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Tips for grandparents whose adult kids divorce

Being a grandparent has all kinds of unique concerns connected to it. Some special concerns can arise for grandparents when their adult kids get divorced. In such a situation, a grandparent may be very worried about the wellbeing of both their child and their grandchildren.

Now, both of these things have the potential to be impacted by how a grandparent acts during a child's divorce. So a child's divorce is not a time for a grandparent to be careless or haphazard in their actions.

What can a grandparent do to be a helpful and supportive presence for both their child and grandchildren when their kid gets divorced? Here are some suggestions:

  • Be a good listener.
  • Be prepared to help with the grandkids when asked for help by one's child, such as help with getting the grandkids to their activities. 
  • Keep as much stability as possible in one's relationships with one's grandkids, including stability in the kind of things one does with them. Stability can be very important for a young person when dealing with a parental divorce.
  • Don't gossip about the divorce with other family or friends.
  • Stay away from making predictions to anyone, especially one's kids and grandkids, about what will happen with the custody of the grandkids in the divorce. 

Now, a divorce can raise a lot of messy emotional and legal issues, and sometimes, grandparents can end up being pulled into these issues in relation to a divorce of their child. When this happens, it can be important for a grandparent to keep both the interests of their child and interest of their grandchildren in mind when deciding how to proceed.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "The do's and don'ts in your grown kid's divorce," Leslie Mann, Feb. 12, 2016

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