Divorce is hard on parents, but it is way more difficult for the children. Even though parents tend to think otherwise, that doesn’t have anything to do with their age. Your divorce might affect adult children equally hard as young ones.
In some situations, it may be even harder for them. Let’s take a look at the do’s and don’ts of a relationship with your adult child while going through a divorce.
DO: Let Them Express Their Feelings
More often than not, children do not figure out that there is something wrong with their parents’ marriage. The point where they realize something is wrong is when you inform them that you are divorcing.
It is of vital importance to remember is that your child will need time to get used to the new situation and accept that things are changing. When you get the chance, ask them how they feel and let them express that in their way. You do not have to respond or feel the need to defend yourself. Understand that they are mourning and, if they seem a bit harsh or loud, it is because it is hard for them, too.
DON’T: Complain to them about the Other Parent
When children are very young, they might not quite understand what is happening. But when kids are teenagers or adults, they know what divorce means, and that may put you in a situation to try and complain to them about the other parent.
You should avoid that at all costs. Regardless of your relationship with the other parent, keep in mind that is the child’s PARENT. The chances are children will want them to be a part of their life, which is why you should keep yourself from talking negatively and telling them any intimate details that may influence how they see the other parent.
Additionally, do not expect support from your children. They are your kids, and you should take care of them, and not the other way around.
DO: Keep Their Best Interests in Mind
No matter how difficult the divorce is, you should always keep your kids’ best interest at heart. That can mean a lot of things, such as:
- Try to maintain polite communication with your ex
- Avoid becoming a burden. You should tend to your own needs, and not expect from your child to take care of you.
- Involve children into the divorce in any way.
- Make sure you are financially solvent
- Consider whether your children could use therapy to deal with your divorce
DON’T: Lie to Your Children
It is important to nurture an honest relationship with your kids, especially if they are adults. You do not have to get into the details about the divorce, but if they ask, try to give an honest answer that won’t make either parent look negative. If you are thinking about selling your house for financial reasons, be honest about that. The chances are they will be more understandable that way, although they still have the right to grieve.