Single parenting

Helping Your Child Cope with the Absence of the Other Parent in School: A Practical Guide

Welcome to our practical guide on helping your child cope with the absence of the other parent in school. As a parent or guardian, it can be challenging to see your child struggle with the absence of their other parent during their school days. Whether the absence is due to work commitments, travel, divorce, or any other reason, it’s important to provide support and understanding to help your child navigate this situation.

In this guide, we will explore strategies and tips that can assist you in supporting your child through this difficult time. We’ll discuss ways to address their emotions, create a supportive environment at home, maintain open communication, and collaborate with teachers and school staff. Let’s dive in!

1. Acknowledge Your Child’s Emotions

The first step in helping your child cope with the absence of the other parent in school is to acknowledge their emotions. It’s common for children to feel a range of emotions such as sadness, confusion, anger, or even guilt when one parent is not present.

Start by creating a safe space for your child to express their feelings openly. Encourage them to talk about how they feel and listen attentively without judgment. Validate their emotions and let them know that it’s okay to feel sad or upset about missing the other parent.

For example:

“I understand that it can be tough for you when Mom/Dad isn’t here at school. It’s okay to feel sad about it.”

2. Establish a Supportive Routine

A consistent routine can provide stability and reassurance for your child when they are missing one parent at school. Establishing a daily routine that includes quality time together before and after school can help create a sense of security.

Consider incorporating activities that your child enjoys into this routine. It could be playing a game, reading a book, or simply having a conversation about their day. This allows you to bond with your child and offers them an opportunity to share any concerns or achievements related to school.

For instance:

“Let’s spend some time together every morning before school. We can have breakfast together and talk about what you’re looking forward to in your day.”

3. Foster Open Communication

Encourage your child to communicate their thoughts and feelings about the absence of the other parent at school. Let them know that you are there to listen and support them whenever they need it.

Ask open-ended questions to initiate conversations about their experiences at school. For example:

“How was your day at school today? Did anything happen that made you miss Mom/Dad?”

By creating an open line of communication, you can gain insights into how your child is coping and address any concerns they may have.

4. Collaborate with Teachers and School Staff

Establishing a collaborative relationship with your child’s teachers and school staff is crucial in supporting your child during the absence of the other parent. Inform them about the situation and discuss any specific needs or concerns that may arise.

Share information about the absence of the other parent, such as the duration and reasons behind it, so that teachers can understand your child’s context better. This will enable them to provide appropriate support and keep an eye out for any changes in behavior or academic performance.

Schedule regular check-ins with teachers to stay informed about your child’s progress at school. This will help you address any challenges promptly and ensure that your child receives the necessary support.

5. Encourage Peer Support

Encourage your child to build relationships with their peers and foster a sense of belonging at school. Friendships can provide emotional support and make the absence of the other parent more manageable.

Consider arranging playdates or extracurricular activities where your child can interact with other children. This will give them an opportunity to develop friendships and engage in positive social interactions.

Additionally, you can explore support groups or counseling services available at school that focus on helping children cope with various life situations. These resources can provide your child with additional support and guidance.

6. Stay Positive and Provide Reassurance

It’s essential to maintain a positive outlook and provide reassurance to your child during the absence of the other parent. Let them know that their feelings are valid, and you are there to support them every step of the way.

Avoid speaking negatively about the absent parent or blaming them for their absence. Instead, focus on highlighting the love and support that both parents have for the child.

For example:

“Even though Mom/Dad isn’t here right now, they love you very much. We are all working together to make sure you feel loved and supported.”


Coping with the absence of one parent in school can be challenging for both children and parents. By acknowledging your child’s emotions, establishing a supportive routine, fostering open communication, collaborating with teachers, encouraging peer support, and staying positive, you can help your child navigate this situation with resilience.

Remember that every child is unique, and it may take time for them to adjust to the absence of one parent at school. Be patient, understanding, and continue providing love and support throughout their journey.

We hope this practical guide has provided valuable insights and strategies to assist you in helping your child cope with the absence of the other parent in school. Remember, you are not alone, and together, we can create a nurturing environment for your child’s emotional well-being.