Divorcing Child: What to Do as a Parent

These days, Millennials are more patient about marriage than Baby Boomers, leading to marriages that last longer than they used too. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean divorce no longer happens. If you’re the parent of a divorcing child, you might be unsure of what you should be doing. Thankfully, you can find the right balance to help support your child during this difficult time…

Divorcing Child: What to Do as a Parent

Give yourself time to accept it 

Parents of a divorcing child also need time to process and accept the divorce. They may have formed their own connections with their child’s spouse, or are worried about their grandchildren’s feelings. Sometimes, they may feel like they should’ve done more to help things work out for their child. 

It’s important to be honest with yourself about the situation. If your child is able to forgive and move on, then so should you. Try not to hold onto bad feelings, especially if it was a mutual decision and they remain friends. Follow your child’s example and accept what has happened.

Be supportive

Your divorcing child is going to need support to get through this difficult time. Try and remain out of the legal aspects and keep a neutral stance. Offer financial help if you think it’s needed, but the biggest thing is being their for them emotionally. 

Your child might also need some extra help if they have children. It might be a good idea to offer to watch them for a few nights so they’re away from the divorce. Even the most mutual divorces can be stressful on children, so it helps for them to be at a place they know they’re welcomed. 

Respect boundaries

Your divorcing child will need support during this time. However, they’ll also need some time to themselves to process things on their own. It’s good to be respectful of that and not try to push past the boundaries. 

If your child comes back into your home after the divorce, don’t overstep the line into their independence. You can certainly offer to help with say child care and financials, but you shouldn’t make them dependent on you again. Moving on again is an important part of post-divorce life.