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Midlife Divorce: How separated parents can support their children’s return to school

By Kate Banerjee, head of Jones Myers Children’s Department

separated parents supporting children back to school image

Many children and young people will no doubt be feeling apprehensive as they return to the classroom for the first time since March this year.

However, the school environment and routine that used to be reassuring and familiar to them has changed dramatically as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

New measures implemented to help safeguard pupils’ well being include one way systems, different playground rules and staggering starting and finishing times.

Secondary pupils in local lockdown areas will also have to wear face coverings in school corridors. 

While looking forward to being reunited with their friends, children and teenagers will understandably feel anxious about the new rules, particularly those who are old enough to have seen and read about the mixed reactions to schools reopening.

It is therefore vital that their parents – particularly those who are divorced or separated – do their utmost to help ensure a smooth transition at such a decisive period in their development.

Mutual cooperation

This can be achieved by working together in a spirit of mutual cooperation to communicate even more closely with their sons and daughters and find out how they think and feel about the myriad of changes they face.

Talking to them and reassuring them why the measures are needed will help to ease apprehensions and anxieties they may be experiencing.

Making sure children stick to a routine outside of school with set times for eating, bedtime and pastimes has also taking on an unprecedented importance.

Creating a stable environment where the best interests of children and young people are the overriding priority requires establishing and sustaining a workable solution.

Above all in these turbulent times estranged parents can remind their children that they both love them very much and are here for them in the days, months and years ahead.

About Kate Banerjee

Kate heads Jones Myers renowned Children’s Department. She is highly experienced in cases relating to children including contact and residence disputes. She specialises in child protection law and is a Member of the Child Care Panel representing parents, guardians, Local Authorities and children.

Kate has extensive expertise in international child abduction cases and is a Member of the International Child Abduction and Custody Unit. She also has “Higher Court Rights”.



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