When you first lose contact with your grandchild, it sets of all sorts of emotions, it is vital that you acknowledge that you are in shock.The feelings of loss don’t go away but you can have strategies to help you cope, to protect your physical and mental health.
If the separation has been a sudden thing, the shock will be great. If there have been conflicts in the past it is likely that you will feel deep anger.
So how can you deal with these feelings?
It can be that you are so angry that you say and do things to inflame the situation, when we are angry it is important to not bottle it up, talk to a friend or counsellor or a support group about how you are feeling.
You may also feel confused and feel as though you have done nothing for this to have happened. It is possible that we may have said or done something to cause parents to deny contact, or it may be that denying contact with your grandchild is completely excessive.
So what can we do?
I think we have to be totally honest with ourselves, have we said or done something that was not our place to do so, if so we need to apologise. You may well feel you have nothing to apologise for but the most important thing is for you to be able to restore the relationship.
You might also feel helpless and hopeless, even after you have tried everything you can possibly think of but still have not managed to heal the rift.
Don’t allow yourself to become all consumed, it could affect relationships with others and it can be very destructive. Allow yourself to let go of the situation, accept it is out of your control. It is time to channel all of these feelings and emotions into a positive change. Help someone else, make a difference.
Sometimes grandparents feel jealous and envy of grandparents who have a healthy relationship with their grandchildren.
To feel that way is illogical, none of us want to see other grandparents going through the hurt and pain associated with denied contact. So we should share the joy of grandparents and grandchildren together, in a loving and caring relationship.
Often grandparents feel guilt and grief, especially if it is your own child who is behaving this way, you may feel that in some way you have failed as a parent. When our children are in a relationship it is only natural that they will ‘side’ with their spouse. (what we think is irrelevant.)
Writing down our thoughts is often helpful, keep a journal or write a blog. Always keep the door open for future reconciliation, if possible keep sending cards and letters ect.
Never be confrontational, it will get you nowhere.
Our children are adults now, they have made choices, they have their own lives to lead and to bring up their children in their own way, making mistakes no doubt along the way, just like we did.
We can spend precious time on the ‘what ifs,’ but life is short, putting ourselves through anguish constantly, only hurts us, no one else.
It is time to take back control, ( a phrase used in other ways recently) to control our feelings and emotions for the greater good. To help others who need a helping hand.