Grandparents - grandchildren - affected by divorce

Grandparents – grandchildren – affected by divorce

By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC

When parents divorce, each member of the family is affected in unique and personal ways. This is influenced by the age of the child, their gender and their relationship with their siblings. Equally important is how close they were to each parent. Many other factors impact the physical, mental and emotional repercussions in the months and years ahead.

One that’s too often overlooked are the grandparents. Their lives can be forever changed and scarred by the complexities of divorce.  Custody issues are hard enough for parents to battle out. Few take into account the consequences for grandparents. Their unconditional love for the grandchildren can  play such a healthy and rewarding part of normal family life. It can be a refuge your kids will depend on post-divorce as well!

Don’t make innocent grandparents pay the price!

This is a time for clear thinking on behalf of your children. Should they be deprived of the warmth, intimacy and loving support of grandparents just because you are angry at your former spouse? When you take out your marital frustrations on your children’s grandparents — it’s your children who will suffer.

Grandparents have a special place in the lives and hearts of their grandchildren. Usually they are the ones to spoil and indulge the kids. Grandparents also take them off your hands when no one else can come to the rescue.

Breaking the bond can be hurtful for everyone!

Of course, not all grandparents fit the idyllic stereotype. Nor are all grandparents emotionally close to their grandchildren. But if your in-laws have a healthy relationship with your children, think long and hard before severing that cord.

A child-centered divorce honors and respects all the adults and children who play a part in your family. Especially those who ease your children through the challenges of separation or divorce. Grandparents can help maintain the kids’ lives as closely as possible to their pre-divorce routines. Minimizing the disruption in daily schedules and activities eases the transition through divorce and beyond.

Spending time with grandma and grandpa is usually a treat. Whether every Sunday, once a month or once a year over holiday vacations, it’s the consistency that matters. It means life is going on with some semblance of sameness and ease.

Your children need family love and support!

Consider the consequences before interrupting or sabotaging that relationship. Don’t deny your children the support system they have come to love and depend upon. Don’t act out of spite, resentment or any other motive not empathic for your children.

Divorce is tough all around. It behooves you to do the right thing every step of the way. Seek out professional guidance if you need help regarding decisions affecting your kids. Let those decisions be motivated by your love for those children. And not by vindictiveness against your ex. Or resentment against others who deeply love your children, as well.

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Rosalind Sedacca, CDC is the founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network, a Divorce & Co-Parenting Coach and author of several ebooks, ecourses  and other valuable resources on divorce and co-parenting, To learn more about Rosalind’s coaching services and tools, visit:

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