New survey shows divorce disrupts children’s schooling
Schoolchildren’s exam results suffer as a consequence of their parent’s relationship breakdown suggests a recent survey carried out by a leading organisation of UK family lawyers. The survey also found that family breakdown leads people to resort to drink and truancy, and some admitted to dabbling in drugs or at least considering doing so.
Jo Edwards of Resolution, the organisation which carried out the survey, noted that approximately 100,000 children under sixteen see their parents divorcing each year and 48% of divorces take place when there is a child in the relationship.
“It is crucial that couples do everything possible to resolve disagreements in an amicable way that minimises stress on all family members – particularly any children they may have.”
The survey asked young people how a family breakdown had impacted on their lives. Almost two thirds (65%) felt their GCSE results had been adversely impacted while 44% felt A-Level results had suffered. 19% said they didn’t get the exam results they were hoped for. 15% moved schools due to changes at home, and this had an impact on results further down the line.
It’s possible that the impact on exam results is explained, at least in part, by the changes in the behaviour of the children caused by upheaval at home. The survey showed the following: almost 24% said that they had trouble completing work they had been given and 11% felt they were in more trouble than usual with 12% admitting to truancy.
One of the best ways to soften the blow of divorce or separation on children is to show them that their parents are working together for their best interests and that even if the parents can’t be in a relationship with one another, they are still a parenting team. With that in mind, here are some tips to try and help children through a divorce:
- Be honest…but spare the details and keep things age appropriate;
- Don’t withhold contact to punish your partner – it punishes your children too;
- Try mediation. It is reassuring for children to see their parents working together; and
- And most importantly, make sure your children understand that they although they don’t have two parents at home anymore, they still have two loving parents who want what’s best for them.