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    Back to School in a Separated Family

    25/01/19 4:00 PM

    It’s that time of year again, where we dash through the shops picking up new stationary, new backpacks, and new school shoes. The start of school can be stressful enough, but it can be even trickier when we add in the pressures of a separated or blended family.

    Here are a few things to consider when going back to school in a separated family:

    1. The Kiss and Drop

    Back to school means a return to the drop off and pick up routine. It is important that everyone knows the routine, so your children know what to expect, and parents and the school are on the same page. If you are dropping your children at school on that first morning make sure your children, the other parent and the school know who is doing the pick up. Clear communication and pre-arranged plans are key to a stress-free routine.

    1. Same Story

    If you have freshly separated, make sure your children are prepared. Children are inquisitive and sometimes a little too blunt. Therefore, make sure your children are prepared to answer questions about their separated parents. Click here for some helpful tips in how to do so.

    On that note, make sure you are also prepared to answer questions from equally inquisitive parents at the school gate.

    1. Help Them and Help You

    Your children may be feeling anxious and sad as a result of the separation and it may be a good idea for them to see a child counsellor or psychologist. It is also very helpful to let your child’s teacher and the school counsellor know about the change in your family, so that your children can be cared for appropriately at school. Also, now that the children are returning to school, why not see a GP for your own mental health plan or have a chat to a counsellor.

    1. Complete the Chapter

    Separation requires a number of documents to finalise the divorce, the property settlement and parenting arrangements. It may have been difficult to obtain and complete the steps while your children were at home on holidays. Now that they are back at school it is an ideal time to obtain the bank statements, visit your lawyer, and visit the accountant to ensure your disclosure documentation is completed. Also, use this time to confirm you are obtaining your full government benefits with child support, tax benefits and pensions.

    Photo by moren hsu on Unsplash

    Andrea Harrold

    Written by Andrea Harrold