On June 14th in the USA it will be Grandparent Alienation Awareness Day.
I know many of you think we should also be ‘adopting’ this day in the UK, for me though I have my reservations, and as always these are just my thoughts.
I am only too aware of the terrible damage alienation does to grandparents, as I speak to them on a daily basis, and for some it is something that they never get over. I absolutely understand as I too was estranged/alienated for 11 years, and I will never forget the feeling of hopelessness.
As always though it takes me back to the ethos of BGSG, and that is, the rights of grandchildren to an ongoing relationship with both parents and extended family after family breakdown.
If we go down the route of Grandparents’ Rights it is the wrong direction.
As I have said on numerous occasions, in our case, our son was denied contact for 11 years also, and we would have willingly stepped aside if we had thought it would have meant he would have regained his relationship with his daughter.
The last thing that we need is for non resident parents and grandparents becoming somehow dragged into a situation where a parent who is denied contact with their own children believes that grandparents are ‘campaigning’ for rights over and above them.
This is exactly why we must focus on the children.
It is adults that cause this horrendous situation, with an unhealthy parent taking control.
As you know The World Health Organisation now recognise Parental Alienation, although those words are not used, instead the words ‘care-giver relationship problems ‘ are used.
Although that phrase is a mouthful it is right, and it includes anyone who is a care-giver.
Alienation in all its forms are cruel beyond words, the suffering is real and devastating for all concerned, but we all need to be working together to raise awareness, on the impact on the children and grandchildren.
This will be controversial, but being a grandparent is an absolute privilege, not a right.