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Grandparents Rights - Page 4

post #61 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
They're the babies of our grown children. I think the thought that the parents are "our babies" is a major contributor to a lot of these issues. When/if ds1 (as an example, as he could easily be a parent within a decade) becomes a dad, I have an obligation to him, my DIL and my grandchild(ren) to remember that I'm not the parent of that child/those children. I had my turn.
I think you've hit the nail on the head for most cases. It mostly boils down to some of our parents not feeling confident about the way they've raised us: therefore it's hard for them to let go and give us space to parent our own kids.

Once or twice I even tried to get my mom to see this. I said something like, "You'd think that since you raised me, you'd feel better about my ability to raise my own children."

Ironically, Mom doesn't feel she raised me: she feels I spent so much time with my paternal grandparents (more time than she wanted me to spend, but she gave in to my dad who insisted on letting his parents have me whenever they wanted me), that it was really my Grandmother who raised me, not her.

But really I DID spend more time in my parents' home than I did in my grandparents': it's plain silly the way Mom thinks she's had no influence on me, just because I don't do everything like her.

Any time Mom doesn't agree with one of my parenting practices, she'll say, "Is that what your grandmother did with you?" It's so dumb. Even regarding the extended nursing, she'll ask how long my grandmother nursed my father, like I'd know.

I'm actually not sure if Grandma breast or bottle-fed ... and I'm 43 and Grandma died when I was 21: you know, there are actually things about me that have nothing to do with Grandma, but there's no persuading my mom.:

I'd be truly heartbroken if some day my grown children wouldn't let me have anything to do with my grandchildren. But I still wouldn't see taking my kids to court as a valid option. I think most parents wouldn't want to deprive their children of loving extended family just to be spiteful, and for my own children (or their spouses) to be this spiteful seems like an almost non-existent possibility.

But if it happened, I'd just have to take a deep breath and go on with my life, and pray (and look) for ways to mend the breach and restore the relationship. As I see it, the best way to prevent such a catastrophe is to build a trusting relationship with our kids from day one.
post #62 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
They're the babies of our grown children. I think the thought that the parents are "our babies" is a major contributor to a lot of these issues. When/if ds1 (as an example, as he could easily be a parent within a decade) becomes a dad, I have an obligation to him, my DIL and my grandchild(ren) to remember that I'm not the parent of that child/those children. I had my turn.
I think you've hit the nail on the head for most cases. It mostly boils down to some of our parents not feeling confident about the way they've raised us: therefore it's hard for them to let go and give us space to parent our own kids.

Once or twice I even tried to get my mom to see this. I said something like, "You'd think that since you raised me, you'd feel better about my ability to raise my own children."

Ironically, Mom doesn't feel she raised me: she feels I spent so much time with my paternal grandparents (more time than she wanted me to spend, but she gave in to my dad who insisted on letting his parents have me whenever they wanted me), that it was really my Grandmother who raised me, not her.

But really I DID spend more time in my parents' home than I did in my grandparents': it's plain silly the way Mom thinks she's had no influence on me, just because I don't do everything like her.

Any time Mom doesn't agree with one of my parenting practices, she'll say, "Is that what your grandmother did with you?" It's so dumb. Even regarding the extended nursing, she'll ask how long my grandmother nursed my father, like I'd know.

I'm actually not sure if Grandma breast or bottle-fed ... and I'm 43 and Grandma died when I was 21: you know, there are actually things about me that have nothing to do with Grandma, but there's no persuading my mom.:

I'd be truly heartbroken if some day my grown children wouldn't let me have anything to do with my grandchildren. But I still wouldn't see taking my kids to court as a valid option. I think most parents wouldn't want to deprive their children of loving extended family just to be spiteful, and for my own children (or their spouses) to be this spiteful seems like an almost non-existent possibility.

But if it happened, I'd just have to take a deep breath and go on with my life, and pray (and look) for ways to mend the breach and restore the relationship. As I see it, the best way to prevent such a catastrophe is to build a trusting relationship with our kids from day one.
post #63 of 103
I think grandparents should have the right to at least try to have access to their grandchildren under very limited situations. This is basically limited to when, say, one parent dies and the remaining parent decides to cut the other side of the family out completely. This is not really fair to the children -- they lost their mother or father; why should they have to lose extended family as well? (This assumes a previously good grandparenting relationship, and this also assumes a decent, fair court, neither of which are always the case, I know.) Another possible scenario is when the grandparent has acted as a de facto parent to the child for a considerable length of time. That's also unfair to the kid -- my good childhood friend was raised by her maternal grandparents because her dad left when she was a baby and her mom died when she was 5...what if her dad showed up when she was 12 and decided to get into rehab, pay back child support, do all of the fine/upstanding/etc. stuff, then seek custody "because he's the dad" and cut her off from her grandparents, who were really the only parents she had known for several years? (I believe my state accounts for this scenario with regard to grandparents, former stepparents, and other, non-related de facto parents...visitation is not automatically granted, but people in those situations have standing to try.)

