When I read or hear items on grandparent estrangement I sometimes cringe and sometimes want to throw something at the radio or TV.
Presenters are very good at getting things out of people, things that in my view are not helpful in raising awareness.
So grandparents will often fall into the media trap, the one where they want juicy detail, sensationalism in all its forms.
So if a grandparent starts to slag off an adult child or in-law, or says things like, “I hate her/him,” or ” I could slap her/him,” what is it saying to those listening?
BGSG try everything to raise the awareness of estrangement, and we really do have to be careful of how we publicly portray ourselves.
How other groups like to portray themselves is up to them, BGSG won’t align themselves with groups who do behave that way.
Of course the programme makers, love it, if we speak badly of our adult children or in-laws.
Grandparents are forever saying we need to get the message out there, which I hope BGSG has been doing over the last 10 years, but the important thing is what message and how we come across. If we are belligerent and demanding rights, it only proves to those who are perpetrators of estrangement that what they have said about us was right and they are fully justified in not allowing the children to have anything to do with us.
Of course it is a very emotive subject and emotions run high, and it is so easy to say things that you shouldn’t.
There are now so many groups across the UK and beyond, some demanding Grandparents Rights, Visitation Rights, talking about Elder Abuse ect that we are in danger of missing the whole point.
The point is that children have a right to their family history, to their family identity and a right to a continuing relationship with grandparents, a right to hear grandparents experiences, a right to know where their family comes from.
So many wonderful historical stories, ready to be shared.
One grandparent yesterday was telling me about her family and her great granny who was born in 1870.
So, think carefully how you would like to portray yourself, to your grandchildren. They certainly don’t want you saying terrible things about the parents they love. Once these things are said they are out there for perpetuity.