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Readers Respond: Grandparents Denied Contact With Grandchildren Share Their Strategies

Responses: 168


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 Going forward, posts that do not add something meaningful to the dialogue will not be published.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

Grandparents Denied Contact

We have not be able to be real grandparents since my granddaughter was born April 2013. I was told that I will not be able to babysit her. I have not been able to feed her, change her diaper or do anything for her. The toys and clothes I have given her I have never seen again. I was told they were not good enough or not the right color. We were told no pictures with her, and we are not allowed to go to her when we see her and to hold her. But my daughter-in-law's mother gets to watch her, and they post all the things her mom does for her and pictures of her family with her on Facebook. They live with her parents. (My son is 34 and she is 28.) My son has a good job. We never see them. They live six miles away from us and will not come to our house because we told them how this has hurt us. So we are the bad guys because we are not okay with the way we are treated. This has hurt the whole family because even my other children are treated like this. It has been so hard for us. Only God has helped us going through this.
—Guest Hurtinginfl.

Tired of Games

I grew up with parents who made sure I got to see both of my grandparents all the time, which gave me great respect for the elderly. Now as a Grammy of 2, from my stepdaughter who has had a dysfunctional, manipulative relationship with her mother, I see all the patterns of her childhood being brought on to her children (SAD). My husband and I don't see the youngest child because his dad is a narcissistic ass. Lucky my husband and I do see the other one, who is 3 years old, during her dad's visitation because her father was brought up with the same values as I was. The relationship we have with the daughter (step) consists of lies, manipulation, being self-centered, using the children as leverage to get her needs met -- all the patterns her mother used when she was growing up. I'm not playing anymore, and I feel healthy that I distance myself from that dysfunction. I sure miss the grandkids, but it is what it is.
—Guest grammy

If She Wasn't My Child I'd hate Her

Just read it here. It's the outline, or Reader's Digest version. http://happysorrow.thoughts.com/posts/the-lie-that-destroyed-the-outline
—Guest Lindsay

So Happy I Can Help

When I came back to this site to review new posts, I see that I personally helped someone feel better about their situation, and that truly warms my heart. I can honestly say that even though my experiences have been negative bordering on traumatic, I wouldn't change it. I have learned how to take the high road in all trying situations, which has made me wiser from the experience. I'm so glad that I could brighten another grandmother's day. We all need to stick together. Love your grandchildren unconditionally, and never refuse a chance to have time with them. It may not be on your terms, but if you could choose 3 times a month, 3 hours each of those days over zero days and zero hours? Take that time! You never know, it may gradually increase with time. Mine did.
—Guest devastatedmimi

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Grandparents Denied Contact With Grandchildren Share Their Strategies

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