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RoseRed135

Do/Should Grandparents Have Visitation "Rights?"

Grandparent Visitation Rights?    58 votes

  1. 1. I am (check all that apply)

    • a parent
      35
    • a grandparents
      20
    • neither
      3
  2. 2. I believe grandparents have the right to see their grandchildren (check all that apply)

    • whenever they want
      1
    • once-a-week
      1
    • once-a-month
      0
    • on a regular basis
      15
    • only if and when the parents see fit
      36

Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

71 posts in this topic

Do you believe that GPs (grandparents) have/should have basic rights to visit their GC (grandchildren)? Please answer the poll, above, and discuss further below...

 

ETA: Please rest assured that though the results of the poll will be published (under Show Results), your name will not appear along with your vote.

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If you can not respect the parent, how are they to trust you with their most prized and cherished entity in their life? 

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If you can not respect the parent, how are they to trust you with their most prized and cherished entity in their life?

Exactly. If you cant respect the parents, their marriage and how they choose to raise their kids - then you shouldnt have a relatiobship with their child. Regardless of who you are or how you are related to the child.

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this is such a loaded question, IMO

 

everyone's situations are different. I saw my grands maybe once a year due to distance, my kids see my parents at least once a month because we're in the same City, MIL has not met the twins while FIL and SMIL have met them twice (in fact they just left after a fantastic month or so long visit and are coming back around September)

 

and if someone is adopted but has a relationship with their bio mother, who has more "rights" to the grandchildren? the woman who shares genetics or the woman who raised the parent?

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Thank you for these interesting perspectives, MPH, Sunshine and Phalen! And Phalen, while I knew this could be a complex topic, I didn't realize how "loaded" the question was, until I read your post! But hopefully, that will just make for more thoughtful - and thought-provoking - discussion.

 

Hope to hear from more posters, soon!

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That's why I didn't even try to take the poll because each case is different and there are too many variables to just say should gp's just have blanket visitation rights. I think a grandmother that may have not handled her ds getting married well and offended his bride but otherwise harmless should have to pay for that mistake for the rest of her life by not being in ds, dil or gk's life is unreasonable. 

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Points taken, Justa! Also, hopefully, such a GM can find a way to repair the damage, of course, But I know there are many variables there, too.

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I agree with JustaGrandma in that there are too many variables to do this poll. In my situation I have no doubt that I will see my grand-daughter very little, in the first years to come anyways. If a mom is playing "keep away" of her child from the father and his family.(the threats are already coming)..there is little to be done until the child is older and the father can establish better visitation. (baby will be born across the country from her dad and his family).

 

In the case of my fiance...keeping the grands away is a part of the mom being spiteful. Fiance barely knows his 2 year old grandson. Fiance was in his DGD's life for 1 1/2 years, several times a week. He babysat, had overnights etc. Then the perfect storm hit. The mom and family moved an hour out of the way of Fiance's travel path. Fiance's then 16 year old twins were handling their mother walking out of the marriage, very hard. One of his16-year-old  daughters became pregnant. The other a stressed-out mess. He was away for a month on a job turn-around. The divorce papers were signed after 2 1/2 years and fiance started to date. Met me shortly thereafter and didn't want to treat me like a booty call with a once-a-month visit. Because of all of the above, Fiance wasn't around to help with babysitting several times a week.He did go at least once a month.  Explaining the situation above made no difference to her/her husband. Explaining that his frequency of visits earlier was only accomplished because he could combine it with things he had to do with his teen daughters...made no difference.

 

She is ticked and playing keep away. And...as to Phalen's question about bio-grandparents and adoptive grandparents...in this situation the bio-grand had nothing to do with fiance's girls since they were 6 months old. Fiance adopted them when they were 3. The girls hold that blood is everything. Is fiance going to fight for access to his granddaughter...nope. In fact...with the amount of disrespect being shown to fiance, verbal slams, passive/aggressive pokes, it's soon going to reach a complete CO between him and her...initiated by fiance.

 

Sometimes it isn't a matter of not respecting the parenting decisions of the parents...Sometimes parents make decisions out of spite, not the "best interests of the child". In this case, divorce of the parents very definitely has generational rippling affects.

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I think the child is the big loser when it comes to playing keep away from their grandparents. Children should not be used a pawn to control gp's. what purpose does that service what does it teach a child? At the same time if the gp's are toxic, one of my gm was an alcoholic but I was never kept from her, she was abusive to her son my dad, the other one a little on the nutty side but I'm very glad I got to know my family. 

 

Parents that keep their child from a grandparent it usually a power control issue. 

