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rebi

alienated grandparents

98 posts in this topic

started new blog and incorrectly wrote the url: www.alienatedgrandparents.blogspot.com

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I read what's on your site. It duplicates many things that have been said here many times. Have you read through all that's here? I appreciate that you've set up the site for people who might not have someone to share their thoughts with. For me though, there's only so much time in one day and repeating myself makes me sleepy! :D

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Should decent grandparents be allowed to have a relationship? Of course. Should this be mandated by law, or open to legal recourse? No, no, no, a thousand times no. By putting this into legislation, you are making the government the ultimate authority on non-abusive family relationships and taking away parents rights, which breaks down the basic family unit and will destroy lives. Parents must be allowed to retain the right to decide who their children associate with - the unfortunate side effect is that perfectly lovely grandparents may be unfairly treated, but the unintended and far-reaching consequences of grandparents rights would be catastrophic to the family structure, and place a disturbing level of control into the hands of the government.

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Firefly, I totally agree. And I have NEVER even thought about cutting off my kids from their grandparents. There is no way to fairly legislate such a thing. Unfortunately for decent GPs who have bratty adult kids and spouses, it hurts them the most. I would resent if the govt told me that I HAD to turn over MY kids to someone I don't trust or who has been a toxic force in my life.

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While I agree with the two of you, I also disagree. Surely decent parents have the right to say who sees or doesn't see their children, and those who see their children must be decent as well. However, consider this before you stick to one side of the coin. You know my story. Where I live there are grandparents' rights laws. My husband and I filed for grandparent rights as part of an attempt with our son to get his ex-wife to bring his daughter back to our state after she disappeared with her and 3 other children. By his filing and our filing (mostly his), and the court making a decision, the police got involved and she did bring the children back, even though she tried to disappear and NOT bring them back. The lawyer said we needed to do a show of force, so we did it. If we had done nothing, she would have gotten away with disappearing. slimepig is not a decent person. Grandparents' rights laws are there to protect decent grandparents. They don't operate when the grandparents aren't decent. The court decides what happens and listens to both sides. Just because someone files doesn't mean they get rights. Maybe "rights" is the wrong word for this. I know my granddaughter and her siblings have the right to see their fathers' sides of the family. To keep them away from their fathers and their fathers' families was not right. The law had to get involved in order for slimepig to do the right thing. The law continues to have to be involved at each and every visit time, to make sure she does the right thing. Without law and government being involved in my situation, my son and the rest of his family would have never seen my granddaughter again. So, when you say you never believe in grandparents' rights of the government getting involved, consider my story.

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The website I added below explains GP's "Rights" very cleary - I think it might be written from a parents POV. Although I think the following paragraph sums it up nicely, IMO. I think that *some* GP's tend to *abuse* the GP's "Rights" law and it's TRUE meaning. **What Grandparents Rights are Not** Many make the grave mistake that grandparents rights somehow grant the grandmother or grandfather the right to take over custody of a child, the right to visitation with the child, or the right to intervene in the child's life simply because the grandparent disagrees with the parents' choices. This certainly isn't, and never was the case. The parents of a child will and should always have the final say in what happen with their child; it is the parents' constitutional right (and remember, grandparents have no constitutional rights to their grandchildren). A grandparent cannot sue for custody just because their child passes away and the grandparent disagrees with the surviving parent's choices; a grandparent cannot force visitation with their grandchild simply because they don't feel the parents are giving them enough time with their grandchild. If you believe that you can enforce grandparents rights under these circumstances, you are very wrong. You are not an authority over your grandchild's parents, and you will not be treated as such. Cookie - I think your situation (or situations similar to yours) are different, honestly your exDIL makes me sick. I also think that when one/both parent screws up (drugs, jail, abuse (any form) CPS etc) or one/both parents are dead then Yes GP's should have some sort of limited "rights" to the GK's. Over all add me (and my husband, and BIL/SIL) to the list of parents who think JUST the parent should have any/all "rights" to our kids. Except in EXTREME situations like I said above.

