Your world may turn upside down the moment your child opens up to you about getting a divorce. Questions may plague you like bees at this moment. You may ask why it has led to this when you and your spouse have demonstrated a healthy and happy relationship that your child can use as a model, or you may start blaming yourself if your marriage ended the same way.
You may encourage your child to remedy the dilemma if you deem it salvageable, except if the reason is extreme abuse. But if your child’s decision is already fixed, respect it and provide the support they need to get through it.
Here are some things you need to keep in mind if you are faced with this situation:
Get Your Emotions in Check
Divorce is life altering and your child needs you at this point in life. It is all right to react, but do not let the emotions overwhelm and consume you. You may feel sad and guilty at first, believing you haven’t provided the couple with enough guidance. But once you get past this emotional phase, show how stable you are.
Be Neutral as Much as Possible
Learn about both sides of the story before you react or respond, especially if you have/had a close relationship with your son/daughter-in-law. Try to stay neutral and avoid not distance yourself from your child’s spouse, especially if you are in good terms with them to in the first place.
Do not badmouth your child’s spouse, especially in front of your grandchildren. Similarly, do not give your child words that may fuel anger and other ill feelings towards the other party. Law firms, such as ShayneLaw.com, advise that you should not help your child hide assets, as doing do may have legal repercussions.
Offer Financial Help
Divorce can devastate your child financially, so offer help. You need, however, to set some boundaries. You cannot spoon-feed your child, as they may become fully dependent on you and find it hard to get back on track. Be clear about how long you will support them. Set conditions if necessary.
Do not Forget Your Grandkids
Your grandchildren are just as affected as you are. If they are still young, be gentle with the way you explain things, but do not sugarcoat them. Make them feel secure, especially given that they are at a point in their lives where things are confusing. Do not encourage them to take sides.
A divorce does not only affect the couple. It also has effects on the people close to the couple. As a parent, it is important that you are sensitive to these upshots and know how to handle the situation.