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I think the child is the big loser when it comes to playing keep away from their grandparents. Children should not be used a pawn to control gp's. what purpose does that service what does it teach a child? At the same time if the gp's are toxic, one of my gm was an alcoholic but I was never kept from her, she was abusive to her son my dad, the other one a little on the nutty side but I'm very glad I got to know my family.

Parents that keep their child from a grandparent it usually a power control issue.

^^ Not all parents who dont allow/want the GPs in the lives of their kids can be placed in the "its a power control" group.

Most of the parents who cut off the GPs do it to save their marriage or protect their kids.

We have (including ourselves) a handful of friends who have either severely limited their kids relationships w the GPs or have cut the GPs out completly - due to disrespecting one or both parents or causing issues within the marriage. I dont care who you are if you are disrespectful towards myself or my husband or cause issues within our family, why would we want our kids around someone like that?

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Carpe, I'm so very sorry to hear about your fiance's situation! He seemed so into his GC, from what you've told us, previously, and now this! I'm sorry about your concerns, regarding whether or not you'll see your GD, as well, but hearing about the turn of events in DF's (dear fiance's) story took me totally by surprise! My heart is with both of you!

 

Justa and Sunshine, no doubt there is a whole spectrum of reasons why parents CO GPs - and vice versa - from very understandable to barely understandable, at all. And, I suppose, different views on the importance of the GP/GC relationship in proportion to that of respect for the parents. Thank you both for showing us different sides of these issues.

 

Looking forward, people, to hearing from more of you...

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We've also stopped associating with my DH's parents. Therefore our child also doesnt associate with them. If your behavior isn't something I want around my kids, then your genetic code isn't going to change that. It's not a power play or a punishment, it's a parenting decision. And interestingly, when I keep my LO away from random stranger with anger issues, no one says I'm controlling or punishing the stranger, so why does the terminology change if the person being kept away is a grandparent?

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I don't think this is a complex question at all.  Is it decent or good or nice for grandparents to see their grandkids regularly? Yes, absolutely.  In the case of divorce or death, would it be nice, in a perfect world, for the surviving or custodial parent to maintain contact and visits with the grandparents.  Yes, absolutely.  But should grandparents have "rights" to do this?  In the case of the kids residing with one or both of their parents, absolutely not.  Should a grandparent ever be able to say to their AC or the mother of their grandchild, "You have to bring LO over to play this weekend because I haven't seen him in 3 weeks and I have the right to see him every month."  No, absolutely no.

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@ lilypond - Interesting question! I realize it may be partly rhetorical. Still, I'm wondering if and how other posters will answer that!

 

@ Fed - Really appreciate the distinction between what would be "nice" and whether or not someone has a "right" to it. I'm thinking there's also a line between what might be "good," "fair," "unfair," "beneficial," etc and any "rights" people may or may not have. We may think, for example, "Gee, it's too bad So-and-So can't see his GC!" or even, "So-and-So is such a wonderful GM! She really should be able to see her GC." But does that mean they have a "right" to see those GC? Probably not.

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That's why I didn't even try to take the poll because each case is different and there are too many variables to just say should gp's just have blanket visitation rights. I think a grandmother that may have not handled her ds getting married well and offended his bride but otherwise harmless should have to pay for that mistake for the rest of her life by not being in ds, dil or gk's life is unreasonable.

Why do some moms "do not handle their ds getting married well?"

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Well it just isn't sons mom's that can have problems, my ydil accused us of stealing her daughter. It got kind of ugly between them and the kids, I had to have a talk with the lady. Kind of hard to steal grown adults I think. 

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" I think a grandmother that may have not handled her ds getting married well and offended his bride but otherwise harmless should have to pay for that mistake for the rest of her life by not being in ds, dil or gk's life is unreasonable."

 

You know, Justa, I keep mulling this over, and I have to disagree for two reasons.  First, whatever the grandmother did to offend the bride is still a part of the GM's personality.  Did she expect more than she was given as far as a role (offering unwanted opinions when she was told they weren't needed, expecting a more prominent role during the festivities, etc)?  Did she make comments about how she was still number 1 or not respect the new family?  What behavior are we talking about, and more importantly, what behavior would be better, not worse, when a baby is added to the mix?  A MIL who gives unwanted advice is likely to continue.  A MIL who expects a starring role isn't going to back off.  And while most people I know who have CO a family member have usually gone through a few (or many) cycles of dealing with bad behavior before saying enough, even if they haven't, if being with the person, whoever it is, causes the family stress or strife, then it shouldn't be continued because they share similar gene sequences.  I just don't get the argument that you have to put up with bad or annoying behavior because the person is genetically similar to you.  Why does family mean you can treat someone worse than an aquaintance?  If an aquaintance angered the DIL, I doubt we'd even be having a discussion about if it's reasonable or unreasonable for a DIL to let them meet her children. 

