When your children divorce.

When your children divorce, your grandchildren need you more than ever. Grandparenting

When Your Children Divorce

Jill Curtis

‘We’re getting a divorce’ are words all parents dread to hear from their married son or daughter. Yet when your children divorce, your grandchildren need you more than ever.

‘We’re getting a divorce’ are words all parents dread to hear from their married son or daughter. A hundred thoughts and questions flash across the mind. Why? Why now? Oh! no, and almost certainly if there is a family, what about the children?

As the number of divorces increases, so do the number of ‘divorced’ parents and grandparents. The fall out from divorce affects so many people – not only the couple and their children, but the rest of the family and friends too.

In one fell swoop dreams that a parent had for their child can come tumbling down. A young family – which seemed so secure from the outside – about to fall apart? What will it mean? And, more ominously, what will it mean for the grandparents? After a divorce, where do the grandparents fit it?

For some, it will mean almost immediately more ‘hands on’ contact with the grandchildren. A lone mother or father may need to find work or work longer hours, and grandparents if living nearby, may be called to care for the children some of the time. That may be a mixed blessing, delight at being with the grandchildren, weighed against the shattered peace of retirement, or as grandparents who are younger and still working find, they are once again juggling work with school hours and holidays.

After a divorce, where do grandparents fit in? To help take extra good care of the grandchildren as the parents go through rough times.

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A ‘weekend’ parent may find solace in bringing the child to the grandparent’s home, and it is there that the continuity and stability of the grandparents can bring support to any family which is breaking apart. A wise grandparent keeps in mind, though, that the immediate task is to support the mother or father during this time, so that they in their turn can parent their children whilst they are all going through a very difficult time. The urge to ‘take over’ the children must not be allowed to cloud an already complicated scene. Also a desire to criticize the ‘other’ parent must be avoided. However a parent has behaved, to a child they are still ‘my mom’ and ‘my dad’. Continued Jill Curtis – a psychotherapist and grandmother – author of: Making and Breaking Families – the Way Ahead for Parents and their Children Where’s Daddy? – Separation and Your Child. Large Play Mats roll-up for storage between grandkids’ visits. Review mat | Buy mat

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