It is 14 years ago this year that Bristol Grandparents Support Group was born.
In one way such a lot has happened in another way nothing has happened.
There is no doubt that there is much more awareness now about unjustified estrangement than there was 14 years ago, but we are no further forward in so many ways.
There have been debates, campaigns and ministerial interest, but the reality is that there are still millions of children unable to have a loving and caring relationship with their grandparents.
The PA world continues to throw the dirt at one another, one organisation pitting against another, and in my lowly opinion are behaving just as badly as the perpetrators of unjustified estrangement themselves, the mud slinging continues on a daily basis. I hate it and I for one need to walk in a different direction.
I don’t care who said what, who has the loudest voice, who has the biggest ‘campaign’ all I care about is the children and grandchildren.
I am done with the in fighting and wont take part.
Family breakdown comes in many forms not just as a result of separation and divorce, but the end result is the same, we have to work out what is best for children. The well-being and welfare of children, is not something that can be resolved in law. The process of the law will more often than not make the situation worse.
A broken relationship can not be healed with the law.
Usually the legal route is far too slow and often inappropriate.
Is it right that one parent or caregiver should be a ‘primary parent?’ No, because children flourish when they have loving and caring relationships with a wide circle of caregivers.
If family courts are serious about “the best interests of the child”, it’s about time that family court judges got up-to-date with the science!
Science and medicine, after all, are far better tools than law for determining what’s best for the long-term health and wellbeing of our kids. https://www.twowishes.org/evidence/science-101/
Rather than constantly looking to the law to resolve situations, and we know that it often doesn’t, we need to look to science to see what is the best way to make sure the well-being of children is at the forefront of family breakdown.
All too often the very law that is supposed to be working ‘in the best interest of children’ is actually harmful to children.
We seem to be fixated by ‘changes in the law,’ as I have said many times in the last 14 years, no law in the land can restore a broken relationship. If your adult son or daughter, daughter-in-law or son-in-law doesn’t want you to be part of a child’s life the law will not help.
Of course there are some grandparents who have been down the legal route and have had some ‘success’, but not many.
An example I have used before is this.
Hypothetically, there is a change in the law from tomorrow morning. Do we contact the perpetrators and say that now the law has changed we must see our grandchildren? Of course not, if you have been estranged for several years, as in my case, do you really think that it would have helped my GC?
We need to be working on a cultural and society change so that it becomes unacceptable to estrange a child from a parent or caregiver, as socially unacceptable as drink driving.
It is no go pulling bodies out of the river we need to look at the source of the river and the problems therein.
Starting at the source we need quick and early support for families facing a breakdown, we need all agencies to come together, and help to create healthy families and protect children.
This world needs healthy, happy children, children who know the responsibility they will have once they start to raise their own family, to ensure that their children have access to their whole family, even if relationships go wrong.
Education has to play a large part.
For far too long family values have been eroded and we need to reestablish the importance of family. We all flourish when we experience positive relationships as our children and grandchildren do.
If we have a vision of healthy families with the well-being of children at the heart of those families, not only will it benefit us personally, but it will benefit communities and the wider world.
Healthy, happy children make a happy world.