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Right on Firefly. There is always an exception to the rule.

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I am not sure I agree wholeheartedly with firefly. In my situation, I have had a ongoing discussion with my adult son and DIL about there lack of organization and cleanliness in their household. It begain before my first grandchild was born almost 6 years ago. My husband and I sat down and discussed what, if anything, we could do to help them get organized so when they had the baby, it would be much easier to find things, etc. They said that they weren't interested in changing. Over the years, I've offered to pay for cleaning help, organizational help (my DIL is almost a hoarder) and for me to help going through piles of trash and clothes all over the home. No interest on changing their ways. My son was a stay at home dad then and DIL worked outside of home. Fast forward 4 years....DIL had another baby, they moved from NY to CA (3000 miles away from me), DIL now stays home but place is unbelievable. In Feb. we visited them in CA. I promised myself and others to be seen and not heard. I did a good job while there, but it was extremely difficult because my grandson is almost 6 and becoming aware of differences between a neat and clean room and their living quarters. He remarked about the "beautiful" motel room we were staying in. While we were there in Feb., I learned that my granddaughter, aged 9 mos old had thrush. She was very uncomfortable and barely ate (DIL was nursing her). DIL refused medication from dr. and decided to do homeopathic treatment in unsterile conditions. I said nothing, but prayed a lot. Ten days after we came home, I got a call from my son who said my granddaughter was very ill in the hospital with Coxsackie disease. He told me she wasn't moving and her eyes were rolling up in her head. I was frantic, crying and not knowing what to do. My husband had been laid off and I am now the sole bread winner so flying out to CA so soon after we'd been there was not an option. I ran to computer as I never heard of Coxsackie disease. I was shocked when I read that it was due to poor hygiene. Later that day when my son told me that she didn't have that disease, but she had Kawasaki disease, I told him that he needed to change his lifestyle and he hung up on me. I was so distraught and angry that I wrote him an email telling him and he and my DIL needed to get off their butts and have a clean and healthy home for my grandkids. I said other things too that I won't describe here but in my mind were warranted. I know it was bad timing on my part to say these things about their lifestyle, but I was so upset that I let my feelings get the best of me. I haven't heard anything from them since except one email he sent shortly after he got mine that said, "cancel your trip. you are no longer welcome in our home." I have tickets to go out Memorial day. I consulted with Dr. Joshua Coleman (author of When Parents Hurt) and he told me to write a brief apology letter (which he read and approved of) and I emailed it to my son and DIL. It said that I was sorry for what I said (not really) and that I am sorry I hurt them. I told them that my grandchildren meant everything to me and I wanted their forgiveness. My son called my husband and said he wants nothing to do with me. I sent my DIL lovely gold earrings, things for kids for Easter and a gift card for their April 10 anniversary and heard nothing. Today my son called and spoke to my husband and said that they received everything. I don't believe that my husband is speaking to my son correctly in regards to his estrangement from me. My son is not even allowing my grandson to speak to us on the phone. I know that they don't have to forgive me, but I really am a loving, caring person and grandparent. I love my grandkids more than anything and just want them to be happy and healthy. I am not a clean freak or ocd, but their home is really unbelievable. I know I spoke out of turn and particularly at the wrong time. I am just freaked that they may never forgive me and allow me to see my grandkids. I have a M.S. in counseling so I am not a complete idiot. I know I did wrong, but have been a great mom to my son for over 40 years so doesn't that count for anything. I promised in my letter never to mention the subject again and that I intend to do. Any suggestions or thoughts would be welcome. Should I write another apology letter, send flowers to my DIL asking for forgiveness, etc? I really think I deserve to see and spend time with my grandkids.

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While I agree that a clean home IS essential for kids HOWEVER you over stepped your boundaries in a HUGE WAY - several times. You do owe your DIL and Son and apology a SINCERE one that you *actually* mean. Not just a "I'm sorry for whatever I did, now let me see my GK's because I'm the Grandma". They know you are not sorry - trust me they can see thru your fake apology. Try offereing up a sincere, heartfelt apology from YOU (not some Dr/psychologist or whoever) and leave the ball in their court. Hopefully they will accept your apology, one day.

