Grandparent Alienation

Grandparent alienation

“I’m over my estranged daughter,” says Cleo. “It’s my grandchildren I worry about now.”
grandparent alienation

Cleo is like thousands of parents around the world who are not allowed to see their grandchildren. A daughter or son’s estrangement, which can happen for a variety of reasons, usually means the grandchildren are also cut-off. It’s a breakdown in the family where innocent children are hurt.

Some grandparents have formed groups, organize rallies and awareness campaigns, and are fighting for changes to law that would support their efforts. And legislation is moving along the judicial pipelines with some success.

June 14: Grandparent Alienation Awareness Day

It’s a tough road when the grandchildren they have so bonded with are yanked away. “I always wonder what the kids are being told and what they’re thinking,” says Cleo. “Are they wondering if I don’t love them anymore?”

It’s not always estrangement that causes the separation. When one parent or both is incarcerated, sometimes one set of grandparents will swoop in and make it difficult for the other.

One mother whose son (in his 30s) went to prison, spent a small fortune in legal fees fighting against his in-laws for visitation of her young grandchild. Although she was an upstanding citizen with no criminal record and a history of emotional stability, the in-laws alleged that if she raised a son who committed a murder, then there must be something wrong with her. Her son’s was a crime of passion, and he had no previous offenses. Do you think what they alleged is automatically true?

Grandparent alienation: What do grandparents do?

Are you suffering grandparent alienation? Perhaps in connection with estrangement from adult children or for some other reason? Some grandparents consider their options, and decide it’s in the best interests of their grandchildren not to pursue a legal remedy. Others choose to fight with all their might as well as rally for more awareness. Each situation is unique. I hope you’ll share your thoughts by leaving a comment in reply to this posting.

For more information on grandparent alienation:

Alienated Grandparents Anonymous, Inc.
Offers telephone support calls, news of legal efforts, and groups in 50 states and 22 countries.

Grandparents Rights Advocates National Delegation (GRAND USA)
Legislative news and resources and support in 50 states.

Alienated Grandparents Anonymous Canada
Regular meetings, resources and support.

Bristol Grandparents Support Group (UK)
Championing grandparents rights.

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10 thoughts on “Grandparent Alienation

  1. AvatarDeLynn S.

    It has been nearly two years since my daughter cut me off. Her husband (who is not the children’s father) came after me with a baseball bat when I tried to talk to her a few months after the estrangement. I was and am very worried about her because her behavior had become erratic, suicidal, and hostile. My three grandchildren, with whom I had a very close bond, have been kept from me. I don’t know where they are anymore, since they sold their house and moved away. So much more to say, but too emotionally grieved to articulate this searing pain.

    Reply
  2. AvatarSuzanne

    Well, we are estranged from our 2 sons going on a year now. We just had our 2nd grandchild which we will probably never see. I have read the book and done the work which helped greatly. It is our oldest who sends all the hateful texts on behalf of them and their wives. I finally got the courage to say please don’t contact me anymore. I will not be sending anything for Christmas not even a text
    I am glad our grandchildren are too young to remember us. Sad that this is what they have chosen but they are adults. Hardest part is that we gave them everything. Making sure they didn’t have debt when they started out etc. I feel like kids today don’t value family the same anymore. I still have alot of rough days but it’s easier to change my thinking. I wish them well, wish this never happened but know deep down I can forgive but not forget and I refuse to allow them back in to our lives for fear of them doing this to us again. Long road ahead but we deserve better than this.
    Thanks for listening!

