Alienated Grandparents – When Blame Is Dished Out, Damage Is Done
By Christine Crosby, Editorial Director GRAND Magazine
Children raised with grandparents around are more likely to thrive. It really does take a village to grow happy children into successful adults.
Estrangement and alienation in the family are painful and harmful to the children and the grandparents. This is such a big problem, June 14 is now recognized as National Grandparent Alienation Awareness Day.
GRAND was created to help families, and our regular contributor, Pat Hanson Ph.D., is a source of understanding and proactive solutions for grandparents experiencing this alienation.
Drug use by parents is a huge problem. Stress from military deployment is common…there are many reasons parents don’t come through for their children. But even when such extremes are not present, some families still fracture.
Ideally, family discord is headed off before it takes root, and there is a place here for frank self-assessment. We did not suddenly become perfect people just because our children had children.
Yes, we hear true stories of the real DIL from hell, and by the way, parents have similar stories about unstable grandparents. Once blame is being dished out, damage is being done.
What to do?
We can’t stop others from being mean or irrational, and thankfully, most people don’t intend to be either. More to the point, NOBODY thinks they are. But if they are new parents, they’re likely on the ragged edge and your smallest gestures may resonate disproportionately with them for years, for better or worse.
It’s no use saying ‘this is how the parents SHOULD have reacted’ to something you did or said. You will live with how they DID react. This is not a time to make being right your first priority. Better is to generate so much love and goodwill, resentment never takes hold in the first place.
New grandparents should review these SIX BIGGEST GRANDPARENT BLUNDERS. Understanding these won’t guarantee peace in the family, but they may just make a critical difference.
I find having grandkids is a continual learning experience and one thing I am learning is how much I don’t control. So all the more important that I learn to control myself!
Do you have a story you’d like to share? Contact us at Editor@Grandmagazine.com