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Readers Respond: Grandparents Denied Contact With Grandchildren Share Their Strategies

Responses: 147


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 Going forward, posts that do not add something meaningful to the dialogue will not be published.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

To All Grandparents and Parents

I have been taking care of my grandchildren for 12 years off and on. It has always been a joy. But as one grandparent pointed out, when you deal with narcissistic people, it is difficult to stand by while they use their children as tools to manipulate your son or daughter. My son was a intelligent man until he got with this woman. Within two weeks she was pregnant. Oh, and did I mention she had a 18-month-old daughter at the time? This woman proceeded to yell at me in public for years. I told my son, yet he did nothing. So one day I met up with her. She yelled at me when I was picking up the kids at a restaurant. I had warned her several times I would be done. I told her this would be the last time I would take care of the kids. I could not deal with her disrespect after all my husband and I were giving them -- gas and groceries, approximately $1500 a month. So I have not seen my grandkids for over 4 months. My son said mean things to his stepdad. All I've asked for is a apology. He refuses.
—Guest Disappointedparent

To GuestMom3

I do understand that I'm not the parent in my situation. I am, however, a parent of a son whose ex tries to control my family by using my grandson to get what she wants. This is what we refer to as a narcissist. I don't think that you know how any of these grandparents parented their children. How can you assume that we ever abused our children? That's so very unfair. What I do see when I read your comment is that YOU were beaten as a child and may have something against your own parents. I have three grown kids that I know I have cut the cord with. But it's them that seem to not realize it. I'm here to support them, but I don't interfere with parenting or relationships. Like I told Abbisunshine, sounds like you may need some kind of counseling .
—Guest devastatedmimi

Grandparents Need to Realize This

Grandparents need to realize you are just this grandparents; you are not the parents! I read stories on here. I feel for some, but no one is perfect. Parents (like you were when your kids where younger) make mistakes and learn from them. If the parents want help, they'll ask for it. Grandparents need to cut the cord. Your kids are grown up and are adults with their own children to raise, and I'm sorry, but one thing's for sure: Parents of our generation (myself included) never ever ever would hit or physically hurt our kids like we got when we were children. What you don't realize is that when you hit and beat us when we where children as a form of punishment, all we felt inside was unloved by our parents. Now when you are spoiling our kids and giving them everything and letting them get away with whatever, you look like total hypocrites, because when we where kids we would get told no all the time and would be smacked for speaking to our parents like that. So remember: You'er not the parents. We are.
—Guest Mom3

Missing Both of Them

From the beginning I tried to be supportive of my adult daughter even though I didn't agree with most of her decisions. I was there to help deliver my granddaughter, brought them both back home (over 3,000 miles away), let them live with us for a whole year, then put them up in an apartment (that I paid for) for a year, hoping it would give her time to get it together. Never any gratitude or kind words -- instead laziness, steadily lying, cheating and even stealing from me. I was at my wits end and frankly couldn't afford to maintain two households. That was not part of the deal. The deal was I would do this for them out of love and concern, not obligation, but as a transition to get her on her feet. Had to eventually put her out. She went to live with my mom. That didn't last too long. Now I don't know where they are. I get the run around every time I try to see or make contact. I'm afraid she moved back to the very place I pulled her out of 4 yrs ago when my granddaughter was born. It hurts real bad.
—Guest Sheba

Worried About Heavy Heart/Proud Pop Pop

I just want fellow gp Heavy Heart to know that I hope things have worked in your favor. The person putting up with all these posts from me is a hero. You've done wonders for me. I am forever in your debt. I went from a hopeless, helpless, disheartened g-ma to a g-ma with clear boundaries and knowledgeable in my state's 3rd party rights (as well as others). This site has given me a direction in my life. Id like to be an advocate and maybe even a lawyer to aid these gp's. To all of them, post here, talk to a good therapist, write down your feelings or do what i did, write to that beautiful grandbaby. If I could, I would post a pic of the box of letters I wrote to my little guy. God bless you all.
—Guest devastatedmimi

Probably Tired of Hearing From Me!

I have had the good news that my daughter will have a child toward the end of March. As always, we are thrilled. The paternal grand is going through the same feelings I had, and I can relate. There is an issue with black mold at her home, and my daughter wants it addressed before the baby comes, which is a fair amount of time. I don't know a whole lot about its effects on an unborn child, but I sat the baby's father down tonight. I told him to tell his mama that my girl would never treat her that way, like what my son's girlfriend did to me and my husband, putting her through that hell. I can only say that it feels like a very desperate fearful feeling. They fortunately have a decent relationship. So I hope this doesn't come to a battle. That's exactly what I don't want. I want her to feel included.
—Guest devastatedmimi

