Grandparents.


#1

How much do you rate the role grandparents play in family life.

Did you know that grandparents in the eyes of the law are regarded as irrelevent persons in grandchildren’s lives.

If your children were made orphans it is not automatic that they will go to their grandparents and could end up in care.

Because grandparents are irrelevent persons they are not permitted if the law says so to contact their grandchildren to make sure they are OK. Children’s charities are stating a huge increase in child abuse in the home and the abuser is protected by law because of the non relevent status of grandparents.

Our group Grandparents Apart Self Help Group Scotland has repeatedly pointed out that cutting costs rather than the welfare of children is the order of the day since social services were told to speed up their service. It is not human beings but commodities they are now working with, dealing with them as cheaply and as quickly as they can… This is achieved by alienating them from their families and adopting them without the consent of their family because it is easier to place a child without family ties. Now to increase the market where children can be turned over the government are recruiting single people and non traditional family people as adopters. We feel by not having traditional family adopters this is increasing the danger to children of the very clever paedophile rings we read about.


#2

In America the biological relatives of the children are given first priority in most cases. Sometimes this is not for their benefit.
My husband and I made wills. The thought of our children even visiting my mother turns my stomach, let alone getting custody of them. We took proactive measures to ensure that the Catholic faith would take precident in determining placement of our precious babies. I would much rather they end up in a Catholic group home than in the arena of my fiercely anti-catholic relatives.
It isn’t the responsibility of the government to advise anyone on how to raise their children, particulary when it comes to morality.


#3

That is not very christian like is it, and is also a onesided point of view. Do you not think your hatred is destroying your judgement.

I totally agree with you about the government not interfering in family life when all is well.

Recently it was stated that in Scotland 60,000, children were living in had drug related homes and 100.000 in alcohol related homes. So it just not about you.


#4

That’s the way it should be. Being a grandparent is not an automatic stamp of approval. A parent has a fundamental right and a divine right to over see the care of their children as they see fit. Unless there is serious abuse, then that right should not be violated by the state or by the grandparents.


Plus, sometimes (not all the time but certainly sometimes) the grandparents should not get the opportunity to repeat their mistakes with another generation.


Aside from that possiblity, if a parent can’t see their grandchildren, then they should work on their relationship with their own child rather than damage a relationship between the grandchild and his parents.


#5

“Unless there is serious abuse” you said it. And that’s what i’m writing about. Grandparents do not want to interfere or take over, they have brought up their own family and do not want to bring up anybody elses but will if required especially if there is serious abuse.

Children have a divine right as you put it to have the whole family around them for love and protection.

You seem to have had a particularly bad time of it but was the fault and mistakes all theirs. In our experience grandparents are aleays ready to attend mediation to try and help sort out the problem, but in five years of our groups existence i can count on the one hand the mothers that came forward.

The whole family needs to be made aware of the changes as they occur in relationships. Below is our guide
lines we know have worked as a start but there must be give and take on both sides.

We don’t think for a minute that all grandparents or parents are perfect. Living in a family can be hard work, most families fall out and we should not feel embarrassed to seek advice if our relationships are not going well.
These check lists have been produced from our experiences, with the best interests of the children in mind, because it is them who suffer most when adults argue.

THINK OF THE CHILDREN
Parents

Have you - fallen out with your parents or in-laws?

Have you - refused your children the right to see or visit their Gran
or Granda?

Have you - dug your heels in with all that “Power” over everyone
and feeling good?

Do you - “Alienate” (brainwash) your children about their
Grandparents and then turn it around and say “but it is
the children themselves that don’t want them”?

Do you - use your children as weapons to win an argument against
the Grandparents?

Do you - wonder why, as your children get older, how disrespectful
they are becoming?

Do you - know Nursery and Primary school children talk about their
Grandparents as part of their education?
Are yours the odd ones out having nothing to say?

Do you - hate the Grandparents so much that you are willing to put
your own children through this emotional hell?

Do you - know all this is child “Abuse”? Are you guilty?

Are you - horrified by this? Not realising it is the children who suffer
most in the long run.

One of the most common points that comes up is that grandparents are full of confidence in bringing up a family and quite rightly so. The confidence they have can sometimes comes across as patronising. Have a wee think in case that’s you and if you could ease the situation.

