Could your divorce hurt your child’s potential for higher education? Recent research suggests that divorces in previously stable families negatively affect an older child’s potential for higher education.
The research also found that children from unstable, lower income or more chaotic family arrangements are not affected the same way. While this seems counterintuitive, if chaos is the norm, it seems children can adapt and even improve when a turbulent marriage come to an end.
How can divorce negatively affect academics?
Divorce can affect the entire family in unexpected ways. Your child’s academics are no exception. For previously stable families, children and young teenagers could suffer in the following ways:
- Less likely to graduate from high school
- Less likely to go to or complete college
- More likely to have lower test scores and GPAs
- More likely to skip or be tardy
These are only statistics, and your family may not experience them the same way. Plenty of people from single-parent or blended families go on to become successful adults. However, they may need more support than other children or teens.
How can you help children academically after a divorce?
If you come up with a reliable parenting plan and commit to a respectful relationship with your ex, your children can significantly benefit. These plans can include the following:
- Maintain regular communication and expectations about tests and assignments.
- Discuss trade school or post-secondary education early and often.
- Decide how you will both fund your child’s post-secondary education well in advance.
Divorce does not have to negatively affect your child’s long-term academic goals, but it can. They might not understand why they are suddenly suffering in school, or know how to get back on track. If you notice your child’s grades slipping or their dreams diminishing, act quickly. Their dreams are too important to delay.