Schools and Blended Families

Reviewed Dec 3, 2019

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Summary

Is your family blending?

  • Alert the school.
  • Involve the other parent(s).
  • Consider counseling.

Blended families are not rare—there are many sizes and shapes to family units. When you and your new partner, spouse, or friend bring your kids into a new household situation, there are many issues to think about. A big one is the school. The main job of your child(ren) is to go to school. Just like with your job, they need help making sure they are at school on time each day, are well groomed and cared for, and are ready to face pop quizzes, bullies, new friends, and any other issues that might fall into their path.

Think about the needs of your new blended family and the school system.

Alert the school

If you are changing things at home, let the school know. It will be good for both your child and her teacher to know if there is a breakup, move, or new family situation. Changes like these—even if they are very good—can have a bad result on your child’s attention span and grades. If you are moving to a new school, teachers and school counselors know how to best help a child through events.

Safety comes first

When there are more people in the family, there are often more hands to help. Consider:

  • Will other family members or friends help pick up your child?
  • How will your child get from school to after school activities?
  • What will you tell your child to do if he is not picked up as planned?

It’s important to tell the school who has the right to pick up your child. The school will have specific forms to fill out as well.

Administrative issues

The school will want set names and contact information for whom they should send notes to about your child’s welfare, where to leave phone messages, and whom to talk with if an issue comes up. Keep in mind daily school needs as well as crisis plans. Also make plans for after school activities. Make sure your family or friends are tuned into their role as well.

Involve the other parent(s)

If you and your partner, husband, or girlfriend have called it quits but they are still the active other parent, they should still be involved in school life. Try to set your differences aside and allow both parents to be part of school functions, meetings, and special events like honor assemblies and talent shows. It’s not fair to ask a parent not to come if they have time and interest to attend, and it will make your child feel special to have both parents there. The same goes for corrective actions and parent-teacher nights.

Routines

Talk about the best way to do the daily commute, homework, parent-teacher meetings, school holidays, and more. Cover:

  • Who will help with homework?
  • How will the evening routine stay somewhat the same between two households?
  • How will you get all the books and needed materials to both households?

Help make school manageable for your child. There is no need to bog him down with scheduling details or by feeling in the middle of two parents who don’t see eye to eye.

Money

If your child is going to or will be switching to a private school, the costs will need to be discussed in full. There is often more than just tuition, and can involve books and uniforms. Even with public school there are the costs of clothes, shoes, books, school supplies, field trips, lunch money, and more. Be very clear who is going to cover what. The same is true for college and other further schooling. Talk with the other parent—if valid—about what you want to cover and why. Be respectful of the new spouse or partner who might have kids of their own.

Consider counseling

Kids can get help from the school counselor. But you might also do well with a family therapist. Consider counseling:

  • If your child is having a tough time with a new school or the blended family.
  • If you and the other parent are having a hard time agreeing on things.
  • If you and your new partner need help to become a unified support team.

Don’t be too hard on yourself, your ex, or your new partner during this changing time. Blended families are just that—a mixture of many different types of people that live under the same roof. There is a reason that you have chosen to blend in the first place. As long as there is a healthy dose of love and respect, the blending might not be perfect, but it can be a success.

By Andrea Rizzo, MFA
Source: Back to School for Blended Families 101: Parents, Stepparents Will Be Tested: www.oregonlive.com/kiddo/index.ssf/2014/09/back_to_school_for_blended_fam.html; Blended Families and School Activities: www.families.com/blog/blended-families-and-school-activities
Reviewed by Marissa Eggert, LMFT, EAP Workplace Consult, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Is your family blending?

  • Alert the school.
  • Involve the other parent(s).
  • Consider counseling.

Blended families are not rare—there are many sizes and shapes to family units. When you and your new partner, spouse, or friend bring your kids into a new household situation, there are many issues to think about. A big one is the school. The main job of your child(ren) is to go to school. Just like with your job, they need help making sure they are at school on time each day, are well groomed and cared for, and are ready to face pop quizzes, bullies, new friends, and any other issues that might fall into their path.

Think about the needs of your new blended family and the school system.

Alert the school

If you are changing things at home, let the school know. It will be good for both your child and her teacher to know if there is a breakup, move, or new family situation. Changes like these—even if they are very good—can have a bad result on your child’s attention span and grades. If you are moving to a new school, teachers and school counselors know how to best help a child through events.

Safety comes first

When there are more people in the family, there are often more hands to help. Consider:

  • Will other family members or friends help pick up your child?
  • How will your child get from school to after school activities?
  • What will you tell your child to do if he is not picked up as planned?

It’s important to tell the school who has the right to pick up your child. The school will have specific forms to fill out as well.

Administrative issues

The school will want set names and contact information for whom they should send notes to about your child’s welfare, where to leave phone messages, and whom to talk with if an issue comes up. Keep in mind daily school needs as well as crisis plans. Also make plans for after school activities. Make sure your family or friends are tuned into their role as well.

Involve the other parent(s)

If you and your partner, husband, or girlfriend have called it quits but they are still the active other parent, they should still be involved in school life. Try to set your differences aside and allow both parents to be part of school functions, meetings, and special events like honor assemblies and talent shows. It’s not fair to ask a parent not to come if they have time and interest to attend, and it will make your child feel special to have both parents there. The same goes for corrective actions and parent-teacher nights.

