When a family is going through a divorce, it is more than just the immediate family that feels the effects of the separation and changes. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles may see their time limited, as one parent or another also has limited time. While this whole process can be frustrating, and everyone has an opinion, there are some important things for those extended family members to consider.
The children are going through a lot, and the last thing they need is more change or pressure from anyone else. Keep things normal for them. If you regularly saw your grandchildren or nieces and nephews, make the effort to keep it that way. Coordinate with your family member to get the time in – whether its in person or vide chat. This not only will help maintain your relationship with the kids but will also take some stress off of Mom or Dad who may need the break. Also, while Mom and Dad might be emotional or overly agitated by the divorce, do your best to keep the peace with your family member’s soon-to-be ex-spouse. It does not have to be acrimonious between everyone, and will benefit the children if they see everyone is still able to get along. If you think big picture, there will be graduations and/or religious ceremonies where everyone would like to be present. Setting the tone now will make it all easier in the future. And on that note, be understanding when it comes to traditions and special occasions that may look a little a different in the future. Maybe a holiday has to be celebrated on a different day, maybe a new tradition has to be formed for the children to get time with everyone.
Finally, the best you can do for your littlest relatives is to be a constant source of love and support, and to communicate with your adult relative to make sure everyone has the same big picture for the future.