Really? Do we have to have this discussion. When my children were small there was no such term, ” grandparents’ rights.” Today it is very common either by divorce, attitudes and religious or political opposing opinions. There are grandparents in every state that experience the most heartbreaking agony.
Families develop strained relationships. Without mediation and empathetic intervention it continues. Children punish their parents by snap decisions to withhold connections. Grandparents are saddened and confused. One young mother asked me, ” If my daughter’s grandmother doesn’t agree with my decisions as a parent should she be allowed to see her grandchild?”
Back in the day divorced parents were asked not to use the ex has a whipping post. ” The child has another parent besides you and that child will want the love of that parent, also.” These same children now decide which grandparent ” deserves” to see their children. Those who don’t are left without explanation as to why.
I even ask my own children, ” What do you tell them when you ask where YOUR mother is?”
Most states do not have ” Grandparents’ Rights” laws. Some grandparents have even raised their grandchildren until their parents decide to take them away. There is nothing the grandparent can do. States legal message is ” What is best for the child?” Some states make grandparents have to prove ” harm” if they are not allowed to see the children. These makes for an attack on their own children when in reality grandparents would like to be treated with love and respect.
There are many websites who address this issue. The AARP has a community online support group. ” Visitation with Grandchildren (http:refresh.aarp.org/online-community/groups/index.action?slGroupKey=Group1862.)
Sad ,but some grandparents, ( like myself) have become ” Facebook Stalkers.” We learn how to observe the growing up and the activities of the children and grandchildren that have been locked out of our lives.
Churches and community groups are deaf to the issue. Courts and lawmakers don’t want to ” upset” any voter.
Grandchildren need love from their families. When there is no history of neglect, violence or abuse then the grandchildren should at least be able to visit with their grandparents on holidays and birthdays.
I have four grandchildren. They do not know my name or that I am alive. I have two children who have chosen to withhold all communication. I have been told it’s my fault but to this day I don’t know what ” my fault is.”