I agree that grandparents should not have the right to seek custody of their grandchildren absent a loss of parental rights or a death of both parents, and that grandparents should not have the automatic right to see their grandchildren if their own children object (aside from the de facto parent situation outlined above).
post #64 of 103
I think that everyone forgets that *YOU* one day may be that "horrible awful woman who hates everything I do, and I think she abused her son/daughter by XYZ and she'll have nothing to do with my children."

You think that gma is bipolar. What if YOU are the person who is bi-polar? What if the crime you commit as a gma is to love your grandchlidren, but your grandchild's parents aren't abusive enough for you to get custody away from them? What if YOU are the only loving thing in that child's life, and it is the PARENT who is the insane toxic manipulative b*tch?

All of you who are so pro-alternative lifestyle, or pro-marijuana, etc. When you are so into your "thing" that you do have your children involved. You who will not moderate your passion even for your child...you think that if your child gets older and has a child with someone who TOTALLY disagrees with you, or your own child decides that your love of some "totally normal natural substance dammit" that you'll change just so you can have access to your child. And of course, she'll say that you are insane and abusive and your grandchild's parents will think you are being manipulated by some terrible control freak.

It isn't about YOU. That is where EVERYONE who isn't a child falls down into their morass of whine. It isn't about YOU. And that is what the courts are for.
post #65 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I'd be truly heartbroken if some day my grown children wouldn't let me have anything to do with my grandchildren. But I still wouldn't see taking my kids to court as a valid option. I think most parents wouldn't want to deprive their children of loving extended family just to be spiteful, and for my own children (or their spouses) to be this spiteful seems like an almost non-existent possibility.

But if it happened, I'd just have to take a deep breath and go on with my life, and pray (and look) for ways to mend the breach and restore the relationship. As I see it, the best way to prevent such a catastrophe is to build a trusting relationship with our kids from day one.
What if the breach isn't fixable? What if your child isn't the person you envision right now, regardless of your parenting efforts? What if your children aren't appreciative - they hate it? What if they are bi-polar and angry at you? What are you going to do to fix that? What if you are homosexual, and your child joins a religion that doesn't accept that? Are you going to change that so that you can see your grandchildren?

Some things aren't fixable. Some things aren't just the "fault" of the grandparents. Being AP or similar isn't armour against your children thinking that your parenting blows.
post #66 of 103
I think grandparents rights is a double edged sword myself. In some cases, it is completely warrented (as pp'd when parents are relying on gp's to raise child but not giving custody), but in others, completely unwarrented. In our case, my IL's are totally toxic and I believe that if they had the money to, would absolutely file against us for not only visitation, but custody. My mil seeks to interfere in EVERY decision we make regarding our children and as of about three weeks ago, has no contact with us or our children. Needless to say, she's pissed.

I think the courts should take this on a case-to-case basis and not as a blanket issue, but unfortunately that doesn't always happen.
post #67 of 103
I am opposed to gpv for the most part. My MIL is the most evil woman I've ever encountered in my life and will never God willing meet any of my children. We have it written into our Will that she is under no circumstances to even know if we pass on or the location of our children. We do have funds set aside in our will to fight a legal battle against her if necessary.

I worry for my children's very lives if she would ever meet them. I do believe she would not hesitate to murder them, that is how evil she is.
post #68 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demeter9 View Post
I think that everyone forgets that *YOU* one day may be that "horrible awful woman who hates everything I do, and I think she abused her son/daughter by XYZ and she'll have nothing to do with my children."

You think that gma is bipolar. What if YOU are the person who is bi-polar? What if the crime you commit as a gma is to love your grandchlidren, but your grandchild's parents aren't abusive enough for you to get custody away from them? What if YOU are the only loving thing in that child's life, and it is the PARENT who is the insane toxic manipulative b*tch?

