No, they haven’t.
When children find themselves in this horrible situation of ‘choosing’ a parent or grandparent they have to work out strategies on how they can survive and how to protect themselves.
A child never stops loving a parent or grandparent, but they soon realise that whenever they mention them, for some reason it ends up with being shouted at or sent to their room, so they stop talking about them.
Children who experience being alienated from one parent or grandparents, are suffering from psychological abuse.
They understand very quickly that any mention of a ‘targeted family member’ causes distress, not only to themselves but to the parent they are living with.
So they protect themselves.
Of course they don’t understand why it happens, in most cases anymore than we do, they just know the consequences.
Anyone who gets a negative or abusive response to something will avoid whatever it is that ignites the flame of hate.
To think that children forget you, is quite wrong.
They have to just park their love and memories safely away, where they can’t be tarnished until the day they are old enough to make decisions for themselves.
The work is not over even when that happens, there are many months of rebuilding relationships and rebuilding trust.
Patience and love is the only way.
Just be there, ready to protect them and to help them work through their feelings.
At all times the children must come first.
It is the adults in their lives, those who should have been putting them first, those who should have been protecting them that have hurt them, so it takes time.
Your children and grandchildren have never forgotten you and they never will.