Today is National Teachers’ Day, and never before has it been so important to acknowledge and appreciate everything that teachers do for our children and young people here in Scotland. Today on the blog we are providing some of our top tips for teachers to help deal with separated parents.
1. Communication is Key
For many couples, particularly so during the very early stages of a separation, communication on even the most basic of matters can be extremely challenging. They may in fact not communicate at all, and so once you become aware of a separation it is best for the child to ensure that as a school you are communicating all important information to both parents directly.
This would include important matters such as parents’ evenings, report cards and school trips, but also even smaller things which are important to children such as special awards and achievements. More communication is always better than less and helps to take the pressure off the child who may otherwise become an unwilling conduit for information between the parents.
2. Understand the Care Pattern
It can be quite common for separated parents to use the school or nursery for handovers between homes rather than doing that face-to-face. If that is the case, it can be helpful for you to have a note of the care pattern so that you know who is due to collect the child on each day, and whether the child is coming from different homes during the week.
This helps not only to prevent any disagreements at the school gates but also lets you easily know who to contact if there are any problems at school that day.
3. Talk Directly with the Child
Children will always appreciate being spoken to directly about the separation by trusted adults. This of course should be done discreetly and privately in case they have not confided in their school mates.
This helps them to feel that they are not alone and will reinforce that you are a trusted adult that they can come to with any concerns or queries about their home life.
Where a separation is very acrimonious it can benefit the child to have a point of contact to talk about their worries who is not related to the separation itself.
For a lot of children at the centre of a separation, the regularity and routine of going to school, as usual, provides a steady environment for them.
It is even more important for them that they continue to be treated as normal, with the communication flowing between the adults involved with the child rather than the child taking any responsibility for that communication upon themselves.
If you have any concerns or queries about dealing with a child involved with a separation, please do get in touch and we would be happy to help.