Your children may require some additional academic support from private tutors even if they have been straight “A” students, due to the emotional trauma of your family situation. Children are often referred to as the “hidden victims” of divorce.
Some children may benefit from the smaller class sizes and more personal attention of private schools.
There are also local private schools like Lydian Academy in Menlo Park or School for Independent Learners in Los Altos which offer flexible schedules and rolling enrollment. They can be attended full-time or part-time to help students make up credits they are deficient in or work ahead.
Some children who have experienced domestic violence develop such severe symptoms that they are no longer able to function in the public or private school system. Residential treatment centers and therapeutic boarding schools can help these children heal emotionally while continuing to progress academically.
Most programs of this type are located out of state. Educational consultants can help find the best match for your child. It is in your child’s best interest and yours for you to act as early as possible. Behaviors that are learned can be unlearned and with intervention and skillful, caring treatment, the cycle of abuse can be interrupted, and you can help your child to grow up with:
respect for self and others including and especially women
awareness of his own feelings
an ability to develop healthy relationships instead of perpetuating the abuse s/he was subjected to.
Sending your child to a therapeutic environment is the opposite of abdicating your role as parent. It is admitting your child needs more help than you alone can give. Sometimes the most loving and responsible act you can perform as a parent is stepping back and letting skilled and caring professionals work to undo the years of damage done to a child’s sense of safety, self-esteem, and ability to develop and maintain healthy relationships. If s/he had a broken leg, you wouldn’t try to fix that yourself. Broken families are so much harder to fix!
While your child is still a minor, you can place him or her in a wilderness program, residential treatment center or therapeutic boarding school with or without their consent. If s/he is unwilling to go, your educational consultant can refer you to an “escort/transporter” service to accompany your child to residential treatment safely. After they turn 18, you will unfortunately no longer have this option. If your abusive partner objects, you can seek a recommendation from your child’s pediatrician and present that to the judge who may then overrule your abuser and get your child and your family the help you need.