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Readers Respond: Grandparents Denied Contact With Grandchildren Share Their Strategies

Responses: 498


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 Going forward, posts that do not add something meaningful to the dialogue will not be published.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

Adult Son M.I.A.

My son hasn't spoken to me in 5 years! He and his wife have three daughters. The oldest one knows me, but the youngest two have no idea who I am. I don't know where they live now, nor do I know their phone number(s). I'm not one to push myself onto others, and I'm not going to hunt them down. I don't want to be where I'm not welcome! I've accepted their decision even though it's so painful I want to throw away most of my son's pictures and pretend I've never had a son. At least my daughter still loves me!
—Guest Learning To Cope

Pain from Loss of Seeing Granddaughter

I invited both daughters and granddaughter to Florida, my home, from Minnesota, theirs, for an early Christmas. I made lots of Christmas plans and Christmas dinner. Well, daughter with granddaughter is an addict. She used to be addicted to pain pills, got help, went on suboxine, was on and off due to price. I'm not sure if that is why she is always agitated and stressed, but the minute she got off the plane, I and those with me felt her iciness and agitation. Prior to coming, she had asked me to call her doctor to get enough suboxine to get her through the trip, because she had been weaning off it by herself weeks before. She was either still in withdrawal or bipolar or something, because before her trip here I said I wanted to get her here to help, to massage her legs or whatever, and asked IF none of that works, should we try a Vicodin. She said YES! (I have them for disc problems, but had them hidden.) First night , she woke me to help. I tried everything, worked on her for five hours. Finally she said yes to pill. (continued)


CYF made my daughter and her two girls leave my home two years ago, and I can't see the oldest, soon to be 8. I want to see her, but I can't find the woman who's raising her. How do I go about getting rights? I've done everything CYF asked me to do.
—Guest sue

Just Not the Same

We just recently began to see our grandson again. I went back over the conversation that took place in order to be able to see A____ again. My son said that if "daddy hadnt texted me, we had no intentions of calling you again." They had told me to back off, wait and they would contact us. That is nothing short of cold, controlling, manipulation! How dare they put us in limbo, knowing full well that we were waiting on their "blessing"! Now it's just awkward. This has broken the bond we had with A___ but has fractured the strong bond I had with my son. I'm even more uncomfortable around C___. Ive seen some manipulators in my life, and she's one of the best. I hate the thought that both of them are under this petty spell. We're moving to Sarasota. I don't want to leave them behind, but I can't take it. They don't leave him with us, so every moment is under a microscope. When they leave, I'm exhausted from walking on eggshells. I don't know why they don't trust us anymore. I'm afraid to ask.
—Guest devastated mimi

I Give Up

Children have learned to disrespect their parents like we are worthless. I hope my daughter will find happiness with my idiot of a son-in-law. I love and miss my granddaughter whom I have not seen in over a year. I hope that someday we will be reunited.
—Guest Rod

In Pain

I had to leave my wife due to her gambling and her anger issues. I have 2 handsome grandsons. One is 4, the other 6. I have been blessed to have the 4-year-old in my life. Last year he almost died. And previously I had to leave my wife and head back to the city I am originally from. I am in so much pain from not being able to have contact with them. Before leaving I was homeless and resigned from my job. I have one phone number and an address. My grandsons and I had grown tight. Now I am empty. I only know that I poured my heart and soul into them. The youngest let me see his heart and soul at the age of 6 months. My only solution is to keep praying over them and to do better for myself. Eventually they will bug the parents so much that they will try varied ways to contact me.
—Guest Phillip


My son (30 years old) and his girlfriend (27 years old) have been together for 4 years. We love both of them even though we have been affected by his drinking and possibly drugging habits for a long time. We do not know her history in this regard, yet we have seen both of them in pathetic states after evenings out. Here's the thing: we own a family cottage, and my son demands full access to it . We have put in place a boundary that they cannot go there because the only thing they do there is party dangerously. Their visits there have nothing to do with nature! Since this rule has been in place, they have had their first baby. She is 9 months old now and a beautiful child. My son states clearly in emails and texts that unless we let them use the cottage, we will not see nor get news of our granddaughter! He was diagnosed with bipolar and with severe ADHD; he should take meds for these and other conditions, and would probably benefit from not drinking. We worry about the baby. What are we to do?
—Guest Anne