 

But my second thought is that even if the parents are completely unreasonable, that doesn't give the grandmother the *right* to demand visits.  I feel the bar has to be high for the courts to overrule a parent's decision and mandate visitation.  My hang up is this.....if a child is being abused, then that's what you call CPS/DHS for.  Grandparent visitation isn't about gaining full custody from the parents, it's about getting, on average, 3 hours a month with their grandchild.  So we have a child who is fed, clothed, and well cared for.  The parents have decided the grandmother or grandfather can't see the child.  Maybe it's because of something big on the part of the grandparent or perhaps something small, but the parents have A reason even if it doesn't seem like a good one to me or you. I just don't feel like the absence of those 3 hours in a child's life is horrific enough to allow the government to begin to make parenting decisions. 

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" I think a grandmother that may have not handled her ds getting married well and offended his bride but otherwise harmless should have to pay for that mistake for the rest of her life by not being in ds, dil or gk's life is unreasonable."

 

You know, Justa, I keep mulling this over, and I have to disagree for two reasons.  First, whatever the grandmother did to offend the bride is still a part of the GM's personality.  Did she expect more than she was given as far as a role (offering unwanted opinions when she was told they weren't needed, expecting a more prominent role during the festivities, etc)?  Did she make comments about how she was still number 1 or not respect the new family?  What behavior are we talking about, and more importantly, what behavior would be better, not worse, when a baby is added to the mix?  A MIL who gives unwanted advice is likely to continue.  A MIL who expects a starring role isn't going to back off.  And while most people I know who have CO a family member have usually gone through a few (or many) cycles of dealing with bad behavior before saying enough, even if they haven't, if being with the person, whoever it is, causes the family stress or strife, then it shouldn't be continued because they share similar gene sequences.  I just don't get the argument that you have to put up with bad or annoying behavior because the person is genetically similar to you.  Why does family mean you can treat someone worse than an aquaintance?  If an aquaintance angered the DIL, I doubt we'd even be having a discussion about if it's reasonable or unreasonable for a DIL to let them meet her children. 

 

But my second thought is that even if the parents are completely unreasonable, that doesn't give the grandmother the *right* to demand visits.  I feel the bar has to be high for the courts to overrule a parent's decision and mandate visitation.  My hang up is this.....if a child is being abused, then that's what you call CPS/DHS for.  Grandparent visitation isn't about gaining full custody from the parents, it's about getting, on average, 3 hours a month with their grandchild.  So we have a child who is fed, clothed, and well cared for.  The parents have decided the grandmother or grandfather can't see the child.  Maybe it's because of something big on the part of the grandparent or perhaps something small, but the parents have A reason even if it doesn't seem like a good one to me or you. I just don't feel like the absence of those 3 hours in a child's life is horrific enough to allow the government to begin to make parenting decisions. 

 

Also, I'm wondering, Justa, if you just threw that out as an example, offhand, or if you know or read about someone that happened to? (I understand that if it's a close friend or relative, you may prefer not to talk about it.) Regardless, I have to agree that often offenses committed in relation to the wedding are just the beginning/foreshadowing of similar - often worse - offenses to come, in my experience and observation. So I can understand if such a DS and DIL are wary. And thinking that they might have been more willing to give the GM a chance if she had told them that she realized she was wrong and that she would avoid making he same mistakes again. But if GM brushes off her actions or tries to convince them she was right, etc., that's a different story. So often, it seems, it's not so much about the transgression as how the GP responds when called out on it.

 

BTW, is there a word left out in your post about YDIL? Did you mean to say "YDIL's mom accused us of stealing her daughter?" Please clarify...

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I agree....wedding problems are a foreshadowing of coming problems.  I would still have married my husband knowing how his mom was going to be...but if I had heeded the warning signs from our wedding, I would have lost a whole lot less sleep after the kids came and I couldn't figure out why she was the way she was.

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Yes Rose, my yds mil accused us to trying to steal thier daughter, HUH? okay my ds and your dd fell in love and wanted to get married, what did I have to do with that? Isn't that the natural order of life? Right now thier are issues with ydil, yds and this mother they are not speaking, the mother has called me to see what I can do about it. I keep telling this dm you have to learn to keep your opionions to your self let the kids live thier life, if they ask for an opionion be very careful on how and what you say. This make 2 of her 3 children that aren't speaking to her.

 

 

Fed up honestly I don't know much about wedding issues, as both boys had small weddings and I figured it was not my day they should do what they wanted to do so never offered my opionion on things. Their is wedding issues in my dh family between cousins when dh, sil at a cousins wedding went around comparing her wedding to the cousins, she had more guest her dress was prettier, her cake nicer and so on with all the extended family members. When things got back to the cousin they didn't speak for years, they would both come to family gathers, but not speak to each other. I thought what sil did was tacky and the not speaking childish.

