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New Study Says Divorce Could Have a Negative Impact Your Teen’s Academic Performance - Here is How to Mitigate the Risks

Posted on in Family Law

Wheaton divorce attorneysMost parents are aware that divorce could negatively impact their child; it is why so many are hesitant to call it quits on their marriage. Still, studies show that a tumultuous home environment is more damaging to a child. As such, parents are encouraged to understand how and why a divorce might cause issues for their child. It also helps to have a plan in place.

Understanding the How and Why

Although divorce can negatively affect all children, the biggest risk seems to apply to those who are “well off” prior to the split. More specifically, adolescents whose mothers have a college education were found to be most impacted by parental divorce in a recent study conducted by Sondre Aasan Nilsen of the Norwegian Research Centre (NORCE) and the University of Bergen, Norway, and colleagues. On average, their GPAs were 0.3 points lower than peers with intact families from the same socioeconomic class. Previous research has also indicated that well-off children are less likely to attend college after a parental divorce.

Perhaps children from lower socioeconomic classes show less impact, simply because they are already less likely to excel in school or attend college, or maybe well-off children are ill-prepared for divorce because they have not suffered as much disappointment and heartache as children from lower socioeconomic classes. Whatever the cause, it is middle-class parents (and above) who most need a plan for minimizing the risk of poor academic performance in their child.

Protecting Your Child’s Academic Performance in Divorce

Children of divorce grieve the loss of their family, but unlike the adults, kids have no say over the situation. This lack of control can cause a feeling of helplessness. Some children will even blame themselves for the end of their parents’ marriage. As such, the best course of action for divorcing parents is to ensure their child has time, space, and understanding as they work through the grieving process. 

If their grades start to suffer, resist the urge to scold or push. Instead, offer empathy and assist your child in developing a plan to improve their academic status. Having your support is far more likely to encourage them than admonishments or consequences.

Parents are also encouraged to have a candid discussion with their child to reassure them that each will continue to be there for the child and that it is not the child’s fault. Do not overshare details. Instead, come to your child as a united front. If it seems that your child is losing interest in school, friends, or extracurricular activities, talk to them. Seek help from a therapist or counselor if matters do not improve. 

Contact Our Wheaton Divorce Attorneys

If you are planning on filing for divorce and have kids, contact Davi Law Group, LLC. Dedicated to protecting the best interests of children, our skilled DuPage County family law lawyers can develop a strategy for safeguarding the future of your child. Call 630-580-6373 and schedule a personalized consultation to get started today.




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