STOP AND THINK
Grandparents

  1. Learn to bite your tongue. It’s their way, it may not be yours.
  2. Don’t dominate, suggest. Be prepared to accept no.
  3. Remember the children are the responsibility of their parents.
  4. You raised your family your way, let them do it their way.
  5. Let the parents build up their own confidence.
  6. Be friendly, you don’t have to love or like somebody to be civil.
  7. If able, be prepared to help when asked, step back when not.
  8. If you are estranged, try writing to the parents.
    Stress that it is the whole family you would like to see, not just the children. The adults can feel left out, so befriend her or him especially. Be prepared to ‘give’ a lot if you want to get back into your grandchildren’s lives.
  9. Find out about Mediation is in your area. Be prepared to attend.
  10. The situation can be delicate, never lose your temper. Be prepared to accept you can be wrong - agree to disagree.
    Give your children a better chance. Call us we can help - 0141 882 5658

#6

#7

Wow that’s riculously biased. Some grandparents are fanastic some are horrible. In the states grandparents actually have a lot of rights, including being able to get visitation rights in cases of divorce. My father-in-law beat my husband as a child, he was mentally and physically abusive. Not to mention my in-laws are not Catholic and would never raise our child as such. So no I do not want them to get custody in case of our deaths.

You had your children, grandchildren are not your children. The parents should have the final say as far as who they want they children to have a relationship with.

And yes our daughter does see my in-laws, we have not poisoned her against them, in fact she has no idea of the abuse my husband suffered at all. But will they ever get custody of her? It’ll be a cold day in hell before that happens.


#8

Jimmyd, first of all, welcome to the forums. :wave:

Second…whoa, back up the judgement train! :slight_smile: Perhaps you are projecting the feeling of “hatred” from a situation you are involved in (if so, I am terribly sorry), but the post you are responding to spoke of no such thing.

Starting a post off by saying “that is not very Christian like is it” is a good way to get people instantly on the defensive.

And of course it’s one-sided. All of the posts here are, because there’s only one person typing.:thumbsup:


#9

In the U.S., we are experiencing something of a situation where more and more grandparents are raising their grandchildren, if not outright, then helping the kids by doing a lot of the nurture and day-to-day care for the grandkids. Google it up, “Grandparents raising grandchildren united states” and see what you get. You’ll be reading for days.

In some cases, the adult child has gone through a divorce, or never married. Grandparents, particularly grandmothers, are needed because child care is expensive here, and the single parent needs to work. Grandpa can become the only constant adult male these children know, as well. Hopefully, it’s just for a short time, but can be for a longer period.

In some cases, the adult children, and parents of these babies, despite in a lot of cases being raised as best the parents could, simply choose not to take care of their children, the grandchildren, preferring alcohol, drugs, or just a lifestyle that does not contain children. In that case, in the U.S., there are a variety of situations for the grandparents to assume care of the children. It can be as relative foster parents. It can be through guardianship. It can be through related adoption, a streamlined adoption process.

In my home state, Illinois, grandparents do not have a right of visitation without a court order, if the parents choose not to allow the visit and have custody of their children. And this is a very good thing. Otherwise, every grandparent would simply demand redress out of their adult children because they weren’t allowed to visit Junior when they wanted.

However, by law in Illinois, a grandparent is considered in the line of relationship, before aunts and uncles, and is eligible, should such a situation occur where the grandparents are raising the grandchildren, to petition for a related adoption.

Ultimately, the “best interest of the child” is supposed to be considered. Sometimes, the child is better off someplace else, because in the whole extended family there is not one good place for the child to be given what he or she needs.

I can understand your frustration if grandparents are being lopped out of the process and for consideration. It might help your organization to read up on how we do it here. It is by no means perfect, and each state is different, but we are trying, despite voices to the contrary, to work on it.


#10

Children are a blessing not a possession. They have the god given right to the whole family.

The breakdown of families is that adults fall out and cannot or will not try to mediate for the sake of the children who usually still loves them all. The children are then used as weapons or blackmail and they are the ones that suffer in the end.

My granddaughters have suffered from being dragged away from my wife who took the new born home from intesive care 8 weeks after our daughter died and lived with us for 3 years. That was 10 years ago and we have experienced the effect on them of a forced seperation especially to a new mother that had no love for them. Thankfully our son-in-law realised this and they are now being treated as teenage girls should be. We see them when they want at school holidays and at christmas sometimes as they live 250 miles away. Distance means nothing as long as there is no animosity. We know families that live in the same street and the bitterness is terrible for the children.


