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Grandparents rights or lack of.

(28 Posts)
angiexx Sun 29-May-22 12:27:46

Hi, I’m new to this so please bare with me, long story short, my only grandchild was born 8 years ago, my daughter went back to work and I quit my job to look after my GD full time, 10 hours a day 5 days a week and of course the weekend babysitting duties. I loved it, my GD and I have a special bond… then my daughter married last year and since then has placed my GD in after school club and I literally have to beg to see my GD which is usually a NO as too busy, I live just around the corner from them… my heart is broke, when I do see my GD maybe for 5 minutes when I drop magazines or sweets for her she asks me why we can’t see other, she cries and that sets me off but I’ve no answers, my daughter sees this but it’s like she has a brick instead of a heart.. it’s all about her new husband and his family now. I’ve asked my daughter many times but she doesn't reply either. I sent her begging texts, angry ones and tearful ones but to no avail… I’ve written to her but nothing. I’m at a loss and can’t believe that grandparents have no rights at all. This isn’t right! Any advice would be grateful. Thanks

Elizabeth27 Sun 29-May-22 12:45:23

It is very sad for you but your granddaughter should not be seeing you crying. It is good for her to be at after-school club with her friends so she will not be suffering as much as you are, it is better for her if you do not make a fuss in front of her.

You have to stop asking in the hope that after a while your daughter will ask you. Only go to their house when invited.

Germanshepherdsmum Sun 29-May-22 12:46:20

It should be about the child, not the grandparent. At 8 years old she needs to socialise with her school friends and join in family activities.

VioletSky Sun 29-May-22 12:51:03

I am sorry to hear you are so upset.

You were a big part of your GD life, due to necessity of your daughter working.

Maybe your daughter felt that you were spending more time with her daughter than she was and that was not heathy for their relationship now she has a different family example in her life.

The best way to have a good relationship with your grandchild is to have a good relationship with your daughter.

Thinking you have a right to a child that is not yours may not be a good start there. Angry and begging texts will not help either.

Maybe if you are able to adjust back to a grandparent role rather than a role that has the equivalent rights as a parent in your mind or perhaps more rights than a parent if you would be happy to have your daughters right to parent as she sees fit taken from her, the situation will improve.

Hope things do improve for you.

Namsnanny Sun 29-May-22 12:51:17

I have no advice I'm afraid.
Been there got the tee shirt and I'm still confused and hurting (even after endless self analysis)
I'm doing my best to suck it up.
It could be about power and projection, maybe?
Were you wanting advice on your legal position?
There are threads under Estrangement which have info. Or someone will answer on that soon.
I just couldn't read and run
Good luck.

Daisymae Sun 29-May-22 13:10:47

I would suggest that you take a step back and try to repair the relationship with your daughter. At the end of the day the most important relationship is between your granddaughter and her mother. I would also suggest that you start to make a life that's mostly independent from your daughter, developing new friends and interests. You have done a lot for your family but it would seem that things have changed and relationships too.

Smileless2012 Sun 29-May-22 13:12:29

So sorry to read this angie. It's clear from your post that you simply want to continue the GP/GC relationship you've had with your GD for 8 years, and this has nothing to do with you wanting or expecting the equivalent of parental rights.

When it suited your D, you spent a great deal of time with your GD, providing free childcare and giving up work in order to facilitate your D's need to go back to work.

While I, as I'm sure you do too, understand that the family dynamic has changed now your D has remarried, and also the social benefits of your GD being in an after school club now she's older, living so close to your GD, a mere 5 minutes when you drop of treats does seem unreasonable, especially as your GD is very upset at not being able to see you anything like as often as she used too.

As you've posted, GP's don't have any rights but children do and those rights are enshrined in law in the Children Act. That said, very careful thought needs to be given here as you could be stopped from seeing her altogether.

I hope your D sees the unnecessary pain she's inflicting on her child and her mother, and has a change of heart flowers.

Hithere Sun 29-May-22 14:25:07

No, grandparents do not have rights.

Mentioning them to your daughter or engaging a lawyer will make things worse, please do not do that.

Let things cool down, as you have messaged her plenty.

