There are many sources available to help guide and support children through their parents’ divorce. However, what about the opposite scenario – when your grown child is the one going through a divorce?
It is no secret that the emotional toll of a divorce can affect the whole family. No parent wants to see their child struggle alone.
What can parents do to help their children through their own divorces?
No matter how many years go by, a parent’s instinct to protect their child does not fade. Divorce is a stressful process, whether or not parents know that from experience. Regardless, parents must be careful not to overstep their adult child’s boundaries.
Thankfully, there are still a few steps North Carolina parents can take to help their children. They should:
- Watch their reaction to the news: Even if the divorce comes as a shock, parents should keep their emotions in check when their children inform them. Parents do not want to alienate their children or make them feel shame about their decision to end their marriage.
- Offer support: Parents must strike a careful balance here. They should make it clear that they are there for their child, but make sure they are not too overbearing. Ask them what they need. For example, children might simply want emotional support from their parents, or someone to watch the kids when they attend mediation sessions with their spouse. In some cases, they might ask for a place to stay during the separation period. The amount of support needed varies widely depending on the child’s situation.
- Keep thoughts to themselves: It is often beneficial for parents to stay silent about their negative thoughts or opinions about the situation or their ex-daughter- or son-in-law. Children often just want someone to which they can express their frustration. Parents should try to be good listeners and be careful when offering advice.
The ways parents can help their children through divorce are many. It might be something small, like being a free babysitter when needed. Or, it might be something large, such as opening up one’s home to their child. Any form of support can often reduce a child’s stress and provide immense relief during this time.
Protect the relationship with your child – and your grandchildren
It is even more important for parents to avoid sharing negative opinions or taking sides in their adult child’s divorce when grandchildren are involved. When grandparents stay supportive and neutral throughout the divorce, they can become a source of solace for their family members and protect the relationships they have with their children and grandchildren.