Tips for Grandparents
- Keep your ties with your grandchildren despite the feud between their parents. This is not the time to pull out of their lives.
- Stay neutral as best you can to maintain the invaluable emotional security you can give your grandchildren. If the children ask, you can state your opinion of the situation. By being neutral, you can allow yourself, as your grandchild must, to have two relationships without feeling disloyal.
- Lovingly listen to your grandchildren with an impartial ear as they tell you their feelings about their parents’ divorce. Just listen. You don’t have to question them or tell them the negative feelings you may have about the way their parents are behaving.
- Remember, your child and your grandchildren are going through a difficult emotional time. It is your support and love, not your advice that is most helpful.
- This is not the time to say to your child, “You never should have married him (or her) in the first place.”
- Do not be a message bearer about one to the other. You will be the one who gets hurt.
- Be sensitive if your grandchild becomes a part of a larger family. While you are not expected to love your step-grandchildren as your own, it is deeply appreciated if they are included when gifts are distributed. They should not be rejected because of their parents’ actions. If they are, this causes a problem for your grandchild’s relationship to his step siblings. Your special bond with your grandchild can never be diluted.
- You are very important. A patient grandparent has reduced the emotional impact of divorce for many a grandchild.