The Playdate Kids Gazette

This blog is dedicated to all of the Playdate Kids Club Members. We will offer fun to read articles, tips for parents, ideas for arts and crafts projects and more!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Divorce and your parents?

Divorce is a very common issue nowadays. We all know couples who have split up. The percentage of married couples divorcing is so high, books have been written to ease the transition for children involved and some family therapists have opened practices devoted specifically to children of divorced families. What is often not mentioned is the pain and impact a divorce will have on the grandparents in the family.

Many grandparents are surprised by the divorce of their child, and become devastated when they realize the grandchildren they believed to be in a happy and secure home-- were not. The divorce can deeply affect the grandparents, leading them to wonder if it was their fault; perhaps they brought them up wrong or maybe they could have been more helpful. These quandaries haunt the minds of grandparents for years to come.

Grandparents may also become involved in the quarrel between divorcing couples, adding to the tension and confusion the children feel. Many grandparents are cut out of their grandchild's life by the custodial parent. The custodial parent may choose to move away, or make little effort in keeping in touch with the ex's parents. Other very vengeful parents choose to exclude the ex's parents from the child's life in an act of revenge, failing to see the detrimental impact this has on the child. This leaves the children to deal with the break-up of their parents, and the loss of an entire side of their family.

Another dilemma grandparents may face is that of loyalty. It may have been their son or daughter responsible for breaking-up the family. It is an awful situation to face and may cause the grandparent to face a terrible choice when it comes to supporting the family in turmoil. This dilemma may lead to a divide in the extended family as well.

Unfortunately, little support can be found for the parents of a divorcing couple. In many cases, a much-loved son or daughter-in-law is lost. However, grieving for the lost son or daughter is unacceptable. It leaves the mourning parent in solitude.

Often, grandparents can be thrust into taking an extremely hands-on approach with the grandchildren becoming babysitters instead of doting grandparents, thus leaving the grandparent exhausted.

If you know someone facing this unfortunate circumstance, provide then with the support they so deserve. When it comes to divorce, everyone involved needs a shoulder to cry on, not just the children. If your family is splitting up, make sure you have someone to talk to when you need. Your child and grandchildren need your strength and support, but the heartache you feel needs to be cared for as well.

By Amy Mosshart

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