    Reply
    1. rparentsrparents Post author

      Suzanne, Thank you for commenting. Much wisdom in your words … and kindness. I understand what you mean by saying you are glad the grandchildren are too young to remember you (a loving grandma’s ❤️). Hugs to you.
      Sheri McGregor

    2. AvatarDiana

      I can relate. I did everything for my daughter. I helped her with the down payment of her house, furniture, etc. I have a beautiful 4 year old granddaughter that is slowly forgetting me. I have a 1 year old grandson that I never held much less bonded with. Yesterday was my anniversary of estrangement. Yes, Christmas Day., My daughter is a cruel narcissist without a conscience. I attempted to take the grandchildren gifts yesterday but was ignored. My estrangement occurred when I stopped her and her husband from financially exploiting my autistic son which they did so for several years all because I wanted to give my son full Autonomy. They should be in jail for what they did but for the sake of my grandchildren I decided to not press charges. A catch 22. I am tired of dealing with this person that I thought would grow up to be a decent individual. I have read Done with Crying and it has been helpful., These are my only two grandchildren as it highly unlikely that my son will marry and have children. I imagine a life of becoming the grandmother that I once had but I see it won’t be possible. I have read that the best way to deal with a heartless narcissist is to go completely “no contact.” I pray that God grants me the grace of what lies ahead. They say the best revenge is to continue to succeed in life . I want to eat healthy and stay fit. Sometimes the best thing is to let go and let God deal with the situations that confront us and we have no power to change. All things work together for his good. Done with crying. I realize that all my love should be directed towards the son that needs me and loves me. Lady D

    3. AvatarLAURA V.

      Yes , The same here. Very very painful I am broken hearted horribly. Grandparents should get together and protest in order for the laws to be changed immediately! I am certainly interested, willing to do it! March in the streets peacefully and go in very large numbers to the Supreme Court and demand these horrible laws be terminated. Let me know if enough grandparents are interested, willing! Only if all come together can it be done!

  3. AvatarPam W.

    I can sympathize with all the parents who are in the same situation as I am. Fortunately, my daughter and her husband have set up a page on their phone where they can post pictures/videos of my two grandchildren for various members of their family which includes 4 grandparents, aunts and uncles. I will give them credit for that because that at least allows me to see updated pictures of my two precious ones and I love it. Periodically they will do Facetime with me and my husband which they did on/about Halloween and Thanksgiving. We haven’t been around our grandkids since about February due to COVID, so they already have pulled away from us, not much interested in talking to us on the phone or being excited to see us. We had established a fairly close relationship with the kids as they only live about a 3-hour drive from us but now the parents won’t let us come around at all, even with masks. The four of them have completely isolated themselves from the world as they’re afraid to get sick. Anyhow, not knowing when we’ll be able to see the kids anymore, I’ve started a spiral notebook on our relationship with each of the kids. If they never see us again (we’re in our 70s), when we pass away, maybe someone will hand these notebooks to the kids and they’ll know how much we loved them and see pictures of us with them. I still have little to no contact with my daughter. If I text her, it may take days, sometimes weeks, before she responds and then it’s usually just an emoji. I would like a conversation with her but she’s not much interested. When we Facetime, she’s very talkative though. She just doesn’t want me and my husband in their lives. If I send clothes for the kids, I may see them on them…or not. When I ask about them, I’m told she and her husband didn’t like the clothes so didn’t use them. What??? If I send a Valentine card for the kids, 2 months later in a photo I may still see it sitting on the counter unopened, not displayed so the kids can see it. The same with a birthday card I send to my daughter. She never acknowledges it and it appears still in the envelope on the kitchen counter. I’ve always thought I just need to stop sending her a birthday card then I talk myself out of it thinking what a bad mom I would be for not sending a card. This year, 2020, I will not send a card though. I’ll do as she does which is send a Happy Birthday text later at night, after the day is over. She has no care or concern for me and my feelings. I’m very sad but am trying to move on with my life. Sheri’s book has been so helpful and I would encourage everyone who hasn’t read it, to do so. I encourage all moms to pick themselves up and try to move forward. Decorate your house for the Christmas season, talk to friends on the phone about pleasant subjects, take lovely walks enjoying the changing of the colors outside and make friends with life. I try not to spend all of my time focusing on my grandchildren and what I no longer have. I like to think I have a lot of life left in me and I need to enjoy doing things nice for myself and others. Peace to all of us.

