Tips to Help Your Grandchildren Through Their Parent's Divorce
You can be the one to help them through this difficult time.
When your adult child comes to you about divorce, your first thought may be helping him or her through this difficult time.
However, you should also be thinking about your grandchildren. They are also going to be dealing with a lot of changes. They may be worried about their future, including where they are going to live and who they are going to be spending time with. As a grandparent, you can be a great source of comfort to them.
Want to help your grandchildren? Here are some ways that you can help.
You are going to need to learn to work with both sets of parents in order to keep your grandchildren in your life. Though you are going to want to help your adult child through the divorce, you are also going to have to work hard to stay neutral, when it comes to the children. There are going to be times when you are going to have to get along with the ex-spouse, in order to see your grandchildren.
You may even help by picking up the children and taking them from one parent to another. As time moves on, you are going to have to continue to get along with both parents, when everyone has to get together for special events.
Continue to spend time with your grandchildren, just like you used to! You shouldn't have to stop seeing your grandchildren, even though your adult child is going through a divorce. So, if you were the primary babysitter, continue to watch them, so both parents can continue to work and support their children.
If they spent weekends at your home, make sure that they still do so. In fact, your grandchildren may need you a little more while they are dealing with everything that is going on.
When your grandchildren are with you, you need to give them the stability that they may be missing at the moment. When they come to you, they are going to need a calming environment where they can be themselves and let loose.
They may need to visit you more often, while their parents figure out what is best for everyone. These visits should be a relief for the children, allowing them to relax and have a good time.
Don't talk about the divorce. You should never talk to your grandchildren about the divorce. You need to stay out of it. Your grandchildren should NEVER hear how you really feel about all of it.
That being said, if your grandchildren need someone to talk to, you should be there to listen to them. Your grandchildren may need someone that they can trust to talk to, so you should make sure that they know that they can come to you if needed. Make sure that you listen (more than talk). They may just need to get their feelings off of their chest. Let them know that you will always be there if they need you to be.
It is important for you to remember that the holidays are going to be hard, especially in the beginning. Many children love holidays, and that shouldn't change just because of their new circumstances.
You need to still do whatever you can to make sure that the holidays continue to be special for your grandchildren. This may even mean inviting their other parent (and grandparents) to join in your celebration.
This is also true for special occasions. You are going to want to share in every special occasion that you can with your grandchildren, including birthdays, graduations, and other celebrations. To do this, you are going to have to put everything aside and just focus on the children that are involved. You are also going to have to be civil with their other parent (and grandparents).
Though you may be focused on helping your adult child through the divorce, your grandchildren may also need you more. If you have always been a part of their lives, you need to continue to do so, whether that means babysitting or weekends at your home.
You also need to give them a safe place to be when they are over. You should never bring the divorce up, but allow your grandchildren to talk about it if they want to. You are going to want them to know that they can count on you, no matter what.
Then, you need to find a way to work with their other parent. You are going to have years of holidays and other celebrations, and you don't want to miss out on any of them!
Previously published on Medium.
About the author
Small town country girl in southern Pennsylvania. Raising two boys on a small farm filled with horses, goats, chickens, rabbits, ducks, dogs, and a cat. Certified veterinary technician and writer at Virtually Shelley.