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Stopped from seeing grandchildren

(22 Posts)
gilf2019 Mon 10-Jun-19 14:25:36

After trying my best over three years to look after my grand-daughter whilst suffering from chronic depression and anxiety (which my daughter knew about), I suggested that my daughter find a nice playgroup so that she could learn to socialise, as it was evident she didn't get on with other children. To be honest I was really too unwell to keep being a childminder and like many found it exhausting, although obviously got very close to my grand-daughter and she to me. My daughter's attitude was to ask me for the 'key' back and to stop me seeing her! There were other issues but I have to say I am horrified what a heartless uncaring person my own daughter has turned out to be. She has now caused so much trouble in the family that I don't see any of my three children or four grand-children! I am, of course, heartbroken, and my depression persists but I do not have the emotional resources to deal with the harsh attitudes towards me that my children have developed.
I feel like I have 'failed' as a parent, despite bringing up my children myself and not seeking work until the youngest had reached secondary school. Not sure what I did wrong but I now wonder why I ever had children at all.
Grand-parents have no rights to their grandchildren and despite many attempts at trying to see my grand-daughter by offering ballet lessons and so on I have had to stop having my feelings hurt and have for the last three years not seen my grand children at all!

Farmor15 Mon 10-Jun-19 18:28:25

Sorry no-one has replied yet. I'm afraid I can't offer any advice, but there are so many grandparents here in a similar situation to you that there is a section of forum titled "Estrangement" where there are a number of threads for posters to share experiences.

agnurse Mon 10-Jun-19 19:26:35

I think you may have overstepped. It's one thing to say you can't mind her child anymore. It's quite another to say "your child has a problem so you need to do x".

That's criticizing her parenting and her child.

I suggest you take a step back. Do not chase her - this will likely make it worse. Give her time. If you must do something, consider sending one note, apologizing for being out of line and indicating that your door is always open. Do not talk about missing your grandson or apologize "that she feels that way".

TwoSlicesOfCake Tue 11-Jun-19 15:42:52

Agnurse is right on the money.
Give it time.
You were put in a parental role of her children and then you made a parental judgment, which she took personally.
That’s a tough position.
Jus give them all space.
But when you do apologize make sure you apologize for your mistake. Passing judgement on someone else is never ok, and risky when it’s someone else’s child.
In the meantime take care of yourself. Find things that make you happy. Build a fulfilling life of your own that has nothing to do with your children and their children.
Take the money you offered to spend on ballet lessons and spoil yourself a bit.

Starlady Wed 12-Jun-19 12:03:47

My heart goes out to you, gilf! The two PPs (previous posters) have made some good points, but I'm not sure why the issue spread to your other AC and GC. I hope you just focus on yourself for now and let time heal the wounds. Hugs!

Smileless2012 Thu 13-Jun-19 16:31:56

It is of course understandable that your D was angry and upset at what she considered to be your criticism of your GD. However, an observation that your GD doesn't get on with other children and may benefit from learning to socialise in a playgroup setting, could just as easily been regarded as such, rather than a critique of your GD and your D's parenting skills.

It would very much depend on what and how this was relayed.

Could it also be that your D was annoyed that you were no longer able and willing to provide the care you had given for the last 3 years and she was faced with the expense of sending your GD.

Having read that you have had no contact with any of your GC for 3 years, which appears to have been initiated by the issue you have explained, I'm sorry to say that IMO the incident you've referred too may well have been the 'reason' your D was waiting for to sever contact.

I wonder if other posters missed the fact mentioned at the end of your OP that this has resulted in no contact with any GC for 3 years. TBH, I missed that initially and began my response as if this were a recent event.

With your efforts over the last 3 years to see your GC being thwarted, perhaps now is the time to let it go and take the advice offered by TwoSlicesOfCake.

Being estranged myself from our only GC for more than 6 years, I do understand what you are and have been going through but we only get one shot of life on this planet.

Make the most of yours, fill it with the people you love who love you in return. Spend time with those who want to spend their time with you and don't waste your time on those who don't want to see you.

Your GD may well have good memories of those 3 years she was cared for by you and when she's old enough, may contact you because of those memories.

Smileless2012 Thu 13-Jun-19 16:33:17

Sorry, that should have read 'the expense of sending your GD to a playgroup.

Sara65 Thu 13-Jun-19 16:54:41

I can’t see a problem, if your daughter took offence at that comment , she must be hyper sensitive

Are we at a point now, when we can’t make a suggestion, in the best interest of the child, without causing a major family rift?

agnurse Thu 13-Jun-19 18:03:47


If I said to you, "Your child isn't nice to other children, she needs to go to a playgroup so she can learn to behave", would you be okay with that statement?

There is a substantial amount of connotation that can occur depending on how things are worded. Telling a parent that there is a problem with their children and they must pursue a specific solution goes well beyond accepted boundaries. It's often interpreted as "Your child has a problem, you need to do this or else it will continue to be a problem".

It's none of OP's business how her daughter chooses to parent her child, as long as the child is not being abused (and there is no evidence put forward that that is the case). She tried to usurp the parental role. That's not okay. It's one thing to say "I won't be able to provide childcare anymore". It's quite another to say "I won't be able to provide childcare and your daughter isn't nice so you need to send her to a playgroup".

