1. Parenting

Readers Respond: Grandparents Denied Contact With Grandchildren Share Their Strategies

Responses: 172


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 Going forward, posts that do not add something meaningful to the dialogue will not be published.

Missing the Other Half of My Heart!

I am the mother of 3 children, 2 daughters, each with one child, both girls. The youngest of my daughters is living in a house I own less than a mile from me along with her abusive baby daddy. He calls her filthy and disgusting names and beat her up on her last birthday. She refused to follow through with the charges because he said he would take their daughter away from her. I called his mother and told her what he did, and he called me filthy and disgusting names too. He never apologized and I have not spoken to him since. This was not a one-time occurrence and continues to this day. My daughter got a temporary order of protection against me based on complete lies to keep me away from my granddaughter and my own house. It has since expired; however, I am afraid to go near my own house because my daughter will make up more lies to get me arrested when she is the true criminal allowing a dangerous man to live anywhere near her baby. I spend all day every day missing my granddaughter.
—Guest Nanasie


Our oldest daughter withholds granddaughters 13 and 10 from us. Our other 3 married children are very kind and have a great grandparent relationship with visits, etc. I feel our oldest daughter is very toxic, and we must limit our contact with her and her need to control her family and her coldness to us her parents.
—Guest cat

The Most Empty Feeling

I am both sad and glad to see other grandmothers going through what I am experiencing. I have contacted attorneys, and after several months I think I have found one who will petition the court for my visitation with my two grandsons, 10 and 5. I was very much involved with them when my daughter was reluctant to spend her weekends taking care of children. I had the oldest boy most weekends, and we had great times together. I have been told that if I was involved in the child's life at one point that would be highly favorable to a judge to grant visitation rights. Even if those rights are only four times a year, it is more dignified than pleading with my daughter only to be told no after humiliating me. She will inherit nothing from me. She has already sealed that fate. Her children will, but that is little comfort now when I miss them every day and long to share experiences with them.
—Guest Marci

Grandmother's Loss

After reading all your posts , it saddens me to see so many hurting like myself, but it has helped to know it can not be me as others have experienced the loss also, like you all. I am a grandmother of 2 boys aged 3 & 1. My daughter has become estranged and moved country. She has turned against me, her dad and sister and has moved to be close to her husband's family. His family never visited for over 8 years, and we did everything to help them settle and be happy. We gave everything from help to money and time, yet it's us out in the cold , no contact and no hope. Like someone wrote, I never believed having children could be a curse on being sad for the remaining of my life. The feeling of loss is unbearable.
—Guest Zowie

To Steve

Well, there are two ways to do this. First, you can let this go on like this. or, you can draw up a lease, make sure both of their names are on it and start charging them rent. Where is the baby's mother? Are you on good terms with her? This is one of the hardest things for grandparents to go through -- the game playing. Tell your son that although you may not agree with this relationship he's having, you don't think that his choices should in any way have to do with your relationship with your granddaughter. Plays like this from a child's parents are just childish. Talk to him first before you present the rent thing, but at his age he should be paying rent anyway. Good luck.
—Guest devastatedmim

Broken Heart

My granddaughter has lived with me and my son since she was born. They live upstairs in my home. Now my son is involved with the woman next door, who had a son and boyfriend (father to the boy). They were having an affair in front of the kids, me and our neighbors. She left her son and has been sleeping upstairs with my son in front of my granddaughter. Because I will not accept this, he is keeping my granddaughter from coming downstairs. I basically raised this little girl. It breaks my heart every day I see her go to school and come home. I don't know what to do. Also he lives here rent free.
—Guest Steve

To Guest Melinda

Don't stop reaching out to your daughter. Mine is very distant from me as well. Don't be demanding. Let her know that you don't know where things went so bad, but you are willing to listen without argument or judgement. And do just that. Women and their daughters have a disconnect out of some kind of hurt or deep heartache. It was on a website I Googled to find out why my daughter is so distant. It said 75% of daughters that were counseled said that they just wanted their mother to listen. If you begin fresh with a new line of communication with her, hopefully it will lead to much much brighter things for you. For example, maybe the beautiful face of a grandchild? Building your relationship with your own child will build a bridge to your grandbaby. Good luck, my darlin':)
—Guest devastatedmimi

To Guest Lisa

Don't you dare let go! This is not about you. The issue lies in this child's mother. Your son must intervene here. I had the same problem. It's about control -- who gets to see the baby, the relationship you have with your son. Control. I agonized over it. She had my son pitted against me. I hadn't done anything. He said some horrible things to me, so I drew some boundaries, and you need to, too. Tell your son that you are willing to sit down and find out how this relationship derailed. Also, make yourself available to them. If you are given time, take it. The less argumentative you are, the better, and she will wonder why you aren't fighting any more. Keep your wits about you. Your son's part in this is instrumental. He is the one who must make a stand for you. If it's anything like my situation, he's not in your corner because he is in fear of losing his relationship with his child. My son was being threatened with this also. It's a bunch of bull. Be patient. Be strong.
—Guest devastatedmimi

