If you have adult children, you may worry about how your kids may take the news of your divorce. Fortunately, they are likely to adjust to your post-divorce situation eventually. When your children have children, though, you want to be sure you and your ex-spouse can co-grandparent successfully.
Even if you and your ex-spouse do not get along especially well, you each can help mold your grandkids. Here are four tips for jointly grandparenting after your divorce.
1. Focus on your grandkids
You and your ex-spouse may have unresolved issues from your marriage or divorce. The occasions when you see your grandkids are not times when you should bicker about these or other issues. By focusing on the grandkids and each event, you may be able to set differences aside, at least temporarily.
2. Respect your children’s authority
Like you did, your children have the authority to raise their kids as they see fit. If your children ask you to behave in a certain way, try to respect their wishes. After all, your adult kids can probably deny both you and your ex-spouse the privilege of seeing your grandkids.
3. Set healthy boundaries
While you may be willing to make sacrifices to make your co-grandparenting relationship work, you need not be a doormat. Before any event involving your ex-spouse, set some healthy boundaries. Then, do not be afraid to push back diplomatically if your ex-spouse, children or grandchildren overrun them.
4. Practice being good grandparents
As the adage goes, practice makes perfect. Family therapists often use exposure therapy to acclimate patients to awkward or stressful situations. Put simply, if you practice being a good grandparent with your ex-spouse, you may find it becomes easier with time.
Ultimately, half the effort of being a successful co-grandparent is in your hands. By putting in the work and not being too hard on yourselves, you and your ex-spouse may become the grandparents you have always wanted to be.