Routines

Talk about the best way to do the daily commute, homework, parent-teacher meetings, school holidays, and more. Cover:

  • Who will help with homework?
  • How will the evening routine stay somewhat the same between two households?
  • How will you get all the books and needed materials to both households?

Help make school manageable for your child. There is no need to bog him down with scheduling details or by feeling in the middle of two parents who don’t see eye to eye.

Money

If your child is going to or will be switching to a private school, the costs will need to be discussed in full. There is often more than just tuition, and can involve books and uniforms. Even with public school there are the costs of clothes, shoes, books, school supplies, field trips, lunch money, and more. Be very clear who is going to cover what. The same is true for college and other further schooling. Talk with the other parent—if valid—about what you want to cover and why. Be respectful of the new spouse or partner who might have kids of their own.

Consider counseling

Kids can get help from the school counselor. But you might also do well with a family therapist. Consider counseling:

  • If your child is having a tough time with a new school or the blended family.
  • If you and the other parent are having a hard time agreeing on things.
  • If you and your new partner need help to become a unified support team.

Don’t be too hard on yourself, your ex, or your new partner during this changing time. Blended families are just that—a mixture of many different types of people that live under the same roof. There is a reason that you have chosen to blend in the first place. As long as there is a healthy dose of love and respect, the blending might not be perfect, but it can be a success.

By Andrea Rizzo, MFA
Source: Back to School for Blended Families 101: Parents, Stepparents Will Be Tested: www.oregonlive.com/kiddo/index.ssf/2014/09/back_to_school_for_blended_fam.html; Blended Families and School Activities: www.families.com/blog/blended-families-and-school-activities
Reviewed by Marissa Eggert, LMFT, EAP Workplace Consult, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Is your family blending?

  • Alert the school.
  • Involve the other parent(s).
  • Consider counseling.

Blended families are not rare—there are many sizes and shapes to family units. When you and your new partner, spouse, or friend bring your kids into a new household situation, there are many issues to think about. A big one is the school. The main job of your child(ren) is to go to school. Just like with your job, they need help making sure they are at school on time each day, are well groomed and cared for, and are ready to face pop quizzes, bullies, new friends, and any other issues that might fall into their path.

Think about the needs of your new blended family and the school system.

Alert the school

If you are changing things at home, let the school know. It will be good for both your child and her teacher to know if there is a breakup, move, or new family situation. Changes like these—even if they are very good—can have a bad result on your child’s attention span and grades. If you are moving to a new school, teachers and school counselors know how to best help a child through events.

Safety comes first

When there are more people in the family, there are often more hands to help. Consider:

  • Will other family members or friends help pick up your child?
  • How will your child get from school to after school activities?
  • What will you tell your child to do if he is not picked up as planned?

It’s important to tell the school who has the right to pick up your child. The school will have specific forms to fill out as well.

Administrative issues

The school will want set names and contact information for whom they should send notes to about your child’s welfare, where to leave phone messages, and whom to talk with if an issue comes up. Keep in mind daily school needs as well as crisis plans. Also make plans for after school activities. Make sure your family or friends are tuned into their role as well.

Involve the other parent(s)

If you and your partner, husband, or girlfriend have called it quits but they are still the active other parent, they should still be involved in school life. Try to set your differences aside and allow both parents to be part of school functions, meetings, and special events like honor assemblies and talent shows. It’s not fair to ask a parent not to come if they have time and interest to attend, and it will make your child feel special to have both parents there. The same goes for corrective actions and parent-teacher nights.

Routines

Talk about the best way to do the daily commute, homework, parent-teacher meetings, school holidays, and more. Cover:

  • Who will help with homework?
  • How will the evening routine stay somewhat the same between two households?
  • How will you get all the books and needed materials to both households?

Help make school manageable for your child. There is no need to bog him down with scheduling details or by feeling in the middle of two parents who don’t see eye to eye.

Money

If your child is going to or will be switching to a private school, the costs will need to be discussed in full. There is often more than just tuition, and can involve books and uniforms. Even with public school there are the costs of clothes, shoes, books, school supplies, field trips, lunch money, and more. Be very clear who is going to cover what. The same is true for college and other further schooling. Talk with the other parent—if valid—about what you want to cover and why. Be respectful of the new spouse or partner who might have kids of their own.

Consider counseling

Kids can get help from the school counselor. But you might also do well with a family therapist. Consider counseling:

  • If your child is having a tough time with a new school or the blended family.
  • If you and the other parent are having a hard time agreeing on things.
  • If you and your new partner need help to become a unified support team.

Don’t be too hard on yourself, your ex, or your new partner during this changing time. Blended families are just that—a mixture of many different types of people that live under the same roof. There is a reason that you have chosen to blend in the first place. As long as there is a healthy dose of love and respect, the blending might not be perfect, but it can be a success.

By Andrea Rizzo, MFA
Source: Back to School for Blended Families 101: Parents, Stepparents Will Be Tested: www.oregonlive.com/kiddo/index.ssf/2014/09/back_to_school_for_blended_fam.html; Blended Families and School Activities: www.families.com/blog/blended-families-and-school-activities
Reviewed by Marissa Eggert, LMFT, EAP Workplace Consult, Beacon Health Options

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, assessments, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2019 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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