Forgiving Does Not Mean a Second Chance

My mother-in-law has a very sad life story. From the very beginning, I empathized and sought to be her friend. My husband is a bit reserved and historically called her only occasionally. I tried to foster more visits and calls. It would have been better if I kept to the status quo. She has provided unsolicited comments about my views on religion, housekeeping, child rearing, diet -- you name it. She has even said she would overrule me with my kids. I knew we were not kindred spirits, but I still was kind and generous. After finding out I was pregnant, out of the blue, she sent a long accusatory letter detailing her issues with me, my views, and her fears for contact with her grandkids and son in the future. I am a planner, and she finds this offensive to God. She even said that "God could cause me to have a miscarriage." She seems oblivious to the damage she's done. I forgive her, but given her incomprehensible conduct, I am uncomfortable with having her around my baby.
—Guest ForgivebutnotForget

Treated Worse Than a Dead Dog Would Be

I've been despised by my grown daughters for many years, and it's still a secret as to why. I've asked many times. Haven't seen my grandkids in years. There's one I've never met, and one on the way I won't meet, unless I sneak a peek on Facebook to have my heart broken all over again. I notice the photos on FB of the other grandparents with my grandchildren, but since I'm less important then a dead dog, I don't get to have those memories. My grandchildren won't have any memories of me either. If my D's were driving and saw a dead dog in the road, I know they'd pull over to see the status of the animal, and maybe move it to the side of the road. I asked for help from them both this year as I was gravely ill, first time I've EVER asked help from them, and I was denied. In fact, one never even replied. Made me wonder in a sort of awe what they turned into, and why? I was a good mother! I agree with a previous writer above, I don't mention my C or GC anymore, because human nature places blame without knowledge.
—Guest good Mom

Grammar Sue

I also have a 13-year-old granddaughter whom I was quite heavily involved with as my daughter was into drugs and prostitution. My grandie doesn't know her dad. I loved her and pampered her with all my heart. Now my daughter has brainwashed her also, as she has some form of a mental disorder. I just can't understand how you could do this to your children. It's almost neglect. I am not coping that well at the present. I may have to visit with a counselor to help. I was once amazingly close with my daughter and granddaughter but she was jealous. It's so disgusting.
—Guest lana

After All the Mess

Well, updating you on all that was going on before. I was having such a difficult time with my son's girlfriend (and sometimes my son) about being able to see the little guy. Slowly things evened out, and what my sister told me was true. They were gonna need me some day ... and they do. I get that beautiful little guy from 6am to 4pm Mon- Fri. It feels so warm and cozy to wake up with him staring me in the face. Hold on, people. You have to be patient to the nth degree. And define your boundaries. Do not beg. That's when they know that you may be desperate. And absolutely don't try to buy the ability to see them. That's blackmail. If you get to see them, take the time, but don't let them make you feel guilty or unloving because you're not at their beck and call. If they offer you time, by all means take it. But you also have lives. Sitting around waiting is unhealthy. If they call, tell them, "I would love to see them this weekend. Can it be mid-morning, because I have to go to the salon 12:30." Something like that. And whatever chance that you may get with them, stress the fact that you love them dearly. And would never think of leaving them. Be sincere, but don't make promises you can't keep. And (I've stressed this before) WRITE THEM A LETTER every night telling them about your day and express your love on the paper. Even if they aren't able to read them. Even if they are teens or adults. I hope that it would never happen that way or take so long. Good luck. Sincerely yours
—Guest devastatedmimi

Broken Heart

Hello Grandparent, I have 3 adult children. My oldest daughter when she was young had tantrums. When she was older, she'd get upset with me a lot, and when I divorced, she was 20 years old. Now she's 34. She and my almost 5-year-old grandson live 7 minutes away. She won't bring him to see me. She always makes excuses. I too have intense pain, especially on the weekends when I'm not at work. Help, please! What do I do? Where do I go? Is there a support group? My children's dad remarried, and the woman never had children of her own. She along with her husband take care of my grandson. Once in a great while I see my grand-son at an occasion. The step-grandma has my grandson all the time. My daughter has allowed that. My daughter is pregnant now, and her second little boy is due Jan. 14. I fight against depression and anxiety all the time and refuse to take a lot of medication. Thank you, grandparents, for listening : )
—Guest Melinda

Letting Go

My first and only grandchild just turned one, and I am not allowed to see her. You must think that I am an alcoholic, drug addict or just plain horrible. I do not tell people I meet I have a grandchild because this is what they think of you. I thought my son would bring her over for even 10 minutes so that I can see her and give her birthday presents. I have not seen her in 6 months even though she lives 15 minutes from me. I just found out that her mother told my son he can't bring her over to see me or she will throw him out. This has just torn me apart. I only got to see her a few times, and the pain intense. I do not know how people can get through this, especially if they had relationships. I have no hope and have decided to let her go. I did not send the present, and my son was shocked. He thinks I am a good mom and would be a good grandmother, but he is put in the middle. I feel my son has thrown me under the bus. How do I get over this?
—Guest Lisa

Haven't Seen Grandkids in 8 Months

I am so glad I found this site. I haven't seen my grandkids in 8 months. My daughter and her spineless husband have totally cut off my husband and I and the other grandparents. My daughter had a mental break in January, and I went all the way to VA from LA and got her and let her stay with me. CPS took her kids when this happened, and she has somehow convinced herself in her sick mind that me and the other grandmother called CPS and had them taken away. She won't even have anything to do with my 15-year-old daughter, her half sister. We have all called and apologized (for nothing, we have done nothing) and she just curses us out. She and hubby have changed phone numbers, and there is no way to get in touch with them except mail and I know that's a total waste.
—Guest sadmeme

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