He was at University when he got the call. His dad told him he was leaving his mother. She was thirty and never expected that, at this age, her parents would separate. They were each in families of their own. Thinking that the call would be about retirement, they got the news their parents were getting a divorce.
It can happen and the kids, well, don’t have to be young children. The kids may be adults.
They too are affected and are concerned. They too will wonder about your well-being in addition to belongings still in the home as well as what will happen come events usually celebrated as a family.
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In their concern, they may seek to inject themselves into your situation. Their concern and action may take them away from their responsibilities and undermine what is going on in their lives at the time, even though now adult. Indeed, as a parent in distress with your situation, you may even want or appreciate the support. But, is this good for them?
Just as we suggest parents manage their divorce between themselves to keep the young kids out of their conflict, so too this can be important for the well-being of the older child. This is not to say you can’t share information and that you can’t expect some degree of emotional support, but to recognize they too have lives and responsibilities.
Thus, setting boundaries for the older child’s involvement just as for the younger may be necessary to help them maintain their well-being.
Parents are cautioned about leaning to heavily on these adult kids, lest the strain of support brings them harm. If they offer divorce support and if indeed their help is sought, be mindful of the other aspects of their lives and how things will intertwine. If your older child is in a relationship and/or has kids of their own, respect the integrity of that relationship and those responsibilities.
Being an older parent separating with older kids, doesn’t mean things are any easier for you. They may be different, but not easier.
Do consider counselling for yourself to help manage through the process and seek to separate as reasonably as possible appreciating, you both may have the added concern for financial security at a time when you may have been looking towards retirement.
You handling your concerns with a counsellor or lawyer, can put your adult kids’ minds to ease and allow them to manage their lives too.