For those who have become grandparents will know what an enormous privilege it is.
Witnessing your own children having their own children is an extraordinary event.
When you first hold this little person close to you, the emotions are overwhelming, the future right their in your arms, as we also know things don’t always pan out as we all thought.
For all sorts of reasons millions of children are denied a loving and caring relationship with their grandparents, and the ensuing years of heartbreak for children and adults can have devastating consequences.
Everyone has an image of what things might be like if and when the two generations are reconciled, often that image is not actually how it will be.
I have already written about rebuilding trust in our young people, and that is no easy task.
The young people who have been in the middle of this confusion, quite rightly feel let down by those who should have been there to support and help them.
Many grandparents worry constantly about their grandchildren, but it is when we hear from the children themselves that the reality of our concerns begins to come to light.
The true path of alienation starts to unfold.
As we suspected for in some cases many years, that drip feed of poison has taken place.
So it is up to us that when our grandchildren do seek us out, and many have and will, that we show them just how much they have been loved.
It mustn’t be about who did what, whose fault it was, none of that matters. What matters is what happens next.
Listen carefully to what they might say to you, small things will enable you to look into the world they have been facing.
Some have had their own traumas to deal with, health issues, physical and mental, relationship issues and loss.
We are not there to judge or cast blame, that will not help these young people.
They need to be reassured that we will not let them down, that we are here for them.
I often read comments ect about how grandparents will let the children know exactly how bad one of their parents has behaved and as some put it ‘put the record straight.’ I couldn’t disagree more.
It is not for us to go down that road, they are still the children’s parents, the children may be having their own difficulties with one of their parents and what we mustn’t do is to add fuel to the fire in any way.
In most cases of reconciliation the children are now young adults and are trying to find their own answers to many things.
They are capable of working things out for themselves.
Yes, of course it will be a new relationship, the once little people are now grown up and finding their way in the world. Embrace that new relationship for all its worth, don’t allow the past to unsteady the ship.
The same feeling of privilege has never gone away, it is still there, a privilege that is unique.
Estranged grandparents who find themselves reunited have to work hard, don’t miss an opportunity to say I love you, to give another hug, as the title of this blog says, ‘what happens next is up to us.’