When grandparents choose to become involved in the lives of their grandchildren, tremendously strong bonds may develop as a result. It can therefore be heartbreaking for grandparents when their children choose to file for divorce. Even if the decision to divorce is the healthiest one that an adult can make, divorce is almost always difficult on children. It can be difficult for grandparents to know how they can help their grandchildren as these young people deal with their parents’ divorces.
After a grandchild’s parents decide to divorce, it may be difficult for grandparents to communicate with their grandchild, especially if they are no longer allowed to see their young loved one. In this case, it may benefit grandparents to speak to an attorney about their legal rights. However, grandparents who can maintain contact with their grandkids may also have trouble grasping the best ways to communicate with young ones who are hurting and confused.
One of the best things that grandparents can do for their grandchildren is simply listen to their feelings and give them a safe space to express themselves. Even when kids are close to their parents, they may have a difficult time expressing their emotions to them in the wake of divorce. Grandparents can provide a welcome ear and open arms for their grandkids.
In addition, it is important to refrain from bad-mouthing either parent. Kids may feel the need to vent their negative emotions, but grandparents should generally avoid reinforcing highly negative perceptions about either parent, as doing so could ultimately cause the child emotional damage.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Grandparenting Children of Divorce,” Risa Garon, May 22, 2014