Begging won't get you anywhere either.

Your bond with your gd changes with age - being the whole week + weekend as 3rd parents was not sustainable or healthy for her

paddyann54 Sun 29-May-22 14:51:48

Grandparents dont and shouldn't have rights .Its up to the parents who their children see and when.
You need to step back and let them settle into their new life and when she's ready/able to visit you by herself, she will.When she decides,giving your daughter grief isn't the way to go

Skydancer Sun 29-May-22 15:04:47

Everyone goes on about rights but the OP clearly loves her GD very much and has obviously put her heart and soul into looking after her. To have that snatched away is heartbreaking. I can totally empathise with this. I think she needs a gentle word with her DD to try to explain her feelings. Perhaps regular contact once or twice a week might suit everyone and also give the adults a break.

AGAA4 Sun 29-May-22 15:10:38

It is hard to let go when you have cared for your GD for so long but you have to for your own peace of mind.
I empathise as I looked after my two GCs until they were in their teens and no longer needed me.
Focus on your own life and staying in touch with your D as that relationship is important too. Respect her wishes for how your GD is cared for and just be happy to see her when you can.

AmberSpyglass Sun 29-May-22 15:31:17

This is obviously so sad, but you were never going to have that relationship with your GD permanently, and this is just happening maybe sooner than you’d expected. I do think it’s poor form for your daughter to drop you completely (unless the 5 mins every so often is an exaggeration), but honestly I don’t think that pestering your daughter, which is how she’ll be seeing it, is very helpful, especially as she’s had a lot of changes in her life that she has to adjust to. It’s rotten, but you are the lowest priority here because you have to be - it’s about the child and her immediate family life right now.

Germanshepherdsmum Sun 29-May-22 17:10:05

I didn't think the day would come, but Amberspyglass I totally agree. The angry/begging texts could lead to estrangement, which is the last thing you want.

AGA, my parents also cared for my son whilst I was at work, until he went to secondary school and I remarried. He still spent school holidays with them until they died when he was 15 but I realise the sudden break must have been very difficult for them. However, I didn't have this sort of treatment from them. The were generous and understanding people.

Smileless2012 Sun 29-May-22 19:59:54

You say your son "still spent school holidays" with your parents until they died when he was 15 GSM. The OP gets 5 minutes and only when she's dropping off treats for her GD, so there's no comparison IMO.

The OP is clearly very upset about this situation, as is her GD. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "I didn't have this sort of treatment from them. They were generous and understanding people". IMO the OP is and clearly has been extremely generous, and if there is any lack of understanding for the virtual loss of meaningful time and contact with her GD, I can understand why.

Allsorts Sun 29-May-22 20:14:00

Angie. I know it’s awful for you, try if you can to really step back. As you see by several of the responses on here, some people thinks it’s acceptable to dump people when of no further use, even their own mother.. This doesn’t mean it’s right, quite the opposite, but if you are dealing with a person like that, you have to step back because you wonder where their heart is, you can’t reason with them . Look after yourself, keep busy, join things, come on here, most of us are very supportive as we know how you feel. I do hope things improve for you.

VioletSky Sun 29-May-22 20:32:08

Allsorts that's actually a very unkind personal comment to make about others giving advice on this thread.

You can't possibly say that "As you see by some of the responses on here, some people think its acceptable to dump people when of no further use, even a parent" is true about anyone commenting.

Obviously I know you don't mean me as I have explained to you several times my mother was abusive. Who are you talking about because that seems a difficult jump to a conclusion about other forum members?

ElaineI Sun 29-May-22 21:00:10

If your granddaughter is 8 then she will be starting to develop her own life and friendships so it could be partly that. My DGS1 is 8 and he is now out playing football with his nearby friends much of the time and if not he is at football training several times a week and at least one match at the weekend. His sister (5) also does dancing and gymnastic classes and she is pushing to see friends though they are supervised. These things become complex as they get older. I pick up DGS1 and DGD from school and nursery on a Wednesday and take them to their swimming lessons in a different town. Then we have to rush back as he has football training with barely time to eat his tea (eats a snack in my car). Mum or Dad take him to the training while I supervise DGD's shower and dry her hair, then Mummy does the story and bed. Maybe your DD would appreciate some help e.g taking her to classes, paying for classes if they are short of money?

