Judging by reactions and comments I experience through the wonders of social media and when in conversation with people, I am acutely aware that the general public, MP’s and those in the so called ‘caring profession’ have a stereotypical view of grandparents.
I don’t mean the elderly, loving and sweet view.
Others are so quick to react in such a strong and negative way when you talk about grandparents denied contact.
“You must have done something,”
“What on earth did you say or do to make this happen,”
“I expect you were interfering,”
I could go on, the perception is generally that we are not allowed to see our grandchildren because it is our fault.
Many years ago I wrote to as many people as I could think of who might be able to help, and was astonished at one particular response, from someone in authority who said, ” Good luck with your support group idea, but as far as changing the law you must accept that in most child abuse cases it is at the hands of a grandfather.”
I can’t possibly write here of my reaction, to say I was horrified is an understatement and I have never forgotten it.
So if people who should know better react that way, how do we change the perception that somehow grandparents have become the enemy? People who need to be taught a lesson.
Over a million children in the UK are denied contact with their grandparents, are all of those grandparent evil?
I live just down the road from our local primary school and there is no doubt that thousands of grandparents are now providing childcare and parents couldn’t manage without them, so what goes so badly wrong?
Why is it necessary for adult children feel the need to be revengeful against their own parent or in laws?
We can not always see eye to eye but we can respect each other.
Children are not only being kept apart from their grandparents of course, millions of children are being alienated from one of their parents as well, and non resident parents are viewed by the public in a similar way.
“Dad/Mum must have done something terrible,”
” The children are better off with our them,”
” Well, I have heard things,we violent,”
Again there are many , many more examples, very much worse.
Public perception has got to change, to question why we have a whole generation of children growing up without one parent or their grandparents in their lives.
Those that make the bad choice of denying contact are manipulative, very convincing as being a victim, and the best liars I have ever come across.
Even when children tell a trusted adult how sad they are, that they are being neglected, that they are being isolated, the trusted adult is taken in by the resident parent.
Don’t ever say to me that the voice of children are being listened to, they are not.
If an allegation is made against a parent or grandparent it must be proven.
There is no way of refuting an allegation.
It is up to us to educate the public and those in authority, if they make sweeping statements ask for their evidence.
Don’t assume that if you are a parent that you will automatically be part of your children lives, that you have a legal right, just ask any non resident parent who is going through the injustice of our justice system.
They will put you straight.
When you read articles of non resident parents doing something that you consider to be outrageous, ask yourself what you would do if you were being stopped seeing your children and the world was against you? Don’t think the law will help you it doesn’t, millions of parents have child arrangement orders, but the orders are constantly breached, and there is rarely a consequence.
As I say, next time you are told it must be your fault, make sure that person knows the truth of contact denial.
Don’t forget my mantra, as a grandparent think your own thoughts never speak them.