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Your ex-in-laws and your children

Kids in divorce can be dragged through a lot of turmoil, but when your ex-mother-in-law and ex-father-in-law are there to cushion the effects of the situation, the benefits to your children can be endless. From keeping things civil to encouraging your kids to confide in grandparents, get tips on how to continue the relationship between your ex-in-laws and your children post divorce.


1Keep it civil

It’s tough enough for kids in divorce situations, so keeping things amicable between your ex-mother-in-law and ex-father-in-law for the sake of the kids is key. “Even if a parent struggles with their ex-in-laws, it is necessary and important for them to facilitate opportunities for their own children to know and get close to their grandparents on both sides of the family,” advises Dr. Doug Gertner, Ph.D., of “The gift of grandparents in the lives of children is not to be minimized nor underestimated.”

>> Discover four tactics for handling parenting criticism from the in-laws

2Avoid talking about your ex

Despite your feelings about your ex-partner post divorce, biting your tongue when talking with your child’s grandparents will keep the waters calm. Keep conversation about your kids, the weather or anything besides your children’s father to limit resentment and an extremely uncomfortable situation.

3Schedule grandparent time

Whether a weekend visit or time during the holidays, planning for your kids and your ex-in-laws to spend quality time together will offer support for kids in divorce situations long after your divorce is final. In addition, your children’s grandparents also make for a trusted babysitting source, especially when you’re a single mom.

>> Learn about maintaining a relationship with your ex in-laws

4Let them spoil their grandkids

Letting grandparents continue to spoil your kids after divorce will allow the relationship your ex’s parents had with your kids before things went south between you and your ex. In addition, the financial support comes in handy when you’re raising your children on your own.

5Encourage kids to confide in grandparents

Especially for kids in divorce, seeking sanctuary in the arms of grandma and grandpa can help minimize the effects of divorce. They may be able to express their feelings to your ex-mother-in-law a little easier than to their mom and dad, so encourage communication between children and grandparents for some safe, free therapy for your kiddos.

>> Find out how to confront overbearing grandparents

When it comes to doing what’s best for kids in divorced families, helping your ex-in-laws and your children maintain a relationship will offer them some much needed stability post divorce.

Expert Tips “Indeed, as with their parents, a child’s early bonding with grandma and grandpa permits them to engage with a loving, supportive adult who shapes their future ability to develop a positive self-concept, strong coping skills, and a lifelong ability to form healthy relationships,” explains Gertner.

As tough as it may sometimes be, muster up your best smile for your ex-mother-in-law — you’re doing it for your kids.

More on kids and divorce

Tips to help kids during divorce
Helping kids understand divorce
Making divorce less traumatic for kids

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