Do what is right by the grandchildren.

It never ceases to amaze and anger me when I see posts, comments or quotes  written on numerous FB pages, forums ect, that are so antagonistic, it beggars belief.

Over the last few months there is absolutely no doubt that things are beginning to change, there is a sift in opinion on the rights of grandchildren.

When these, in my view, horrendous, things are posted and spread across the internet, it puts that change back 10 years.

Surely as adults and most importantly as grandparents we should be setting an example not adding fuel to the fire.

Ok, so we may well be desperate and think that we can’t make the situation worse, but all of this stuff can be seen by the grandchildren, the very people we are trying to represent.

Words such as your ‘parents are causing severe child abuse’ or ‘parents are forbidding you a relationship’, are so destructive and quite frankly no better than those who are causing the estrangement.

Be in no doubt that those sorts of remarks are being noted.

All too often grandparents say things without thinking of the repercussions of the bigger picture.

To suggest that parents are unfit to be parents is a very dangerous allegation,  more often than not with little or no evidence.

We may well think that grandchildren are not being brought up the way we would wish, but that is not our call. It is the parents who have responsibility to bring up their children, remember we have already done that, and like me, no doubt you have all said or done things you have regretted, it is all part of being a parent.

Of course if you think there are serious child protection issues, that is quite a different thing, and it should be reported.

In the case of grandparents who are estranged from their adult children and as a consequence of that are not in contact with their grandparents, does not mean that those adult children are bad parents.

To suggest they are is not the way to go.

The same applies to divorced/separated adult children, just because there may be high conflict, and the children get caught in the middle, doesn’t mean by default this parents are not good parents.

Yes, there is revenge and using the children as weapons, and some may see  that as child abuse, but be careful, what you write it is there for them all to see, and suggesting they are being abused by a parent or parents, is as damaging as the whole estrangement/alienation problem is.

The language we use needs to be thought of every time we talk about this heartbreaking situation for all concerned.

If you are being interviewed for articles ect, think very carefully about the sort of language you use.

As grandparents we must be the bigger person, not a slagging off grandparent.

These grandchildren have more than enough on their plate without us adding to their hurt, be there with supportive words, be there with an open heart, just be grandparents.

‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.’ I disagree.

About Jane

Jane setup Bristol Grandparent Support Group in 2007 after a string of incidents led to the loss of contact with her Grand Daughter.

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