#11

As a side note, if what you posted previously for The Parents to ask themselves is what you actually give to parents you want to come to mediation, then it is no wonder only 1 mother ever has. The entire tone assumes the parent is to blame, is a selfish, power tripping abuser. It’s insulting. That doesn’t exactly say, “fair and unbaised mediation” to me and I’m betting it doesn’t to any other party either. I strongly recommend revision. That is if you actually want the parents involved and to accept that grandparents/you may be a major contributor to the problem.


#12

I’m with Martha on this one! I shudder to think of my mother raising my children or my mother in law! Both have fallen away from the very values I strive to teach my children and I would not want my children raised in a home where hedonistic behavior is taught and encouraged. Does this make me a bad daughter… perhaps. But more importantly, it does not make me a bad mom. I have made arrangements for my children in the case where I couldn’t raise them. After prayerful deliberation, I have decided that my oldest son or my sister would be the best to raise my children. They both agree and accept the responsibility I have asked of them.

I understand that you probably feel hurt by my answer and I am sorry for that. What is best for my children is foremost on my mind all the time. I can tell you neither grandparent would fit the bill. I wish I could say otherwise but I can’t. I do know of many grandparents that would be a dream come true for any parent faced with that decision, unfortunately, they aren’t my kids grandparents.


#13

As a mother and a grandmother this is so sad…I sincerely hope that you are praying about this situation…


#14

I must say to Rob’s Wife "this is not a personal vendetta to her.

There was nowhere we could get advice at the time so we created this group to try and avoid other children going through what our grandchildren went through. And we have been successfull in helping grandparents back into the family life.

The day before my daughter died she said to me “dad i’m not going to make it, if Joe finds somebody else don’t be angry with him help him and and the kids to resettle” I promised her that i would and have kept my promise to this day. We knew the children would go away someday in fact when we went on holiday i encouraged Joe to go to discos and things like that to get him out and about.

When he met this other woman through a bereavement organisation we approached social services as the best way to transfer the children. Their answer was ask the new partner to get involved with the toddlers groups that my wife took the kids too and get them used to her. She said “absolutely not i’ll do it my way”. And whenever she had the kids she refused to take them to the toddlers group which they loved or to any of the children’s groups. The day they took them off we stood helplessly as the kids were dragged away breaking their heart.

We did meet them halfway once a month for a time, and every time we did the the kids would give us a hundred hugs and kisses and say when can we come home. A heartbreaking time for us all.

Then she decided we were not to see them at all, my wife was against going to court but i insisted and before we actually went in front of a judge we had a mediation session with a court reporter which was legally binding but flexible by aggreement with both parties. It was shaky at first but lasted When she realised we were not a threat to her she sent them up every school holidays after that saying it got them out of her hair.

During the time the kids spent with this new mother they were in bed at six every night not allowed a light on and could not leave their room untill 9.am on weekends and holidays
Their clothes were run of the mill and at one time the oldest had shoes on that were far to small for her and caused her problems for years. They were told they could only expect one pair of shoes a year.

Her own son was allowed up later had all the designer gear and taken on holidays by his other grandparents leaving our kids. He was always welcome at our house.
He had plenty of money every day and the girls had to make do with a lot less until Joe found out then they got the same.

We were not involved in all this, it was Joe himself that noticed this and left after her son phoned up the police and told them that Joe had hit him which was not true and the police got to the bottom of it. She herself was a very violent person goading Joe who is a very non-violent person into hitting her. She really only wanted Joe but not the girls and had no love for them at all.

The girls are teenagers now and still suffer form the effects of being treated as second class members of a family but with the help of all their family they are recovering well.


#15

Dear Blest One,

Obviously not all grandparents are suitable to be grandparents, they need to play the part as well. What i am saying is families should think of the children and think what is best for them. If all has been tried and failed so be it. Each person knows in their heart whether they have done their best or not.

A granny was on the phone to me the other night saying she was heartbroken her daughter has refused her access to the children. I sympathised with her but during the conversation it came out she herself refused her mother access to her kids.

The answer was ‘Children learn what they live’. As the saying goes what goes around comes around.


