Divorce is hard on everyone involved. It is even tougher on the couple and the children. It can also be hard on parents watching their child go through something so difficult, or their grandchildren being torn apart. If you're a grandparent watching this happen to one of your children, here are some tips on how you can help.
1. Give Love and Reassurance
Children are going to be in dire need of affection. Grandparents have an abundance of this, so this should be easy to give. Be careful to not take sides in front of the kids. Tell them that their parents both love them and always will, just like you do. That will never change.
2. Have Fun
If you get the opportunity to take the grandchildren for the day, do so. Make sure you show them a good time. A temporary break from the chaos of their life at home will be very much appreciated by the children. Help keep their mind off of it even if for just a few hours.
3. Be There
Children will need someone to talk to. Be that person. Listen. Remember to never take sides. Let them know that no matter what happens, they are loved, and nothing is their fault. It's an adult situation and it's very hard, but it will get better.
Don't judge anyone. You weren't a part of the relationship and judging is meant for the court room. Your job is simply to be there. You will want to keep as neutral as possible, especially should a custody battle arise. You don't want to do anything which could jeopardize any possibility of getting to spend time with your grandchildren. They need you, keep the lines of communication open.
5. If You Became a Step Grandparent, Embrace it
Don't crowd or force yourself on your new step grandchildren, but do welcome them into the family. Include them in what you do. If they want to come, great. If not, then that's fine, too - don't push. A bond will form with time.
If you are accepting of these children, it will make it easier for your son/daughter to maneuver the wild road of being divorced and creating a blended family. Anytime you can make life easier for your child and grandchildren, the better off everyone will be.
Divorce is tough on the whole family, including the grandparents. There's a lot to adjust to. If you handle it with grace and respect, not only do you get to have a great relationship with your grandchildren, you also get to help them through a very difficult time.
Just be there; the rest will follow. If you do all of this, grand-parenting in your new family dynamic will be great. The most important thing is to make sure that the children are happy and cared for. The rest will flow naturally.