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Supporting a child through a Massachusetts divorce

For many Massachusetts parents, watching their son or daughter go through a divorce can be emotionally trying. Even when children reach adulthood and begin families of their own, it is difficult to stop wanting to heal their wounds. When divorce comes into play, many parents react by jumping in and offering advice on how to proceed. The advice varies, from suggestions of counseling to the name and number of a divorce attorney. The motivation behind the urge to help is the same, however, no matter the circumstances.

Parents who wish to help their child weather a divorce should begin by serving as a willing ear. Listening to whatever the child is willing to share is an excellent way to show support, and can go a long way toward helping a child process the end of a marriage. It is also important to note that it does not matter if a parent is in agreement with their child concerning the details of the split, or the reasoning behind the decision to divorce. It is possible to love and support a child, even when a parent believes that their child may be the one at fault.

A related issue involves loyalty, and how to demonstrate to your child that you are 'on their side' throughout the process. This can be tricky when a parent has a good relationship with their child's spouse, or when there are grandchildren involved and it is important to preserve communications with the soon-to-be-ex spouse. However, it is possible to show love and support without having to 'take sides' between warring spouses. This is an area where parents may want to urge their child to seek counseling to work through the problems, either alone or with their partner.

Massachusetts parents should remember that even when a child has reached adulthood, they still turn to their parents for advice and support during a divorce. Being there for them through this difficult time is essential for maintaining and strengthening the parent/child bond. Just as when children are small, parents have the ability to offer love and guidance, even when they may fundamentally oppose divorce or disagree with the actions or choices their child may make.

Source: Source: Huffington Post, "How To Live Through Your Child's Divorce," Claire Berman, July 26, 2013

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