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When Your Kids Get Divorced–Part I

24 Mar

When it comes to divorce, not a lot of attention gets paid to the parents of the child getting divorced. But, it can be difficult to watch your child experience the pain of divorce and equally as difficult to say good-bye to your daughter-in-law or son-in-law (in most cases, anyway!)

Since I’m always trying to help my clients navigate divorce, an article originally published in the Chicago Tribune caught my eye. In it, the author addresses the not-so-often-addressed issue of what to do when your child gets a divorce. Here’s some of what it had to say:

divorce

Do

  • Understand you’re probably not the first person your child called: He may be more “divorce ready” than you expect
  • Be your child’s rock: This counts even if he is the “bad guy”
  • Ready yourself for the stages of grief: And hold on tight because they can be difficult to navigate. Keep the routine as normal as possible, especially if you have grandchildren
  • Allow your child to move back home, but with house rules: The article suggests drafting a contract to keep the boundaries in place
  • Maintain your relationship with his ex if you two are close and it doesn’t upset your child: It may be a good idea to check with your child first to see how he feels about this.
  • Expect emergency calls: The new “routine” will likely have some hiccups, so be prepared to pick-up grandchildren, etc.
  • Expect to be part of the post-divorce martial agreement: This is if you are one of the grandchildrens’ caregivers
  • Help him get on with his life: You’re there to encourage and support.

Turns out, divorce can have a substantial impact on our parents, especially if they are close to our ex’s. So, it’s worth exploring their feelings of loss as well.

Next week, I’ll post about what NOT to do!

Britt

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