Frequently Asked Questions
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Grandparents play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren, so when the child’s parents separate or divorce, it can have a profound effect on grandparents too.
It’s usually a positive thing if grandparents can stay in touch with their grandchildren, and family mediation can play a part in ensuring this happens. Grandparents’ rights to see children are often a focus of conversations with family mediators.
Children benefit from reassurance in times of change and they need to know:
- It is not their fault
- They are loved, and
- They have someone to talk with about their feelings.
Children may feel they are to blame for adult disagreements and a grandparent may help the children in their families understand the changes they are experiencing are not their fault. It is important to remember they may feel conflicting loyalties – listening without criticising either parent will help them to continue to talk about their feelings.
We have lots of advice on how you can help support your grandchildren through divorce and how to reduce the impact of divorce on children, which may be useful to share with their parents. Books are also a good way to help children deal with some of the issues children face during divorce or separation and we have put together a list of books that may be of help.
How Family Mediation Can Help
Grandparents have no automatic right to be part of their grandchild’s life, but family mediation can help reduce conflict between family members after separation or divorce. It’s often the best way to resume contact and secure the relationships you’ve worked hard to build up with your grandchildren.
How can you help your child through their divorce?
Divorce is a difficult and emotional experience for anyone, and as a parent of a child going through a divorce, it can be challenging.
Let your child know that you are there to support, by simply listening to them, or helping with practical matters if you can. They may need to look for a new home, or need help managing their finances, and you may be able to help them with this. It’s also important to remind them that they need to look after themselves, this could include making time to exercise, meditate or simply ensuring they are spending time with friends. They may also be struggling to communicate with their ex-partner over parenting arrangements, but learning to co-parent is crucial for the well-being of your grandchildren, so you may want to share our tips and advice with them on how to successfully co-parent together.
But most importantly they want to know you are there for them – and your support and understanding will go a long way in helping them through this challenging time.
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