to feel that they are to blame, for their parent’s divorce.
So, you need to keep reminding her that she is never the reason why you part ways with your ex-husband and that she is even the reason why you guys stayed together all those years.
It’s never a great idea to act as a wet blanket.
So, rather than stop her from seeing your ex-spouse, her dad, encourage her to keep visiting frequently.
In other words, do everything within your power to accommodate the visitation.
Truth is, girls, love their dads, and stopping her from visiting will only make matters worse psychologically.
And trust me, that will affect her in school.
Don’t be Self-Centred
It’s natural for a lady to look out for herself during a divorce period.
But hey, you need to also remind yourself that you have a daughter that needs you now than ever.
So, try as much as you can to prioritize her interest, and give her the attention she needs.
Psychologically, it isn’t right for your daughter to take care of you during your divorce period.
Rather, let your peers, adult family members, and mental health professionals be your counsellors. Let your daughter, just be your daughter.
During a divorce, if you are the non-custodial parent, pay your child support.
The loss of money after divorce often puts a girl child at financial risk and can affect them for hugely, not only in their academics but for the rest of their lives.
If you have your way around staying within, don’t relocate and as a result, remove your daughter from the school she was before.
A stable residence and school life help buffer a girl child from the trauma of their parents’ divorce.
On the other hand, if you must move, make an effort to have sleepovers and play dates with her old friends, and encourage her to make new friends too.
Exposure to fight
Try to reduce your daughter’s exposure to your quarrels and fighting with your ex-spouse.
So, have your disagreements well out of earshot, and remember that by nature, all-female children are experts at listening.
And if she keeps on hearing you guys fight all the time, it will instantly affect her ability to focus and study.
Take Care of Yourself
Finally, one of the most vital ways to prevent your divorce from affecting your daughter’s academic performance is by taking proper care of yourself.
During a divorce, your daughter needs you now more than ever, to stay healthy.
So, eat well, sleep properly, and exercise regularly. Also, do not isolate yourself from her most of the time, instead, spend plenty of time with supportive friends.
If you start feeling overwhelmed, or if depression, anxiety, or anger persists, consider getting help from a therapist or support group.
This, you could try out a family therapy, and I believe can be helpful at a time like these.
To wrap it up,
divorce is often a tough and messy process for both partners, and no couple ever dreams of having to go through it.
But when the unforeseen becomes a reality, and you have no other option than to part ways, as a mom, you need to stay strong for your daughter.
As such, always remember that her future is of high importance and that she can’t achieve that if she is not doing well in her grades, as a result of how you’re handling the whole divorce thing.
So, try your best to always make her feel comfortable and loved, don’t isolate yourself, give her the attention she needs, allow her to go see her dad (your ex-spouse) whenever she wants to, and avoid using her as a messenger or criticizing him in front of her. Apply these techniques, and you’ll be amazed at how simple it is to prevent your daughter, from getting affected arcade