School Counseling Divorce

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It is obvious that the emotions of a child have a very negative impact of divorce. The child spends a major part of his/her day in school. Thus, it can be stated that school counselors and teachers are the people who can handle the negative feelings of the child. Thus, School counseling after divorce is necessary.

Post divorce, it is observed that the academic performance or demeanor of a child in school changes. It is suggested that the parents should make the school personnel aware of the changes. They should notice every change that the child is demonstrating at home. If the school is made aware of the real situation at home, it can certainly play a role that would have a positive impact on the child.

Role of School Counselor in School Counseling after Divorce

  • This counselor can conduct a one-on-one counseling session with the child. Initial sessions should be informal to make a child comfortable with the counselor. That can help a child to express his/her true feelings.
  • The counselor can assist the child in case of the following:
    • Any problems the child may be experiencing with other children during school hours, such as teasing from the schoolmates over personal matters.
    • Alterations, like becoming a part of a single parent household or adjusting in a new family.
    • Changes in lifestyle, accepting the lack of previous facilities.
  • The counselor can act as a connection between the school administration, the child's teacher and the child's parents.
  • Overall, the school counselor can go a long way in making a life normal for the concerned child.

Role of School Teacher in School Counseling after Divorce

  • The parents must disclose the behavioral changes that they see in the child to the school teachers.
  • The teacher must be allowed to speak with the child regarding the occurrences that are happening at home. These can be through one-on-one meetings, as child can be more comfortable in such sessions.
  • The above two points enables the teacher to reduce the anxiety of the child. The child feels the security of having resources to share his/her problems. The child also feels that if he/she needs support regarding any issue, his/her teacher is readily available.
  • The teacher should keep a regular watch on the child regarding the child's behavior with schoolmates and other people. A teacher can encourage the child to get indulged in extra-curricular activities or hobbies.

In order to enable the teacher to play a positive role during the school hours of the child, the parents must divulge the following information to the teacher:

  • Who is the custodian of the child?
  • Who is permitted and who is prohibited to pick the child up from school?
  • Description of any occurrences of domestic violence
  • Does the child become overly distressed during school hours?

Also, the parents should implement the following tips:

  • The parent must request the teacher to reassure the child that the divorce is not the fault of the child and that the child has nothing to do about the divorce.
  • The parent must disclose to the teacher, the language that the parent used while revealing the news of divorce to the child. Further, the parent must request the teacher to use identical language while discussing about the divorce with the child.

Role of ASCA

There is a separate body of counselors that work especially to sort issues at the school level. It is called as ASCA (American School Counselor Association). The ASCA released a National Model (A framework for school counseling programs) in 2003. This Model has the following features:

  • It is data driven and accountable for student outcomes.
  • It operates from a formal set of student learning objectives that are based on measurable student learning outcomes, aligned with district standards and state curriculum frameworks and connected with ASCA national standards.
  • It operates from a mission that is connected with the state and national educational reform agendas and with the school district's mission.
  • It is focused on elimination of the achievement gap and improvement of academic achievement.

This model can be useful to measure the achievement of the child and keep a track of changes in the performance of a child.

In this way, the school plays a vital role in bringing the child out of traumatic experience of a divorce. There is a need of a proper communication between the parents and school authorities to bring back the child in a normal atmosphere.

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