Q: As grandparents in the middle of our son’s divorce, we need some advice on dealing with hurt and anger toward the ex and where to find our new place in our ex-daughter-in-law’s new life and how to help our son with the kids. We live in the same city and are hands-on grandparents.

A: We understand that you’re caring grandparents, but what are you doing in “the middle of your son’s divorce?” One of the biggest complaints we hear from divorcing couples is that the in-laws interfere. They are so invested in the grandkids that they are the ones offended if the ex makes a decision about the child — and then they weigh in on who is right or wrong, and relationships that are already strained become even more difficult.

There’s nothing better than caring grandparents who step in and help with the kids, but make sure you wait for the invitation. Otherwise, you may think you’re helping — your son may even be asking you for guidance — but your job as grandparents, no matter how “hands on,” is not to interfere but to offer support, possibly child care if needed, and allow him to make decisions about his own life.

It’s understandable that you have strong feelings about this divorce — especially if it was primarily the ex’s idea. But if your anger is obvious, that will certainly affect your relationship with the ex and interfere with you seeing the children when they are with their mother. Since anger is a tough one to cover up, consider counseling to work through your feelings — and never, ever, say anything even a little derogatory about Mom. Even an observation like “Your mommy just doesn’t seem to be as sad about this divorce as your daddy” can backfire. The kids will pull away from you because they love both Mommy and Daddy and although you may not think so, comments like that ask them to check their allegiance — to Mommy, to Daddy, and to you. Divorce is hard enough on children — don’t make it more difficult by thinking you are subtly letting them know how wrong their mother was. They will not see it that way and your relationship with them will forever be affected.

Jann Blackstone-Ford and her husband’s ex-wife, Sharyl Jupe, are the founders of Bonus Families (www.bonusfamilies.com).