Grandparents, Where Would We Be Without Them?
Kim Crewe, a Family Consultant at The Crescent Practice, responds to Chris Maulkin’s challenge set in his blog post ‘What rights do grandparents have to see their children?’
Thank you Christopher its a pleasure to respond to your challenge!
Grandparents play a really critical role when families separate, they provide stability and consistency for the child or children at a time when their family set up is changing shape and their parents are managing the distress and anxieties that go hand in hand with family breakdown.
Grandparents can feel powerless, left out and potentially guilty, particularly if their own son or daughter has decided to end their relationship. Loyalties are torn between wanting to support their own child through this difficult time but at the same time wanting to keep in touch with the ex partner.
A Family Consultant can work with any combination of family members to give each person a voice and to allow grandparents an opportunity to re-negotiate their role. The Family Consultant will ensure each person is heard and help to form a new parenting plan that enables the grandparents to continue to be involved in their grandchildren’s lives. The Family Consultant will help the ex-partner to stay in touch with the grandparents by meeting periodically to ensure this vital contact continues.
Children often confide in grandparents, they are able to talk more openly than they can do with their own parents who they often feel they have to protect. A Family Consultant can help the grandparents to support the children to understand the changes they are experiencing.
If you are a grandparent and you have lost touch with your grandchildren, would like to see more of them or would like to know how best to support them do get in touch.