#16

Yes Annunciata it is sad… and I wish it wasn’t this way, but it is. I pray about this quite often. Do you know how I longed for my mother to actually care? I am 43 yo and in the past year I have finally had to give up trying to find love from my mother. My own sister has profusely apologized for not standing up for me all these years. She felt helpless to do anything and I don’t blame her in the least, she had to do what she had to do to survive. The only reason my mother even came to my wedding was because my sister guilted her into it, she was making up every excuse she could to get out of it. In the end, I came out below the dog… she didn’t want to board her dog to come to my wedding! The sad part is that it is quite evident to everyone but my mom, my pastor even commented on it and asked if I wanted to be married privately so she couldn’t try to ruin our day. Sad huh?

[quote=jimmyd]Dear Blest One,

Obviously not all grandparents are suitable to be grandparents, they need to play the part as well. What i am saying is families should think of the children and think what is best for them. If all has been tried and failed so be it. Each person knows in their heart whether they have done their best or not.

[/quote]

I agree and I believe I have tried sufficiently, but as you said; it is what is best for the children.

Dear Jimmyd,
I have been quite clear with my children that I don’t hate my mother. In fact, They have visited her on occasion (we live 15 hours away from my mom). My objection is that she can not be trusted to raise them the way I feel is proper, so I would never allow for her to take custody of the kids in my absence. It is my mother that doesn’t have the time of day for me. God bless my dad, when he was alive, this wasn’t a big issue. He was a good strong moral leader in our family. He loved my kids but wouldn’t spoil them. When he died, my mom became even more self-centered than she was when I was growing up…something I never thought possible considering she was/is the most selfish person I know.

I believe my mother is ill. She most likely has narcissistic personality disorder. I was her scapegoat for all that went wrong. Loving my mom doesn’t make it all better, nor does it make it ok for me to leave my children to grow up like I did… always feeling unloved and unlovable. My children know they are loved. We are very close… I just went on a weekend trip with my youngest (15yo dd) and next month I am going on a trip (business related) with my oldest (19 yo ds) After that I will be looking to spend special time with the middle child (17 yo ds). I was working from a blank slate with my kids… I didn’t have any motherly role models in my life, but I am rather confident that my kids feel alot more loved than I did growing up.


#17

I feel that grandparents are very important to the life of a child. they miss out on so much when there are no grandparents in the picture. I savor and rejoice in every moment I have with my grandson and I am thankful that his parents would not keep us apart…and I know that they could if they wanted to. If Grandma and Grandpa are good people who respect the parents’ role and they heed the parents’ desires…then they should be included in the little ones’ lives.

:heart:Blyss


#18

So Blyss…want to be an adopted grandparent? My kids could use a sane set of grandparents in their lives!


#19

Well said, Blest one. We are trying to educate grandparents to do just that, and also would hope the parents could meet halfway.

If they would attend mediation early on before the point of no return is reached the majority of problems could be resolved and the children would beneifit enormously. Everybody would benefit all around.

People can be called a parent or grandparent but that does not make them so. It is the only job in the world where no real training is given and mistakes are not corrected. A little training in family life would make such a difference.


#20

The need for grandparent’s protection.

In general throughout society grandparents have no legal rights to their grandchildren. If children are orphaned it is not certain the kids would go to the grandparents or extended family. No-one realises this until it happens to them and then the devastation sets it.

All the children’s organisations are reporting an increase in child abuse in the home due to the increasing use of drugs and alcohol abuse. The law is basically protecting the abuser by not granting legal contact to the grandparents and the abuse is not detected until the child/ren land up in hospital or worse.

Contact could be a minimum of a couple of hours a month, more by negotiation. The right to send and receive phone calls, texts, emails, cards and presents at special occasions. This would give the children an outside line to help if need be. As grandparents are legally irrelevant persons in their grandchildren’s lives they stand by helplessly knowing their grandchildren are being abused, but the law and social services do not recognise their importance. Who better is there to keep in touch for the protection of children.

Our last case was a granny reported her daughter’s new partner to the law and social services for head butting her 7 year old granddaughter. This man cannot see his own children because of his violence and is awaiting trial for the assault but is still living in the house. The granny has found out another assault has taken place but she has been banned from seeing the family now and the abuser is making the family say it was one of the other children who did it. They are living in terror of this man and the granny having no rights of contact could be arrested if she intervenes.

We are obviously not talking about real families where this type of thing does not happen. All that is required is for grandparents to have what the real families do already. Abuse of children is on the increase and everybody needs to be aware of it.

Our Honorary Patron is Sir Bob Geldof and he has helped our cause tremendously . If more celebrity grandparents would speak up more and more of our children could be saved from this abuse.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.