Understanding the logic effects of divorce on children may be a way for you to figure out why your child is getting in trouble at school. While there there may not be medical effects of divorce on children, or visible changes in your child, divorce can be a confusing time for a child. It may cause them to behave differently. Here are some tips for how they should respond if they get in trouble at school during this time.
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- Ask the principal or other adult to call your mom/dad/caretaker IMMEDIATELY. We know it will be hard to face your mom or dad after you have gotten in trouble. But it is VERY important that they be there for you so they can understand exactly what happened.
- BE POLITE. Tell the principal or other adult that you would rather not answer any questions until your mom/dad/caretaker gets there.
- As soon as you can, sit down and write out everything that happened as best you can remember it. This might be something you can do while you wait for your parents to get to school. If the principal asks to see what you have written, tell him/her that you would like to show your parents first. Be sure to write down how you felt while things were happening—for example, angry, scared or out of control.
- Try very hard to remember everyone who saw or heard what happened. Write down the names of the teachers, coaches, school safety officers, staff (like the cafeteria lady, the bus driver or the maintenance man) and other students who saw or heard what happened. If you do not know someone’s name, write down as much about that person as you can remembers such as “an 8th grader with red hair who is on the basketball team” or “the teacher with the funny glasses who teaches 4th graders.”
- If what happened was a fight or something where you got hurt physically, you can ask to lie down in the nurse’s office until your parents get there. Do not be afraid to ask to see the nurse if something is hurting you or you are scared.
- If you are feeling pressured to talk about what happened and your parents are not there yet, ask the principal if another adult you trust can be there with you. Sometimes this person is a guidance counselor, the Exceptional Children Coordinator or a Curriculum Assistance (CA) or other special teacher. When that person shows up, tell him/her that you would like to wait for your parents before you speak with anyone else.