“I never thought this would happen to me and when it did, I thought that I was the only one!” cried yet another orphaned grandma. How could grandparenting, such a normal part of the life cycle, be so fragile?
Disenfranchised grandparents are part of a growing population of loving grandparents UNREASONABLY denied visitation with their grandchild by the parent(s). People ask: “WHAT DID YOU DO? YOU MUST HAVE DONE SOMETHING?” Actually, no! These grandparents are the target of parental alienation either by association such as during a dissolution of marriage or a percolating family feud. The days of “spoiling them rotten”, are over, sometimes that is all it takes to lose access.
Denied visitation causes not only the grandparents to suffer, but the children are equally harmed when they lose contact with grandparents. GRANDPARENT RIGHTS encompasses CHILDREN’S RIGHTS. Indeed, children should have the right to maintain a loving relationship with their grandparents, no matter what is going on with the parents.
Extended family relationships are crucial to a child’s development in every way, so when faced with family discord, we need to work on removing the problem, not the person.
The grandparent stories depict the tragic reality that children are treated as “PROPERTY”; this has become an ongoing struggle to create solutions as well as my journey of self discovery as I waded into uncharted legislative and non profit territory. Most of all it is my GRAND WISH that the special and deeply significant bond between grandparent and grandchild be preserved and revered, starting with the judicial system.
EVERYONE NEEDS TO HAVE ACCESS BOTH TO GRANDPARENTS AND GRANDCHILDREN IN ORDER TO BE A FULL HUMAN BEING. Margaret Mead