Hear Us Pray

I am a gramma, too. And I miss my granddaughter, too. Her mom and dad broke up, and the mom uses the child as a pawn. I wish parents out there who have children, then break up, would simply be civil for the child's sake. Now my granddaughter suffers emotional problems brought on by the mom. Soooooo...here's my advice...pray for the grandchildren who are lost and robbed of joy.
—Guest Gramma Sue

Trying to Rise Above

Too busy again today for a play date. Another polite decline. I smile, then tail spin into a pity party. Then later I see posted on Facebook a fun day with the other grandmom. The tears flow again.
—Guest Disappointed Grand Mom


My friend has grandchildren who live about 10 hours away. She used to go and visit them every month and or every two months at the most. Her daughter-in-law told her son that she will tell her when and how long she can visit the kids. My friend is a very good person with a big heart and is a good mother. I can see how much pain this is causing her. Her daughter-in-law should realize this could happen to her someday. I pray that she will change and know what a great person her mother-in-law is. Does anybody else out there have the same problem? Her health isn't the best and being able to see her grandchildren would help her.
—Guest Thomas

Given, Then Taken Back

My son and his girlfriend put us through 6 weeks of hell. He texted me awful things, saying he hated us with a passion and always had. This was all because of something his older brother put on Facebook and a comment on that status made by my sister. My husband and I became collateral damage. I was in agony, not only because I wasn't seeing our grandson but also I wasn't seeing my son. I began sinking into a deep depression. During one of the last texts, my son told me to back off; they wanted space and would contact us when they were ready. We waited patiently, and about a week ago he called me and wanted me to come talk to them. I did. By myself. My husband was working. The talk turned into an interrogation. I couldn't answer many of the questions because they were about my oldest son and other members of my family. I came out of it feeling like a punching bag. We eventually did see our grandson. He had little memory of us. These events have changed the relationship that we had with the baby and our son.
—Guest devastated mimi

I Want to See My Grandchildren

I haven't seen my grandchildren in 3 years. My son was in a horrible accident in 2011, and shortly after the accident their mother stopped us from seeing the children. She said it was because of child support, but my son was unable to walk, much less work. I have tried for three years to see them. He doesn't get to see them either. Crooked attorney, long story, but we haven't had the extra money to take her to court. Our hearts are broken. We are trying to save money to take her to court. I write, send the children things, etc, with no response. The verbiage in the papers that suspended his visitation is completely crazy. I don't know how in the world a judge agreed to this. Please, someone, help me.
—Guest Tammy Wright

Never Give Up

My daughter just turned 18 and moved out 4 months ago with my 2-year-old grandson. They live with his father currently. My daughter has bipolar disorder and refuses to get help. I'm always walking on eggshells around her because she threatens to take my grandson away. Last week my grandson's father called me to pick her up because she tried to stab him. I had had enough of her abusing him and my grandson, so instead I reported her. Now I can't pick up my grandson. I decided to sue for visitation. Even if I don't win, at least my grandson will know I fought to keep him in my life. When he's old enough, I hope that he will come looking for me. I'm hoping the courts will order her to be on meds or get help because I'm afraid she will end up killing her boyfriend or hurting my grandson. Everyone needs to fight to see their grandkids. If you have no money, there is free legal help. Don't give up or give in. What's the worst that can happen? You already can't see them.
—Guest Michelle


My son-in-law will not allow me to see my two grandsons. He has a problem with my family because my son is a cop. My daughter is so afraid of him and taking his kids away that she abides by his rules. All she said is mama I love you and hold your head up. I have never done anything to this man. We have tried to welcome him to be a part of a family, and he wants no part of it. He said that if I contact my daughter, he would keep me away with a court order. Is there anything I can do?
—Guest Connie

Given, Then Taken Back

This will be my 5th post on this site. Back in Feb of this year, we were forbidden to see our grandson because of a miscommunication. On April 4 my husband contacted my son. I didnt know that he had. My son called me on 4/6 and said that he wanted to talk to me. Just me again. So I told him I would come over and talk to them. I went in feeling confident and ready to apologize for what had happened. I was so happy to see him. I put my arms around him and held on. Then I heard her say, "Will you sit down, please?" I did. After a little while, I began to feel like a punching bag. They told me that they felt like I didn't care about their ways that they had chosen to parent their child. I understood that and told them so. Then it became a straight-out interrogation. Why doesnt D__ like me? Why doesnt R__ like me? I couldn't answer those questions. Then religion became a stipulation. In the end we got to see our baby, but now they won't respond to texts or phone calls.
—Guest devastated mimi

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Grandparents Denied Contact With Grandchildren Share Their Strategies

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