Listen to this post

As parent, you can play an integral role in your child’s post-divorce recovery. Your support could spell the difference between a divorce disaster and something a bit more manageable. Follow these do’s and don’ts to show your support and keep the peace:

Do: Listen

Right now, your adult child needs unconditional support and a shoulder to cry on. Make it clear that you are willing to listen to whatever your child has to say. Don’t pressure him or her to talk, but extend an invitation. By listening attentively to your child’s concerns, you can alleviate a great deal of his or her current mental anguish.

Don’t: Lecture

The last thing your child wants right now is to be hit with a fusillade of I told you so’s. There’s no need to explore how you would have done things differently or provide detailed instructions for the ensuing divorce process. If your child asks questions, answer honestly. Otherwise, stop playing professor and start listening.

Do: Tread Carefully In Your Relationships With Former In-Laws

If your child and his or her ex have children together, expect to see plenty of your former in-laws. When interacting with these individuals, resist the urge to take sides or act hostile.

If your child’s marriage did not produce children but you nevertheless enjoy a strong relationship with your in-laws, be careful. Your willingness to continue spending time with former in-laws could easily be misconstrued. Find out how your child feels about continued interactions before extending an olive branch to previous in-laws.

Don’t: Be Offended By the Timing of the Announcement

You may eventually discover that you were the last to learn of your child’s divorce. Don’t be offended; no matter their age, kids hate to disappoint their parents. Sometimes, it’s easier to test the waters with a friend or sibling before confiding in parents.

It’s never easy to see a child struggle, but as parent, it’s your job to provide much-needed support at this difficult time. A little compassion will go a long way.

If your child intends to divorce, the experienced Minnesota divorce attorneys at the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. can provide strategic guidance. Please call to schedule a confidential case evaluation.