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The following is a POLITICAL opinion: The only thing that bothers me about "Grandparent Rights" across the board is that the US's Supreme Court has held that the right of parents to raise their children free from unreasonable state interferences is one of the unwritten "liberties" protected by the due-process clause of the 14th amendment. I do fear that the more that our CONSTITUTIONAL rights (not moral) are challenged, the closer we come to a "nanny state".

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Right, wrong, or indifferent - it is the right of an intact family (meaning - a married husband and wife) to decide who is fit to be around their children. If they decide you are not fit, that is their right and NO COURT should strip the parents of this right. And, to clarify, what I mean by right, wrong, or indifferent is this - the parents decision might be the right decision, it might be the wrong decision, or it just might be what they want and not really a right or wrong decision. It doesn't matter. It is their decision to make. Unfortunately, there are many *bad* GP out there who have abused the GP "rights" laws so that most cases are thrown out of court now. There are cases where GP should have the ability to get visitation, but they are few and far between. For our state, approximately 85% of GP "rights" cases are from entitled GP trying to "force" their agenda (according to our attorney when Monster tried this route).

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Cookie - I see your case as being SO much different than most. You were in fact working together with the father of the grandchild in a united effort instead of against both parents. It's more of you helping your son to enforce his parental decision/rights and less of you trying to impose yourself against the wishes of the mother and father. And of course because you are awesome.

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^^^ And NOT saying that the origional poster nor any of the grandparents here are imposing themselves unfairly in a moral/ethical way. etcetera and so forth and apologies and curtsies and back to my hole now...

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There needs to be meeting places for families, Family Centres, with a fenced in playground, kitchen area, activities set yp between kids, parents & Grandparents, free family counselling at Family centres. The more rights stable Seperated Parents have with there children, the more rights stable Grand-Parents will have seeing there Grand-Children, with Seperated Parents given rights to see there children, Grand-Parents-Both Paternal & Maternal can see the Grand-Children on visitation terms of the Seperated Parents as in the Seperated parents can take there children to see there Parents-The Grand-Parents during the times the child is with there Seperated Parent during the given custody times.

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So - the way ***I*** read your story. Your son and DIL got married. YOU never liked how they kept their house. YOU nagged them frequently that the house wasn't up to YOUR standards. YOU offered a cleaning service. YOU offered to go through their stuff. YOU - when their child was in the hospital - again nagged them about YOUR issue. How they live isn't about YOU. Right now, it is going to take time - for them. Why would they invite or welcome you for a visit when you have essentially done nothing but nag them since the time they were married about the condition of their home? The key to a relationship with your grandchildren is to have a relationship with their parents.

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It's apparent to me that the OP knows what she did in this situation. There's really no need to tell her what she did. She asked for help to resolve it, not more blame, since she feels enough already.

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One thing about SAHD, is they're not always the best housekeepers! Multitasking is usually not a guy's forte. Thank God you don't come here during the week, LOL. DH does his best managing three kids and the housekeeping, but it's clutter city. If I cared about clutter, some dirt, and hoarding, my kids would have never gone to my MIL's. Thank God it didn't seem to bother her either. All of that in mind, when things do turn around (they will take some time, but I believe they will), always remember to pick your battles. DH and I do things (very) differently sometimes with the kids, and he is usually the one to be a little more critical (DH likes things done his way or the highway, although he's getting better). I end up reminding him that I love our children just as much as he does, and would never do a thing to hurt them. I give you a tremendous amount of credit for trying your best to make amends. Even if you may not have felt it in your heart, I strongly believe that sometimes you have to "fake it till you make it". If I waited every time until my heart motive was totally pure, I'd never get a thing done. I'd veture to say that the same is true with everyone else. I wish you the best in this situation, but I don't think you need to do anything else at this point. Hopefully it won't go so long, but carry on with birthdays and holidays as you would have otherwise. You have apologized, and nothing further needs to happen at this point. If they are emotionally healthy and reasonable, they'll probably move beyond what happened once the pain isn't so raw.

