Gransnet forums


Invisible grandparents

(10 Posts)
Maniac Thu 02-Jan-14 10:46:50

I’ve found a website for grandparents separated from children/grandchildren by distance or family conflict.
The author - an American grandmother from California - suggests a really positive way of dealing with our grief,anger and depression.- ‘ Leaving a legacy of values and memories to those who mean most to you’.
I don’t do New year resolutions but intend to try this

dollie Thu 02-Jan-14 11:05:35

interesting reading but has anyone thought about what effect this is going to have on the grandchildren when they are older ...i would have thought it really traumatic for an older grandchild to read letters from an invisible grandparent when all their life theyve been brought up to believe that their grandparents were never interested in them whilst they were growing up...

Granny23 Thu 02-Jan-14 13:19:57

I have spent far too long this morning reading this woman's website. Whilst I have nothing against the idea of writing letters to 'absent' DGC I think the letters should confine themselves to memories and family histories, big events etc. Like Dollie I am concerned that such letters might leave a burden of undeserved guilt on the DGC if they read them in the future and realise how much angst has been caused to the 'invisible' GP.

I admit that my thinking has been heavily coloured by the distaste I felt for the author engendered by her self centred, me, me, me viewpoint. It seems to me that both her DGC are happily living in loving, stable families and are well shot of the disfunctional family of their natural father. The Invisible Grandmother, who was content to be a part-time mother, seems to want to be a 'hands-off' GP with occasional visiting rights, so that she can pass on her 'family values' to her genetic offspring. No thought is given to the welfare and emotional stability of the children.

I sometimes follow the threads on Gransnet for Grans who have been cruelly parted from much loved DGC but not being in that particular boat myself refrain from commenting. However, I don't think any of our grans have anything to learn from this invisiblegran website - far more support, ideas and comfort here on Gransnet. flowers

posie Thu 02-Jan-14 13:20:12

But wouldn't it help for them to know that they were loved and that maybe it was just through a difference of opinion or whatever between the adults that contact was denied.
Rather than the children wondering if they themselves were unlovable?

dollie Thu 02-Jan-14 13:58:47

no i dont think it would help the grandchildren at all its going to cause all sorts of repuccusions where the grandchildren will fall out with their own parents because they stopped all contact with said grandparents and the circle continues!!!!

its a pity that parents dont think of their children when they fall out with their parents after all its the poor grandchildren who are going to suffer mostly!!

Flowerofthewest Thu 02-Jan-14 23:27:07

Two of my DGC have been denied any contact with my DS family. It is so sad - I do send cards on birthdays and Christmas but get no response. My DS used to write every week and has done for the past 4 years but it is hard to write about things when there is no feedback. It is the mother who has alienated the children from our family. My son fought for 3 years through the courts but the children became so distressed that he has given up fighting for them. It is for their sakes, not his. These mothers surely know the damage they are doing to their children.

I think it is ok to write the occasional letters about general going's on in the family but not to make them too 'mushy' My two get a letter from me once or twice a year with no recriminations and no 'running down' their mother. She will surely get her comeuppance one day.

We haven't seen them since they were almost 5 and 10. My mother -their great grandmother who they adored - will be gone if we ever see them again. They are now 10 and 15.

rosesarered Sat 18-Jan-14 11:32:31

Agree completely with granny23 nothing else to add.

Elegran Sat 18-Jan-14 11:43:31

If they are happy and well looked after in their immediate families, then what is to gain for the children in burdening them with guilt in the future for not noticing that their grandparents were so miserable, and doing nothing about it?

By all means write chatty letters to them about stories of the parents' past, other family history, the effect on their grandparents of local, national and global events, word pictures of life in the neighbourhood, and so on, but it is not fair to put emotional pleas for access into the letters. That is for the writer, not for the future reader.

There is no need to draw the child into a family feud and "visit the sins of the fathers upon the children, to the third and fourth generation".

Iam64 Sat 18-Jan-14 17:54:58

Thanks to Granny23 and Elegran for their posts, especially the thoughts about the need not to "visit the sins of the fathers upon the children, to the third and fourth generation", though I'd change the word "father" to something like 'family members' as it isn't of course, only the fathers.

tatters14 Sat 25-Jan-14 16:27:38

l think this is a good idea if the children have been part of your life for many years and then taken away by their parent .and your suddenly banned from seeing them .its a great hurt for young children to bare . as well as yourself and something like this .would let them know they were not forgotten were loved and missed ..and i am sure a great help to grand parents too