Unfortunately, when divorces do occur between adult children, parents may only make matters worse by subjecting their grown kids to guilt trips and misplaced advice.
So what can you do? Love coach Sandy Weiner shares wisdom on how to be a source of comfort, not one of judgment.
1. Resist the Urge to Cast Judgment
Your child may already be dealing with extreme guilt related to his or her marriage. Keep in mind that good intentions can come across as criticism, particularly if you make the mistake of comparing your child’s relationship with your perhaps more successful marriage.
If you are divorced yourself, be careful of comparing the circumstances of your two marriages — that can be just as damaging. When you talk about the situation with your child, devote most of your time to listening, only stepping in with advice when it’s actually solicited.
2. Offer Up the Comfort of Your Home
Even as an adult, your grown child likely finds some level of comfort in returning home for a brief reprieve. This is particularly true when divorce comes into play. Between the potential financial strain and definite emotional strain, your son or daughter may require a safe haven for the immediate future.
Of course, an adult child’s move home can be fraught with tension — particularly when preceded by a nasty divorce — so be sure to set up ground rules prior to the move. This may include, as TLC suggests, asking for a specific amount of monthly rent money or setting a timeline for moving out.
3. Assist in Obtaining Legal and Financial Protection
The average divorce is accompanied by a whole host of legal and financial hassles; these only multiply when the proceedings are less than congenial. Be prepared to assist your child with extensive paperwork, including everything from name changes to the setup of a new, individual bank account.