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Divorce from the teacher's perspective

Teachers sometimes spend as much time or more with kids than their parents do. They also see children in a different environment for several hours a day, and sometimes they can pick up on problems that might go unnoticed at home.

Teachers may notice what they consider problems after a family has gone through a divorce. Here are a few common ones that teachers say they would like divorcing parents to pay more attention to.

• Causing anxiety about what's unknown. Sometimes a parent who has gone through a divorce dwells on the "newness" of the situation: A new home, a new city, a new everything. But it's also important to sound confident in the changes, or sometimes kids will pick up on that anxiety.

• Not communicating clearly with the ex. When a child's parents avoid talking to each other, the child can feel stuck in the middle, and that's never a fun feeling.

• Lack of consistency regarding schoolwork rules. If one parent requires the child to do homework before turning on the TV, and the other doesn't pay attention to the homework at all, the mixed signals can be confusing and frustrating.

• Excusing the child's bad behavior. When parents feel guilty about the divorce and all the change that it brings, they often forgive a child's inappropriate behavior when they shouldn't. But teachers say that it's important to continue holding them accountable for what they do.

These are just a few of the potential problems. Effectively communicating with the child can often help parents get to the root of what's going on.

Source: Huffington Post, "Back to school 2012: Teachers reveal parents' biggest divorce mistakes," Natasha Burton, Aug. 14, 2012

• Our firm handles similar situations to what was discussed in this post. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our Denver divorce page.

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