To Proud Pop Pop/Heavy Heart3

Received your email. Hope you have received my reply. Hope things are a little better. To all my fellow gp's...lets all comfort each other. Take care.
—Guest devastatedmimi

To Abbisunshine

I think I remember you posting here as a parent. I am a parent of 3 kids. I have one grand and one on the way. I was a good mother and very pro-active with my first grand. His mother is an immature, controlling narcissist. I don't feel like I have rights to see him. My son and this young woman brought this child into this world, and I have a strong bond with him. If I didn't jump through her hoops, I didn't get to see my grand until I did. The grandparents that post here do it to cope with their own situation. I don't know if you are a grandparent or a bitter child who is holding a grudge. Maybe you're just trying to antagonize the grieving grandparents on here. If you are the bitter child of cold parents, go get some counseling and stop taking up valuable real estate on this site. We don't need a bully on here. We already deal with the one(s) in real life.
—Guest devastatedmimi

Comment From a Grandparent

This comment is from a grandparent regarding another article (I will include link) that I think sums up everything. "I’m a parent of three kids and grandparent of nine grandkids. What give me the rights to my grandkids? None! The kids aren’t mine, there are my kids. I do not have the right to see my grandkids, it a privies to see them. If parents don’t want their mom and dad to see their grandkids, then there something wrong with the grandparents. Don’t blame the parents. There a reason the parents don’t want their kids with their parents. With my mom and dad, they were abuses and raciest. The only time my kids were at my parents was when I or my wife was with them." I couldn't agree more!

To Proud Pop Pop/Heavy Heart

My email is shannon.jennings@rocketmail.com. Looks like I'm going to have to get my own counsel. My son went back to his girlfriend. But as many times that I've been through this with the two of them, my boundaries are set. They are clear as day. Email me and we can talk. I know how it is to be cut off completely from your grandchild.
—Guest devastatedmimi

Proud Pop Pop

Perhaps I wasn't exactly clear. I am one and the same with a Heavy Heart and Proud Pop Pop. Now we can't see the child at all, and to top it off, I believe the child's great-great-grandmother is influencing the parents by giving them misinformation and allowing them to reside in her house and permitting them to be irresponsible to her and the child. To devastatedmimi: what is your e-mail address? we can talk at length if it's OK with you. You seem knowledgeable, and may just give me the info I need. Perhaps I can give more details about the total situation. My grandchild is still dirty, hungry and neglected, and my heart is still aching to see her. I'm thinking about taking her and risking going to jail. She is truly worth it. If you can, send me your email address. Thanks.
—Guest proud pop pop/heavy heart

Grandparents Denied Contact with Grands

We did file for grandparent rights on our own in NJ, only to be denied. A grandparent has to prove harm to the children by now seeing you. It doesn't matter what you may have done for them the whole time. Our grandchildren more often than not lived with us or were with us 95% of their lives. Unfortunately at the time, DFYS was involved and don't get me started on them. I feel my son-in-law who has the children paid them. Out of the magic rabbit hat DFYS through the law guardian had an investigator who interviewed the minor children in their own bedroom without supervision, which to me was an issue. The investigator said my 13-year-old grandson told him he would emancipate himself from us. Really, what 13 year old or adult even knows that? DFYS and the law guardian buried us. Even though the judge could not rule out brainwashing, there was no proof the kids were harmed by not seeing us. It stinks, and the law needs to be changed.
—Guest Susan Van Blarcom

Fear He Is Going Back

So the past few nights my son has been coming home later than usual. This happens when he's seeing this lunatic once again. I know what will happen. I will ask simply, he will begin to try and defend his position and I will again assert my boundaries. She is never to come to my home. He will bring the baby to our home. I've had enough with her narcissism and selfishness. I will be highly disappointed if this is the one he decides to be with. Our little guy is very important. We have only just recently received the news that my daughter is pregnant. We are thrilled. But nobody will treat him any differently. E
—Guest devastatedmimi

Forgot My Email

To Heavy Heart. I told you to email me. Either you or your wife. It is shannon.jennings@rocketmail.com. Any time.
—Guest devastatedmimi

To Heavy Heart and Proud Pop Pop2

I posted a bit of advice before. This site has so much useful information. I don't know what state you are in, but there is a link on this site that tells you visitation laws by state. (It's at the very bottom of this page if you scroll down. -- S. Adcox) Just click on it, find your state and read on. Like I said, I'm not sure what the specifics of this case are, but doing nothing can hurt you more. And for the love of God stay vigilant. My mother told my son that God was going to work in his favor with his son. All it took was a good recording of her talking down to my son in front of the baby and agreeing to a set visitation. Once she knew he could play as dirty as she could, its been rainbows and lollipops. Email me if you or your wife just want to vent...because i always do...:)
—Guest devastatedmimi

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Grandparents Denied Contact With Grandchildren Share Their Strategies

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