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OP- I'm glad that you understand why they're upset with you. I think you need to keep apologizing and if they do let you back in, you need to find a way to not let the condition of their home even enter your thoughts. I have a friend who has a child the same age as my son. We get together a few times a year. I love this friend and I think she is a great mother in so many ways. However, her house is a disaster. The few times I've gone over there, I have not wanted to eat anything and I always want to give my son a bath when we get home. It is cluttered and very very dirty. I know she cleans up a bit before we come but there are areas that look as if they haven't been cleaned in years. They have dogs which only adds to the mess. They have whole rooms blocked off because they are too full of storage items. I can see the sun porch- which is one of these rooms- and it is scary. They also eat fast food constantly and feed it to their 2 year old. The 2 year old is growing and is happy and well-adjusted. She is loved and cared for. Because I love my friend, I just accept this about her. I do not agree with raising a child in filth or feeding them McDonald's several times a week but she is not my child. I simply divorce myself from my concerns and look at the positive ways they are parenting their daughter. She is not the first child to grow up with a less than perfect diet or to grow up in a mess. If CPS would not remove your grandchildren over this, you need to find a way to ignore it. You really do. For some people, cleaning is not a priority. I read about a documentary where a couple raised their 6 or 7 children in a bus at the beach. People choose all kinds of lifestyles that are nothing like what we would choose for ourselves. It doesn't mean we should instruct them on proper ways to live. I know you know this. Now you just have to sincerely apologize. I am sure there is something about your actions that you genuinely regret. Start your apology from there. Then do whatever you have to do to keep quiet about their home. Vent to your husband in the privacy of your own home, talk to a therapist, read about alternative lifestyles that would upset you even more than a messy house. Whatever it takes. It's not your place to tell them how to live. Give them time to let those hurt feelings fade and then approach them with your new attitude. Good luck.

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The thing that is missing in this discussion on grandparents' rights is that the issue really is grandchidren's rights. GPs want to be with the grands not because it is their right, but because the grands need the grandparents to enrich THEIR lives. This is not about gps. it is about grands. The thing about criticizing people is that they can not then come to you for help because there will be an 'i told you so' in your help, even it it is unstated, they will feel it. People who criticize, and I have done it too, so I'm not casting blame here, make it impossible for others to come to them for advice. When the son called from the hospital to say the child was ill with a disease from poor hygiene, might he have been asking for help and support to change? What an opportunity ...

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I took the liberty of looking up kawasaki disease and it is not due to poor hygiene. Matter of fact, they don't even know the real cause. To me, what you did was wrong. I think you owe them a sincere apology. Sincere. You shouldn't have talked to them like that whe they were so worried about that child. You mentioned everything that was wrong with the child including eyes rolling in the back of the head. Sounds kinda scary to me. How would you feel if you were that scared and you called your mom to tell her what was going on and all she could say is you need to get off your butts and clean your house? I'm pretty sure thats a scary situsation to be in and your criticism didn't help. I would apologize again, but I would make it a sincere one, because trust me, they can see through the fake one. Causes Like all autoimmune diseases, the cause of Kawasaki disease is presumably the interaction of genetic and environmental factors, possibly including an infection. The specific cause is unknown,[27][28][29] but current theories center primarily on immunological causes for the disease. Evidence increasingly points to an infectious etiology,[30] but debate continues on whether the cause is a conventional antigenic substance or a superantigen.[31] Children's Hospital Boston reports that "ome studies have found associations between the occurrence of Kawasaki disease and recent exposure to carpet cleaning or residence near a body of stagnant water; however, cause and effect have not been established."[26] An association has been identified with a SNP in the ITPKC gene, which codes an enzyme that negatively regulates T-cell activation.[32] An additional factor that suggests genetic susceptibility is the fact that regardless of where they are living, Japanese children are more likely than other children to contract the disease.[26] The HLA-B51 serotype has been found to be associated with endemic instances of the disease