M0nica Mon 30-May-22 14:15:53

I am totally opposed to grandparents rights. Our children are our children. How would OP have felt if her parents had behaved as she has?

I do have every sympathy for her plight and can understand how upset she feels.

My feeling is that nowadays too many grandparents get far too emotionally involved with their AC's lives. Constantly ringing them, thanks to mobile phones or, thanks to cars, constantly arriving on AC's doorsteps, and almost assume that they are virtually 3rd parents to their grandchildren. I

In the past if AC's moved to the otherside of town, grandparents visiting meant a 30 minute walk or two bus journeys, telephoning meant walking to the phone box with a handfall of small change, so apron strings physical and metaphorical got cut quite firmly when people married. Older women developed new lives which included children and grandchildren, but also included, friends, the church, WI etc.

If OP could just stop crying, especially with the child, take a break, apologise to her daughter for her behaviour and ask in an adult way whether they could negotiate for the grandmother see her DGD, perhaps once a week for an hour or so., she is more likely to be successful than behaving as she is.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 30-May-22 14:37:56

👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 MOnica.

Hithere Mon 30-May-22 14:51:31

To add that health, quality of life and longevity has improved severely in the last decades

Smileless2012 Mon 30-May-22 14:59:06

Perhaps parents should consider the inevitability of GP's becoming emotionally involved with their GC, when they are looking after them for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, plus weekend baby sitting when it suits them M0nica.

Having spent so much time with her GD for what must have been about 7 years, I'm sure the OP did feel like a third parent
and was regarded as such by her GD. The OP must have been spending more time with the child than her own mother.

That is not a criticism of the mother, but something that she appears not to have taken into consideration when virtually stopping all contact, with them only now seeing one another for a mere 5 minutes a week.

My feeling FWIW is that nowadays too many GP's are taken for granted and used for free childcare when it suits, and then kicked to the kerb when no longer required.

I agree that the OP should think about apologising for the begging, tearful and angry texts she's sent. I also think her D should apologise to her mother and her D for the obvious pain caused by them hardly being able to see one another.

It's not just the OP who needs to consider her behaviour, her D needs to do so as well.

Hithere Mon 30-May-22 15:14:40

It was clearly an unhealthy arrangement that shouldn't have been made - OP saw the child more than the own child's mother

The obvious weekend babysitting - why is it obvious?

Just because a bad decision was taken, it doesn't mean it has to continue

A person who quits of the gc is already a red flag - 50+ hours a week, it is neon red now and asking for GPR confirms OP needs to find herself as her own person, independently from her gd.

OP is obsessed with her gd and it is not healthy for anybody

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 30-May-22 15:31:52

My parents looked after my son while I was at work, for which I was very grateful and he was very close to them. Not an unhealthy arrangement, but though they loved him dearly they didn’t have the obsession that OP seems to have developed. He was always my child even though when he was small they obviously saw more of him.

AGAA4 Mon 30-May-22 15:46:14

I was close to my GS and GD when I looked after them for many years but I knew there would come a time when they would not need me.
I am grateful for the time I had with them and happy to see the confident people they have become.
If you are a carer for your GCs you have to be aware that they will move on sooner or later.

Smileless2012 Mon 30-May-22 15:57:38

Who said anything about the obvious baby sitting Hithere?

Just because a bad decision was taken, it doesn't mean it has to continue agreed and it doesn't mean it has to be handled badly when it comes to an end.

I don't agree that the OP's obsessed with her GD, she misses her, she's upset she sees so little of her. Her GD misses her GM and is upset that she sees so little of her GM.

The OP's D on the other hand is either oblivious to this or simply doesn't care. Either way, as it is she who is in control, it's up to her to find a better way of handling the situation.

TBF GSM the OP isn't saying that she sees her GD as her child, that seems to have been suggested by some of the responses and you posted earlier that your son continued to spend holidays with his GP's until they died when he was 15.

The OP's GD is 8 and only sees the GM she's used to spending a lot of time with for about 5 minutes a week.