Although you’re not dealing with child custody and visitation issues, a divorce can be just as or even more difficult for grown children than for younger ones.
The good news is that there are a few more ways to successfully help your adult children to accept the situation and move on.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST
Although this sounds counter-intuitive, it’s actually one of the first and best ways to help your grown kids to move on, says Amanda Nicole in her article on DivorcedMoms.com.
When divorce happens, states Nicole, most parents will put all their focus on ensuring that their kids are okay while ignoring their own feelings and needs. “As a result, they become part of the cause of the same hurt that they are trying to shield their kids from.” Nicole believes in a different approach. “The best thing you can do as a parent for your children is work on being okay yourself.”
Nicole compares it to the situation of putting on your own airplane oxygen mask first so you can then fully help your kids.
BE A ROLE MODEL
By working toward your own acceptance of the divorce and subsequent new beginnings, you show your adult children what it means to manage and navigate through the inevitable difficulties that show up in some way in everyone’s life.
You don’t want your children to “become victims blaming mom and dad for everything that goes wrong in their life, rather than learning to take control of their own lives,” says Nicole.
What’s more, according to Nicole, adult kids “will most likely spend more time with the parent that is less maintenance and drama free; that usually is the one who is healed and is moving on.”
REMEMBER THAT YOUR KIDS ARE ADULTS
In the end, your children are adults and it’s their responsibility to work through their own emotions about the divorce, states Nicole. They should be paying more attention to their own lives and families at this point, anyway.
You can help by being willing to talk with them and not putting them in the middle of issues between you and their other parent.
If you didn’t use collaborative divorce with your spouse (or even if you did), consider using family mediation with your adult children to help all family members understand each other’s feelings and come to some kind of closure.
As a DuPage County Divorce Attorney skilled in the areas of divorce mediation, I can help you, your spouse, and your family to come to terms with this major life change. Contact me for more information.
ABOUT ERIN BIRT
Illinois attorney Erin Birt is a skilled legal professional with over ten years of experience in trial and divorce law serving clients in many DuPage County cities including Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Warrenville and Winfield.
She opened the Law Firm of Erin Birt, P.C. in 2010 to offer her clients alternative divorce resolution services, specialized collaborative divorce options and family law expertise. She and her expert team continually develop creative outcomes such as divorce mediation and family law mediation that work for all parties involved, particularly children.
Ms. Birt holds a J.D. from DePaul College of Law and is a member of the Collaborative Practice Professionals of Illinois, the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the DuPage County Bar Association. She is a past board member and presenter for the Mediation Council of Illinois.