Wedding Woes

This is why I'm not a teacher. (j/k, sort of)

Dear Prudence,

I am an elementary school teacher. I recently became aware that a mother and a father of two of my students are dating. A colleague is Facebook friends with the mother, Carrie, through a non-school-related connection, and pieced together that Carrie is in a newly (?) open marriage and dating the father, Tom, who is divorced. Their children, my students, are best friends, which is great in terms of their current situation, because they are all spending a lot of time together (sometimes with Carrie’s husband, sometimes not). What two consenting adults do in their personal lives is none of my business, and I’m not entirely sure what my students’ understanding of the situation is, but I imagine they know their parents are “special friends.” My concern is that this relationship will run its course and that my students will be forced to sever a close friendship due to the interpersonal politics of their parents. True, maybe they’ll make it as a throuple or whatever this is for years to come, but all adults involved seem somewhat volatile, so my hunch is that this will end, and likely not on good terms.

If things do get weird or bad, is there anything I can do to support my students (if they are still in my care at the time)? Or if their classmates find out that their parents are dating but Carrie still has a husband, which even for our fairly liberal area is a little out-there for young kids to rationalize? Normally, as long as children are safe and taken care of (which these students definitely are), I don’t pay any mind to home life quirks, but this situation feels like it has the potential to bleed into the classroom in a negative way.

— Want to Mind My Business

Re: This is why I'm not a teacher. (j/k, sort of)

  • Well, the only thing you can do is offer to be supportive.  And the reality is that eventually even if the relationship fizzles these kids will continue to see each other so if you see signs that there are issues, talk to them about what's bothering them.

    But you're not a marriage counselor and the kids aren't dating - so continue to pay attention and watch that their interpersonal dynamics continue to be positive. 
  • Ugh, LW.  Stop being a busybody and borrowing trouble.

    There might be a problem between the two kids someday.  There might not.  But there isn't a problem right now.

    If one develops, tackle it at that time.  The same way you would between any two students who are "friends, now not friends" anymore. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • LW is overly involved (not their fault that they know as much as they do if a colleague shared it).  Kids stop being friends pretty often, I mean yeah if it's the grownups' fault that sucks, but surely it wouldn't be the first time LW has dealt with kids being close and then the next day not being close (which could happen if the couple broke up and if they chose to not be decent parents and ban their kids from each other).  
  • WTF?!?!

    Stay-in-your-freaking-lane GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot member
    First Comment First Anniversary First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited January 2023
    You clearly don’t  just want to mind your business because if you wanted to you would. There is no problem here. 
    Exactly this. Does LW act like this any time two single/divorced parents date? It sounds like LW just wants a reason to be involved in the gossip. 
  • Both you and your colleague who shared the info should be ashamed of yourselves. This isn’t your business. It’s not even close to your business. 

    Stay out. If you observe something with your students handle it professionally. Unlike how you’re handling this information. 
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