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How to Tell Your Grandchildren about Your Divorce

Posted By Attorney Jim Cairns || 18-Jul-2012

With Grey Divorce (baby boomers divorcing) on the rise, it's not uncommon for grandparents to break the news of divorce to their grandchildren. Recent estimations state that nearly 50% of grandchildren have grandparents that are divorced.

Calling a truce

In order to truly have a healthy family, it's imperative that you and your spouse create a peaceful and safe space for your grandchildren. Keep your problems between you and your spouse; don't drag in others to take sides. After you have found some middle ground with your spouse prepare a plan to tell your grandkids about the divorce.

Suggestions for your plan

Your plan should include directly telling them (they deserve to hear from you) and breaking the news with both you and your spouse present. Think about including the parents in the room when you break the news. This can help by demonstrating that the family is still united regardless of the upcoming changes and creates an atmosphere of reassurance. If you are able to, also pick a place that the grandkids are familiar with and where they are comfortable. Don't forget to give yourself plenty of time to talk with your grandchildren, they will have questions.

What to say

Consider the age of your grandchildren. If they are young they may not understand the word divorce, so you may have to tell them something along the lines that you and your spouse will be living in different homes. Be honest, kids can tell when something isn't quite right. This doesn't mean giving them every detail, but be careful not to gloss over the situation either. Reassure your grandchildren that they will still be part of your lives, but might not see both you and your spouse at the same time. Let them know they can call you anytime and that the divorce isn't necessarily anyone's fault. Tell them you love them, hug them and let them know that grandparents do not divorce their grandchildren.

Listening

Be prepared for emotional reactions, which can range from anger to complete quietness. Give your grandchild the opportunity to express him/herself, you may also need to help younger children find vocabulary to express themselves. Acknowledge their emotions and constantly reassure them.

Questions

Your grandchild will likely have questions. These questions can include:

  1. Why?
  2. Will they still get to see you?
  3. Where are you going to live?
  4. Will mom and dad divorce too?

End your time with lots of affection. Also, let them know they can ask you questions whenever they want.

After you have broken the news to your grandchildren, Attorney James Cairns is available to get you started on your fast, easy, uncontested divorce. Contact Attorney Cairns for a free initial consultation at 888.863.9115. For an immediate free virtual consultation, visit our free Divorce Wizard. The Divorce Wizard will analyze and qualify your case for an online Pennsylvania divorce, calculate your legal fees, and file your case immediately. It's just like sitting in our office for a free consultation. Also, read client testimonials and reviews on Avvo.