The desire to parent and protect one’s child continues even when that child is an adult. When an adult child is going through a divorce, grandparents often feel stuck in the middle. However, in order to ensure a relationship with the grandchildren is preserved, it’s important that grandparents follow certain codes of conduct. Failure to do so can result in grandparents’ rights being taken away.
First and foremost, when an adult child is getting divorced don’t add fuel to the fire. Regardless of personal opinions, criticizing either party in the divorce will only serve to upset and anger those involved. While it can be difficult to remain a neutral party it’s best for everyone involved especially the grandchildren. Taking sides or painting one spouse as the villain will only result in hurt and resentment that may ultimately damage the relationship with the grandchildren.
Additionally, even if your adult child asks for it, try not to offer advice. No one but the two people involved, know everything that has transpired to cause the marriage to fail. While negative or ill-willed comments may seem appropriate at the time, they may ultimately come back to haunt a grandparent. It’s wisest, therefore, to listen more and talk less.
Above all it’s crucial for grandparents to maintain contact with their grandchildren. While a daughter or son-in-law may be reluctant to allow this, grandparents should make a promise to remain neutral and be loving and supportive to all impacted by the divorce.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Grandparenting Well When Adult Children Divorce,” Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed. D., Aug. 20, 2012