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Readers Respond: Grandparents Denied Contact With Grandchildren Share Their Strategies

Responses: 125

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No one knows the pain of being denied contact with grandchildren like another estranged grandparent. The anger, confusion and sadness can take a toll on estranged grandparents unless one develops appropriate coping strategies. If you have lived through the pain of separation from grandchildren, tell other grandparents how you have coped.

Note from Susan: I have allowed some posts from parents on this site, in the hope that the two sides -- parents and grandparents -- could learn from each other. Soon, however, the posts became combative and vitriolic. Going forward, posts that do not add something meaningful to the dialogue will not be published.

Share Your Experience

Beyond Words

My daughter and I aren't close, but for the last 2+ yrs I have been seeing my granddaughter. A short time ago she decided she couldn't part with her because she was afraid of missing out on something. When I asked to take her, she made excuses. She keeps telling me to come there and visit. It is 70 miles, and my SSD does not allow me to drive that often. She kept telling me to tell her dates when I want her. I came up with 4 dates, and she made excuses for every one. So I came up with certain dates for a year in advance, and she won't even address that. She told me she wanted me out of her life and added a few choice words. She has embarrassed me so many times in the past, and I feel it's better to cut ties with her for my health's sake. I can't keep not knowing if I will ever see her. She is so jealous of my son and grandson. My grandson and I have an awesome relationship because my son lets me spend so much time with him, and he lived states away. I just need to correspond with someone who can relate -- don't need to post.
—someonesgrandma

I Keep Trying, Until...

I dont even know where to begin. My daughter hates me. My granddaughter is 4 years old. She can't spell her name, does not know the alphabet or how to count. My daughter is in an extremely abusive relationship, but she's 23 and thinks she knows everything. I have helped with my granddaughter since the day she was born, and we have a very special relationship. My daughter uses her as a weapon against me to get what she wants. She sends me texts and tells me to take my meds and overdose and die because her life would be so much better. I have actually let her get to me to the point that I wanted to. I also have a son and have a beautiful grandson that I don't spend nearly as much time as I should because my daughter overwhelms me so much. I worry about my granddaughter every day. Her parents are not married, her mother's boyfriend is abusive, can't keep a job and has now become abusive to me as well. My daughter has always used the baby as a weapon against me. The last time she cut me off, it was for 3 months.
—gmalori

Stop Crying!

My eldest son doesn't understand why I cry when this stuff happens. "Ya'll know what she's gonna do. I don't know why you act like it's such a big surprise when it happens. Stop crying over it. It annoying." That makes me feel worse because now I have to walk on eggshells around him or hide myself away in my room. I miss my little guy just as much as I would miss him. Is it okay to cry and show my emotions or better to keep them to myself?
—Guest devastatedmimi

Step Grandchildren Count Too!

All of my previous posts have been about being unable to see a biological grandson. My eldest son's girlfriend has two children from previous relationships. We have grown close to them because I'm a very loving grandmother and make sure they get lots of hugs and kisses. The oldest one is 7 years old. He's a harder nut to crack. By looking at my son you would never think he was the fatherly type. Tall, shaved head, beard but no mustache and loaded with tattoos. But these kids love him, especially the youngest. My son has been dealing with being put down, called lazy, he never does anything -- so forth, so on. Today he found out that his girlfriend had to rush the youngest to the ER because he drank a bottle of scented oils. He was furious that she didn't call him. She said, "Well, you're not his father." My son ended the relationship right then and there. It was a slap in the face. I never had these children at my home alone, only when mom was around, but they got used to all the hugs and kisses. Now I have no grandchildren.
—Guest devastatedmimi

Won't Respond to Communications

My son finally recognized that his girlfriend was isolating him from his family and friends. I'm disabled, so I have been available to keep our little guy for them almost daily. So my son was here daily and realized how much time had been wasted by her manipulation and control. The entire time he was here she called and called and texted and texted. Even if she was at work, she wanted to know where he was every minute of the day. Well he got fed up with her being so overbearing and cold toward him and us. He has left the relationship -- I don't know for how long this time -- and now she will not communicate at all with him about seeing the baby. She took his phone so all the jobs he had applied for can't get in touch with him. We are worried that she will keep the baby from us unless my son returns to that unhealthy relationship. This happened last night, and I already have a knot in my stomach. I told my son I'm not going to take sides because it was his realization that brought us to this point. So now what do we do?
—Guest devastatedmimi

Fighting Between Son and GF

I've made many posts here. The last one was in March. We have been regularly seeing our guy, and he makes us so happy. One of the issues my son's girlfriend had was that she and I didn't have a close relationship. So I tried, very hard. My son has been like the rest of the country, unable to find permanent work. He works temp job after temp job, but none of them keep their temps long enough to hire. He went to work on a Tuesday, and they told him they didn't have any more work and would call him when they did. His girlfriend came to the house immediately after she got off work and came into MY home and badgered him until he finally got up and went into the kitchen. She followed him in and said, "What's wrong with you? Do you want to be a bum the rest of your life?" That was it. I didn't want to know her any more than I already did. I told them the last time that their problems are their problems. Our relationship with him has nothing to do with whether they're getting along or not. Pins and needles once again.
—Guest devastatedmimi

Sons Ex-girlfriend Keeps Grandkids Away

My son's ex can't get over the breakup and uses the kids to get back at my son. It has been over a year. He has moved on. She blames his whole family. She wants me to disown him. She wants me to tell him to go back to her. He's almost 35. She wants the family to take sides. We tell her that's between them. We're here for her if she needs anything, but the kids are who we are concerned with, showing them love and keeping their lives as stable as possible. I had her as a Facebook friend, and all she ever did was talk bad about my son. So today I blocked her. I should have done it months ago. What can I do? He is a good dad. I kept her as a friend to have some contact with the kids, but I can't read the negativity about my son and my family anymore. I feel drained dealing with this. I just want to love my babies. If she had been the one who said enough, would she be acting like she is? I wonder if I will leave this world and they won't remember me.
—Guest saf

Mrs.