There are reasons that people in various professions are taught to ask questions and to say things a certain way. A better option might have been for her to say, "I notice that DGD sometimes hits/yells at other children/takes their toys/whatever." That's it. Then, if the parent asks for advice, the OP can say, "One thing you might consider is to get her involved with a playgroup. Is that something you've thought about?" Unsolicited advice is not okay. Is it acceptable for someone to walk up to another person in public and say, "I'm a doctor and you need to put that chocolate down and start exercising because you're overweight?" No? Then it's not okay for a grandparent to do it just because they have more experience.

agnurse Thu 13-Jun-19 18:04:58

Given that the OP has identified that all of her children don't want anything to do with her, I have to question whether this one child is, in fact, the problem.

I tend to look at patterns. One person not wanting contact is one thing. Everyone not wanting contact tends to suggest that the common denominator might be the reason.

Sara65 Thu 13-Jun-19 18:52:45


I can’t find anywhere, where she suggested the child wasn’t nice to other children, just that the child doesn’t get on very well with other children, I can’t see where she told her daughter the child needs to learn to behave.

We obviously only know one side of the story, and we don’t know how it was said, but from what I’m reading, it’s a massive over reaction

Sara65 Thu 13-Jun-19 18:56:45


To be honest, I missed the three year thing till I reread it

agnurse Thu 13-Jun-19 19:16:43

"I suggested my daughter find a nice playgroup so she could learn to socialize, as it was evident she didn't get on with other children."

Quote from the OP

Sara65 Thu 13-Jun-19 19:22:41

That doesn’t mean she isn’t nice! It may just mean she’s shy!

agnurse Thu 13-Jun-19 22:43:54

That is a fair point. But it is still a criticism of the child and it is not appropriate.

OP is not a parent. She doesn't get to make parenting decisions or offer unsolicited advice. All she needed to say was, "I won't be able to do childcare anymore." Period. Anything else is overstepping.

Chewbacca Thu 13-Jun-19 22:47:13

<eye roll emoji needed> again

crazyH Thu 13-Jun-19 22:55:57

I missed the 3 year thing as well. Are these GC by another child or the same daughter?

agnurse Fri 14-Jun-19 01:02:21

She says that none of her three children will have anything to do with her.

To me, that's very telling.

Namsnanny Fri 14-Jun-19 01:29:08


Sara65 Fri 14-Jun-19 06:24:18

So agnurse, if a grandparent sees a situation developing, which could be helped by a few well chosen wise words, in your opinion they should hold their tongues, for fear of overstepping

agnurse Fri 14-Jun-19 12:36:54

You have to keep in mind that unless they are abusive, a parent has a right to parent as they see fit.

If something MUST be said, all that should be said is, "I notice X." Giving unsolicited advice is not acceptable. How would you feel if someone came up to you and said, "Your child certainly has a problem. You need to get them some help."

Being a GP does not give you the right to criticize someone's parenting or tell them what they must do for their child.

Again, I find it quite telling that none of the OP's children will have anything to do with her.

Starlady Sat 15-Jun-19 00:45:54

Rereading this... D's reaction did seem rather dramatic if it was just about the OP not being able to childmind anymore. I suspect it was, in fact, b/c she was offended by the comment about her child. While it may not have been meant as a criticism of the little girl, I imagine D took it that way (just speculation, of course). I wish the OP had just admitted it was getting too difficult for her to childmind, as D may have been more understanding about/accepting of that. But that can't be changed now, of course. I also wish D had thought it over and softened, especially given her mum's condition. But, sadly, that didn't happen.

Regardless, it seems to me this whole thing spiraled out of control....

"She has now caused so much trouble in the family that I don't see any of my three children or four grand-children!"

No doubt, it's hard to explain everything in one post. IDK what "She has now caused so much trouble" means. Did she set out to convince the other AC to side w/ her against the OP? Did the other AC try to intercede for the OP, only to have the angry D turn them against her (the OP)? If you feel up to it, gilf, can you explain this further?

I''m not clear, either, on why this has gone on for three years (I suppose I don't have to be). Smileless may be right and D may have been looking for an excuse to go NC (no contact) though I can't imagine why. Or it could be that this was a last straw situation. But since the other AC became involved, I suspect that there was a lot of arguing, back and forth, and that many things were said (on all sides) that shouldn't be, leaving a lot of hurt feelings, etc. As things went along, I imagine, that it all got a lot more complex than just about that one comment. But again, that's just speculation.

"I have had to stop having my feelings hurt and have for the last three years not seen my grand children at all!"

This is so sad. But I don't blame you for backing off, gilf. If you asked posters here, many of us would have advised you to do just that., as some have now. I know 3 years must seem like "forever" to you. But w/ all the people - and feelings - involved, I'm afraid it may take longer before any of them is ready to reach out to you again. Chances are, at least one of them will though, or maybe one of the grands when they are old enough to do so on their own. If your AC reach out, I agree w/ TwoSlices idea about an apology. Until then, I hope you seek some counseling for yourself and continue to talk w/ us. Hugs!