    Reply
  4. AvatarMarlis

    To Debbie
    All i can say to your story is how can people be so mean. What has happened
    To parent children relationship. When there are grand children involved
    It makes me so mad that there is this cruelty and thoughtlessness.
    With everything going on in this world at the moment, and the darkness of the season, it really takes some optimisme to get through this and keep all the negative thoughts away. I do not have it at present. But today i pulled myself together and collected a lot of hollies and ivies and made a beautiful (i think so anyway) wreath for my front door. Just making it made me feel better. Nature and a pet are so healing.
    Sending everybody love

    Reply
  5. Avatarfamilylove25

    It is the grandchildren who suffer the most especially when as the grandmother you are lied about. It is confusing and heartbreaking for the grandkids. My ex daughter in law is a pistol and she will do anything to allienate her children from me, the grandmother and their father (my son). This women has destroyed two of her four children’s lives and now she is working very hard at destroying the two younger children’s lives. I can handle my son and his attitude and I don’t give two hoots about the ex daughter in law but what do you do to help the kids? They are being influenced by their mother and are becoming rude, disrespectful, and unfortunately will loose out. This stuff will only cause their lives becoming harder when in fact we are suppose to be the guardians and the protectors of these kids. These children did not show this bad behavior in the past but I think they are learning it from the mother and her latest hook up. (that is a whole other story). It is hard to understand, painful to watch, and unbearable at times. I love my grandchildren and that is used against me. It isn’t bad enough that we have estrangement from our child but then we have to watch the kids be destroyed. I hear your pain grandparents and I pray for some kind of peace.

    Reply
  6. AvatarDonna

    I didn’t know anything like this existed. I had to do a really hard thing And try to protect my first born grandson From his Drug addicted alcoholic parents. Instead ,what I created Was hated for me, and now I can’t even check on my grandson .Who’s feeding him and changing his diaper now? Who’s playing with him and loving on him? I I’m absolutely devastated and horrified! My heart is absolutely broken ! The state of Iowa doesn’t have grandparents laws.! To make matters worse I have 3 grandsons that I don’t get to see by 3 different sons My youngest son is the one I just talked ,about. My middle son crashed his motorcycle a year ago And received a severe traumatic brain injury, And his girlfriend of 5 years left Him so he lives with me now. Shs keeps his 6 month old son’s visits to about 20 minutes a week. To make matters worse my oldest son Has a bipolar girlfriend diagnosed , we got in a stupid little argument when my son got hurt, totally nothing to hold a grudge this long for, Even my son says so he’s very frustrated too but I am banned from seeing that grandson he has to go with the flow he tells me. It is been my dream for quite a long time to be a grandma Now I have 3 grandsons I cannot even see my heart is broken!!

    Reply
    1. AvatarDebbie

      I can relate to how you feel. I have two grandsons from two different sons. We had an argument with my son’s wife and now she has cut off contact with us. She made our son choose between us and her. He chose her which I understand because of his son. Their son is only 18 months old and I only got to see him once when he was a month old. It was very uncomfortable and obvious she didn’t want me near her son.

      Then when my other son came home after being deployed, she convinced my son and his new fiance to turn against us too. This was really heartbreaking since he cut off all contact with us and stopped letting us see my 5 year old grandson. I was literally in the delivery room when he was born and have been a major part of his life.

      Thankfully, my grandson’s biological mom was letting me see my grandson on her time but it was hard on my grandson. His dad (my son) began mentally abusing him by telling him I didn’t love him or his dad, I was trying to buy his love, and it got worse and worse. I recently told his mom that I wouldn’t be seeing my grandson anymore in hopes that the mental abuse he was enduring would stop. It has been the most difficult decision I have ever made.

      The holidays are going to be extremely rough this year because I won’t be seeing my grandson at Christmas for the first time.

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