It's been 15-and-a-half years since I saw my grandson. I was there when he was born. I cut the cord and helped my daughter raise him for the first two-and-a-half years. Then, enter the father, who brainwashed my daughter and took them away. He threatened to kill me, and every time I tried to see my precious grandson, the police were called. I am very ill but still pray every day for my prayers to be answered and I will see him and my daughter before I die. My prayers and love for them keep me alive. My prayers and love go out to all grandparents who are in this situation. Keep your faith. Miracles do happen.
—Guest Maureen McGlynn

Sad and Broken Grandmother

I have tried for the past 2 years to visit my granddaughter. The first time I saw her was February 2014. After that my ex-daughter law and I had some disagreements. She refuses me visitations with granddaughter. Also I have sent her an apology letter requesting visitations. Nothing works. I have cried, heartbroken. Due to the fact that I cannot afford an attorney, she uses my granddaughter like a weapon against me. On my first visit with my granddaughter, the only thing seen was abuse from the ex-mother law to my granddaughter. I was trying to protect my granddaughter's welfare and well-being. Every day I pray Lord, give me a chance to be in my granddaughter's life. But sad, the mother of my granddaughter stated no, stay away. Due to highly priced attorneys I cannot afford them at all.
—Guest amigaliz

Emotional Blackmail

Oh, I am so angry! It has been nearly six months since I saw my precious grandson. How can these adult children be so hurtful? My daughter knows that my grandson is her only power, and she uses it. It is criminal and pathetic. I must say I don't miss the eggshell walk, but I sure do miss him every single day.
—vsava

Grandmother

My daughter just had a baby boy June 18. She and her husband will not let me see my grandson. They told me to leave them alone. I am trying to reach out to her, but she lets her husband control her. He said if I come to their house, he will have me arrested for trying to see my grandson. As much I have done for her and her husband -- let her stay with me, paid for food and paid for a motel because they didn't have a place to go. It cost me $390 plus more. So can I get the law involved or take them to court?
—Guest cythia

Sad, Heartbroken

I helped bring my grandson into the world and spent every day of his life caring for him for over 3 years. My daughter has a mean streak, but she's a good person inside. She met a guy off the Internet. He cared nothing about the baby. Only to get them away, he did! In two months he had her gone! I never see my grandson anymore. It's worse than death! Every day I worry, cry, feel empty. Although I have found some peace with my other children, this has hurt all of us and mostly my grandson. Whenever she came back to get him when he stayed overnight, he would sob, beg, and plead -- "No go, mama! Please, grama, I stay here!" I love him so much! I love her too! I pray they come home someday, but now the guy has full control. And she's pregnant! Bad situation. Grandson's father is not involved at all. I always try to send a message to let her know I love them. No matter what!
—Guest sheryl meissner

All I Can Do Is Hope....

Long story made short. My daughter signed over rights to my grandson's dad. He died. Stepmom adopted him. They moved out of state. She does keep us in the loop, and we have visitation when we travel to that state. Recently we went to see him and she criticized every little thing I did with him. On our next visit to the state, I will have limited visitation. I appreciate everything she does for him, but it tears me up that she can say in a minute that I can't see him anymore. I understand I no longer have grandparents' rights, but it just frustrates me. She contacts me, and I feel so criticized and then worry I won't see him again.
—pixieb65

Success Story

Hi, there I would like to share my success story of being an estranged grandma. Mine involved a conflict with my daughter nearly 3 years ago now. I ended up taking my daughter and son-in-law to court and won. I would love to set up a meeting group to help all grandmas who are going through this dreadful experience. Please feel free to contact me.
—Guest amawilliams@gmail.com

Cut Out Over a Lawnmower

Our son-in-law has cut us off from seeing our grandkids over a lawnmower. We bought this lawnmower for our home due to a very large lawn, He wanted us to let him use it to make money. We let him use it for one yard, and then he thought it was his. When we would ask for it back so that we could mow our yard, he would tell us, well I don't have time to come home and get it, or I will come over and mow it for you (at dark so it looks bad after he is done). We had finally had enough, so my husband told him to bring it home. He brought it home along with our trailer, our granddaughter's new bed we had just gotten her for her birthday the day before, and everything my husband has made for her in the past. Our son-in-law told us that he didn't need anything that we had and left. Our daughter called and told us that we can't see the kids any more. This is so stupid. We are so angry and hurt. I just don't know what to do. I can't believe my daughter is letting him do this to us.
—Guest leslie

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Grandparents Denied Contact With Grandchildren Share Their Strategies

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