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Nanceed - so if it is the "grandchild's right" to have a relationship, should a visitation schedule enforceable by law be set up at birth? Should it be illegal to live too far from the grandparents? Should grandparents who don't care to be involved be forced to for a minimum amount of time? Should it be illegal to have children unless they will have grandparents? I loved my maternal grandparents (but saw them far less than many here would like to see their GCs), but my life was no richer for the involvement of my paternal grandfather who was a miserable old man. I would have liked my paternal grandmother in my life, but she was mentally ill and in a nursing home long before I was born and two states away. There are no legal rights involved in a grand relationship - you can see how it would quickly devolve into insanity and be a burden on the legal system if all of these family relationships were legislated. I'll be honest - I see restating the argument as "for the children" as a way to try to disguise and ignore the deep ramifications this would have on society if grandparents had an enforceable right to override the descisions of fit parents. Grandparents can be a wonderful addition to a child's life in many, if not most cases. But they are not a necessity or a right.

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There is no law or pending law that is attempting to override the rights of decent parents. I've researched these things ad infinitum. Again, even if a grandparent files for "rights," few get them. It's very complicated to do so. And, as one whose granddaughter does not have a decent mother, I can't say it strongly enough--it was about my granddaughter when my husband and I filed for rights. Because someone had a creep for a grandparent doesn't mean all grandparents should have no "rights." Rights is a poor word for this. I don't know which word would be better. Each situation has to be evaluated individually. While I don't like the courts involved, someone has to get involved who can see things more objectively than those involved. That someone also has to have some clout to see that what is supposed to happen actually does happen. I think people are really saying the same thing here when you get to the bottom of all the words. Fling those who are neurotic out of the conversation and you find a whole lot of people who just want what's best for children.

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There is no law or pending law that is attempting to override the rights of decent parents. I've researched these things ad infinitum. Again, even if a grandparent files for "rights," few get them. It's very complicated to do so. And, as one whose granddaughter does not have a decent mother, I can't say it strongly enough--it was about my granddaughter when my husband and I filed for rights. Because someone had a creep for a grandparent doesn't mean all grandparents should have no "rights." Rights is a poor word for this. I don't know which word would be better. Each situation has to be evaluated individually. While I don't like the courts involved, someone has to get involved who can see things more objectively than those involved. That someone also has to have some clout to see that what is supposed to happen actually does happen. I think people are really saying the same thing here when you get to the bottom of all the words. Fling discussion of those grandparents who have a me-first agenda out, and you find a whole lot of people who just want what's best for children.

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Cookie - I agree with you. My posts are coming as a response to the blog post in the OP which does want GP rights to mean something different than they currently are, and more as what I am arguing against (and there are a multitude of sites promoting the idea of enforced visitation even over fit parents' objections). You also see some proponents of that idea in this very thread.

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Cookie - your situation - situations like yours - and EXTREME situations (one/both parents screw up - one/both parents have died) are the exception. In those cases yes the GP should have some rights to the GK's - so they can step in for partial/full custody or some sort of visitation. I think that *most* people would agree to that. On the other hand "GP's Rights" needs a complete and total overhaul. And by that I mean there HAS TO BE a cut and dry description. Meaning you can ONLY apply in XX situation(s) and not in XX situations. Meaning GP's SHOULD NOT be able to take *fit* parents to court because they don't see the GK's as much as they'd like OR the parents aren't raising the GK's the way the GP's want. Sadly there are MANY entitled GP's who think that is what "GP's Rights" are all about. I really don't think the gov. has any place in telling parents WHO should be in the childs life or how to raise their kids. I mean if they allow the GP's to bring parents to court for visitation/custody -whats next - the Aunt(/Uncle/Cousin/Neice/Nephew/Neighbor/Old teacher etc.) Rights Law?

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