Why we are doing this?
When we lost contact with our granddaughter, as explained on the Our Story page, we wanted to find out what we could do if anything about this heartbreaking situation.
Maybe more importantly for us we were looking for support and were unable to find independent, good advice. We needed to be able to talk to other grandparents who would understand. So The Bristol Grandparents Support Group began to evolve.
A support group that would be run by its members, who would decide in which direction it should grow. It has quickly become a friendly, caring and empathetic group, although based in Bristol we support grandparents all over the UK and beyond.
What children deserve
We deserve a family that we can look up to,to love us unconditionally, We expect our Mum and Dad to bring us up equally, our grandparents to love us , and our sisters and brothers to always be there for us when we need them. Our family are our blood,our identity our history.
Sometimes our family doesn't live up to out expectations, we are mistreated, we are not respected, we are not loved.
When any member of our family puts their needs first, they have let us down, we are isolated and alone.
And you wonder why we feel sad,angry and confused?
You are the adults, we are children. Listen to our voices.
Different denied contact situations.
It needs to be said that being denied contact with your grandchildren is not by any means always when sons/daughters relationships with their partners breaks down. Within the Bristol Group there are many grandparents who are not allowed to see their grandchildren because their sons or daughters, fall out with their family and decide that they no longer want the children to have any relationship with their grandparents. It is difficult to know how this situation can be resolved.
There are also cases where a son or daughter dies prematurely and the parent left behind wants to cut all association with the husband or wife they have so tragically lost. Of course every story is different, but the end result is always the same, the children are being denied their human right to have contact with their extended family, if it is safe for them to do so.
- What happens when children are old enough to make their own decisions?
- Will they turn their backs on adults who have not been truthful with them?
- Will they resent the lost years of having a loving relationship with their grandparents?
Time will tell.
I would ask anyone who is preventing their children from having contact with their grandparents to think to the future, don't burden the children with this,you may not see eye to eye with other family members but allow your children to make their own mind up.
Who is the winner in all of this? Absolutely no-one.
In these unsettled times we are all seeing and experiencing around the world, we must get back to valuing families and the importance of families in our broken society. Our children are the future of this world, we owe it to them to put this right.
Grandchildren denied access to their Grandparents.
Most grandparents are not responsible for the situation they find themselves in. Their children may have gone through a divorce, been involved in violence in the home ,be involved with alcohol or drug dependency or an adult child may have died prematurely. The grandparents may be left to pick up the pieces and take on the care of their grandchildren or the grandchildren may be taken into care and the grandparents are fighting for contact or guardianship of the children.
I have spoken to grandparents who make the decision to go down the legal route, they have spent thousands of pounds in court fees trying to get contact, it may be agreed by the court, but if the parent doesn't adhere to the order, the grandparents are back to square one, and have to return to court.There is rarely a consequence for a parent who breaks a contact order
The phrase that is banded about is "Grandparents Rights" I feel very strongly that the phrase should be "Grandchildren's Rights". Every child has the right to contact their grandparents if they wish to, unless there is a very good proven reason not to.
When couples divorce they have to attend mediation and going to court is a last resort, during the mediation stage it should be stressed the importance of the relationship between grandchildren and grandparents.
There are large numbers of children left sad and confused not only by their parents break up but that all contacts that they have had with the rest of their family is taken away, and it's not their fault.