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Well it just isn't sons mom's that can have problems, my ydil's {Mother} accused us of stealing her daughter. It got kind of ugly between them and the kids, I had to have a talk with the lady. Kind of hard to steal grown adults I think. 

I agree.  I think it's hard to steal grown adults too.

 

However some people think stealing is done through controlling, manipulating, and brainwashing.  YDIL's M blames you because she sees you spend time with YDD and she doesn't. So to her, it must be you that's doing something to steal YDIL away from her.

 

I think in the case of YDIL's M, it's probably easier for her to blame someone else for YDIL's decisions as an adult child about a relationship with her.  Then YDIL's M doesn't have to _do_ anything but be a Victim.   To YDIL's M, the distance is not a natural consequence of her mistreating YDIL (in one way or another), it's just unfair to herself.  She was robbed!

 

By blaming a third party, she doesn't have to examine herself and her role in her relationship with her AC.  She doesn't have to exercise self-restraint when expressing herself to her AC and relatives.  She doesn't have to think about how what she says might sound on the receiving end.   She doesn't have to think about how she can treat her AC differently so her AC will _want_ to spend time with her and share their lives with her.   

 

I can see the appeal in blameshifting - how it can be handy for short term relief. And I can see how it prevents resolutions long term.  As long as YDIL's M is accusing others (like you) of stealing her AC from her, probably nothing is going to improve between YDIL and her M.   It's that person over there's fault.

 

When someone is locked in the mindset they are entitled to a relationship (by family title or bloodline or history), with another person -- no matter how they treat the person, no matter how much not-fun they are to be around, no matter how much they express their disapproval of them, ("for their own good" of course), no matter how much they intrude ("out of love", of course), no matter how much they insult ("out of caring", of course), no matter how they treat their spouse... that entitlement seems to begets conclusions such as "She was stolen!" (or brainwashed, or controlled, or manipulated... or she must be suffering mental problems or moral corruption...).  Because in that mindset, nothing else but someone else's wrongdoing could get in the way of what they as a parent or grandparent feels absolutely entitled to.  They was robbed!

 

And it's sad.  Because if YDIL's M could listen to what her own AC has told her, and stop looking over at third parties' actions with suspicion, and stop blaming you or YDS or the church or whoever else she blames.... and instead do some self-reflection to see what _she_ could change to help create trust and a healthy _adult_ relationship between herself and her AC,  this M of an AC could probably begin to get what it is she claims to want. 

 

Right now thier are issues with ydil, yds and this mother they are not speaking, the mother has called me to see what I can do about it. I keep telling this dm you have to learn to keep your opionions to your self let the kids live thier life, if they ask for an opionion be very careful on how and what you say. This make 2 of her 3 children that aren't speaking to her.

 

I think the advice you gave YDIL's M is very good.  She is lucky you were brave enough to tell her.  If she listens to it and stops with the opinions (insults and intrusions) she really could have a better relationship with her daughter.  That little change is really not much of a sacrifice at all for her to make, is it; blameshifting's short-term benefits aren't all that great.  Good job!

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I still believe if you hear something over and over enough it can tant how you see someone That is a kind of brainwashing,

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I still believe if you hear something over and over enough it can tant how you see someone That is a kind of brainwashing,

 

Just saw this and I agree. However, it can also mean, IMO, that your (general) eyes have simply been opened to a new POV and, as a consequence, you see some people and situations differently. In that  case, usually, I don't think the new POV would "take" if it didn't strike some chord w/in you that was there to begin with. For example, I've talked b4 about how much it used to bug me when my MIL would try to tell DH and me how to spend our money. But I figured she was worried that we might overspend. It wasn't until I mentioned it to a friend and she said, "But it's not her business how you guys spend your money!" that I realized MIL was not just being annoying, she was out-of-bounds. (Granted, in that case, i only had to hear it once, not "over and over.") If if hadn't bothered me, at all, I don't think my friend's comment would have made such an impression on me as it did.

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Rose I think it's all on how it's used. While yes how you spend your money was not a mil's business, but if a dil or a mil or anyone doesn't like someone and repeats over and over and points out every little injust they think they see it can have an adverse affect on relateshionships. If a dil is fighting, pouting, carring on ever time dh says he wants to go visit his mother and sooner or later the ds is going to be looking to find fault with everything his mother does and says.

 

 

If your friend was they type that said to you, mil is right, mil knows best how many times would she have had to say that to you before you began to believe you where in the wrong and your thinking is flawed?

 

This can be used on anyone mil against dil, friends against friends.

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Very true, Justa, no doubt.

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