Switching schools is often a touchy subject for kids no matter what the circumstances. So when you’re switching schools because of parental divorce, the transition can be even harder to accept and magnifies the disruption from the end of the marriage. Here’s Ashley:
Within a year of the divorce, my parents sold the house and we, my sister, my one brother and my mom moved to the next town over. My mom’s boyfriend was living a couple of towns over. She didn’t move in with him until she got married to him three years later.
However, moving meant changing schools and I was one of these kids who was always, “That’s what happens to me!” I was such a downer, so different than I am now. We had moved a couple of times, but every time we moved, it seemed to affect me the most.
One time we moved and it was going to be the first year of junior high and now we were moving again and it was going to be the first year of high school. I had finally become friends with all the popular kids, the cheerleaders and all of that and I was starting for the lacrosse team in junior high. Now I was moving to a high school in a different town. I had this perception that since I was a dorky kid anyway, that all of the kids would assume that I was the dorky kid from the other feeder school and would not want to befriend me. So, I really didn’t want to move!
My sister was a year older, so everybody knew that she was new even though it was the beginning of the year so her transition over was easier.
I was a shy kid anyway and I’m sure I was insecure because my father had no interest in me. I’m sure all of that played into it. I felt like, here I am having to go through this again. And how dare you guys do this to me. I was angry at them for make me go through that again.
The Divorce Coach Says
I do think it’s generally easier for children to cope with divorce when changes are minimized however, there are situations where dramatic changes do come as a relief to children, situations such as a high-conflict marriage or severe addiction issues. For example, when April realized she’d have to become financially and emotionally responsible for her kids, she moved across country so she could be where her family was.
I think the pace of change is also a factor … my kids always seem to do best when they’ve had time to adjust to an idea and then time to adjust to the change. I think we were fortunate – when my ex and I split up we both stayed in the same town, the kids stayed at the same school, their activities stayed the same and their friends stayed the same. That worked for us.
Are your children changing schools? How are they adjusting? How did they react when you told them?
Photo credit: Chapendra