As you know going down the legal route is not something we ever advise to grandparents, it is stressful, it is often expensive and most importantly, even if granted a Child Arrangement Order there are still no guarantees.
The resident parent may not abide by that order, there will always be reasons why the child/children can’t meet you, they are ill or have an appointment somewhere.
There are rarely consequences.
As a result there are millions of children being denied contact with a parent or grandparent.
Many parents and grandparents are worried about the welfare of their children/grandchildren.
I hear from grandparents all the time who feel that the children are being neglected and not being looked after properly, and in some cases they are really fearful for the children’s safety.
It is vital that if anyone feels that there is a Child Protection issue it must be reported.
It is necessary in some circumstances to obtain a transfer of residence, this is only obtained after very serious concerns of the child’s welfare ect.
How must that feel if you are that child?
In honesty we have no way of knowing, we can only imagine the emotional turmoil.
As a child you live the life you are given, it may not be what we, the parents or grandparents, would wish for them but it is nevertheless the cards they have been dealt.
They know no different.
It could be that there is very little money within their home, not much food, they are living hand to mouth. Possibly there is a succession of different ‘Dads/Mums’, ‘Grandparents’ extended family, passing in and out of their lives, constant arguments, moving from school to school, no stability at all.
It is the norm to them.
Most children love both their parents.
Living an unsettled life with one of their parents, being told that the other parent is a bad person eventually has its desired effect, they see themselves as the confidante, the person who needs to support the parent they live with.
Years and years of almost being the carer of that parent takes over their childhood, they feel responsible.
That is such a heavy weight for children to carry.
So just imagine a situation where things have become so bad, that your ‘other’ parent gets a ‘Transfer of Residence’ (this will only happen under very severe cases) and you have to go and live with them, and move away from the person you feel that responsibility for, that person you have been caring for.
No, I can’t imagine either.
It may be true that there have been problems, but you have been torn away from someone you love.
These children are traumatised, they are angry, sad and totally confused.
As the adults we know that this had to happen for their welfare and safety, but all they know is that they have been split in two, and they are heartbroken.
To witness these children going through this terrible time is very hard and it is difficult to know how to deal with them. They may be being aggressive towards you, or just completely ignoring your existence , all perfectly understandable, but it is time for you to get outside help.
It is never a sign of weakness to ask for help.
The children need to be able to talk to someone, they have to be able to come to terms with what is happening, to try to make some sort of sense of it all.
They have to work through it all to enable them to pick up the pieces and to continue on their life journey.
Links you might find useful:
As the adults in these children’s lives it is us who must take responsibility not the children.
If you are a parent or grandparent facing this difficult time you will need patience and understanding, it will take a long time for them to see that you had their best interest at heart.
Everyone involved is hurting terribly, just be there, be ready for anything, with an open heart.