Posted by Jemma Breban on 19th December 2011

When you marry and have children, many relationships are formed above and beyond your own.

Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are created and the ties between these people and your children can be significant.

With many couples both going out to work, grandparents are undertaking a greater role in childcare, resulting in closer bonds with their grandchildren.

The Importance of Contact

When you go through a break up, links between your children and your extended family can easily deteriorate. It is widely agreed that positive relationships with extended family members contribute to a child’s development and self worth, and both parties suffer when this bond is broken.

With this in mind we have put together some guidance you might find useful.

  • Always put your children first and consider what is best for them. Remember people change. Family members may have taken sides during your divorce but may now wish to reconsider in the light of what is best for the children.
  • Encourage your children to have contact with extended family and let them know you think it is a positive thing to do.
  • Make an effort to include relatives by sending photos and birthday cards from the children.
  • Invite extended family members to special occasions such as birthdays or Christmas. If this is not possible, try to make alternative dates for them to see the children.
  • Don’t be tempted to quiz your children about their visits but be open and receptive to hearing about their time spent with relatives.

As with all aspects of divorce, children tend to suffer the most from the changes that take place in their lives. Making an effort to keep them in contact with their extended family can go some way to helping them regain stability for their future.

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