All of you who are so pro-alternative lifestyle, or pro-marijuana, etc. When you are so into your "thing" that you do have your children involved. You who will not moderate your passion even for your child...you think that if your child gets older and has a child with someone who TOTALLY disagrees with you, or your own child decides that your love of some "totally normal natural substance dammit" that you'll change just so you can have access to your child. And of course, she'll say that you are insane and abusive and your grandchild's parents will think you are being manipulated by some terrible control freak.

It isn't about YOU. That is where EVERYONE who isn't a child falls down into their morass of whine. It isn't about YOU. And that is what the courts are for.

Huh?

I really don;t know if you are understanding that in most of these situations the parents have good reason for not allowing contact. And it is the parents choice. I don't think that many people imagine mental illness and drug abuse that isn't there. If that type of stuff is being alleged IMO there is usually some truth to it. If you have a good relationship with your kids then it wont be a problem.

My Father has met my son once, and there was a time that neither of his Grandmother's were allowed to take him, my mother didn't even get to see him for about 10 months or so. There were very valid reasons. And I shouldn't have to explain that to anyone except the people involved. I certainly shouldn't need permission from the Government about who I am allowed to keep my children away from.

I know that there are people who do this out of spite to wonderful GP's who don;t deserve it. That is sad. But I don;t think it is the Governments place to make these decisions for us.

If it were to happen to me I would deal with it as a tragedy. Bad things happen to good people every day...but I can't imagine the courts forcing me to send my kids off with a child abuser.

ITA with Jamesmama ...I think it is better than some really great grandparents lose out, rather than really terrible toxic grandparents being forced into the children's lives.

I think that if one parent dies, or if the Grandparents have helped raise the child it is different.


And this is something that I think about a lot. I think about how my kids WILL be between my grandkids and I someday, and I need to build a solid relationship with them now for us to have a solid relationship when they are adults. I think that will greatly minimize the chances that I will not be allowed in my grand children's lives..
post #69 of 103
IMO grandparents shouldn't get rights. They are not the parent. I think the whole idea is absurd.
post #70 of 103
This disappeared, so trying again, and I apologizes if it shows up twice...


I agree with grandparents having the legal ability to gain visitation access to their grandchildren under two very narrow circumstances:
1. The grandparents have had a very good relationship with their grandchildren. Then, their child dies, and the surviving parent (the grandparents' S- or DIL) decides to cut off all access to the grandparents (out of grief, spite, remarriage, whatever).
2. The grandparents have been raising their grandchildren as de facto parents. Perhaps their child has died or disappeared. The other parent has done similarly. Then, one day, years later, the absent, surviving parent shows up, claims custody, and decides that the grandparents should no longer be allowed to see their children who they have raised for years.

In both of these scenarios, it would be traumatic to the children to lose their grandparents. In Scenario 1, the children have lost their mother or father; it would be even worse to lose an entire side of the family. Some states, when considering stepparent adoption, still have provisions for biological grandparents to visit their grandchildren. In Scenario 2, the grandchildren lose their de facto parents. (My best childhood friend lived with her maternal grandparents from the time she was 2, after her mom died. Her father left while her mom was pregnant and was never in the picture. Can you imagine the trauma if her dad had resurfaced when she was, say, 12, got custody, and forbid her from even contacting the only parents she ever really knew? In that case, I think rights should be extended to all de facto parents, whether they're grandparents, stepparents, aunts, neighbors, etc.)

This does presume that the grandparents are decent people (which we know is true in not all cases), and that the courts will be fair (ditto).

Note that I do not support grandparents pursuing visitation (or custody, for that matter) if their children are alive, competent, and in the picture. Then, it's up to the adult children. I don't think grandparents should be able to get separate visitation when their grandchildren's parents get divorced...if non-custodial Mom or Dad wants her or his parents to see the grandkids, s/he can invite them over during his/her time (or arrange a trip with consent of the ex or otherwise per the custody agreement).
post #71 of 103
okay i haven't read the whole thread but just posted in the thread about extemded families about how important i think it is for children to have access to their families, their traditions and histories! more than grandparents' rights, i strongy believe in a child's *right* to know his grandparents, and i don't think that should be intruded upon by either parent, except in cases where they are abusive etc.

i guess i should go back and read the whole thread, but has anyone brought up the issue of mixed-race couples? those who are against grandparents' rights: how would you react to this discussion if it was in context of a white parent denying a child access to it's black grandparents?
post #72 of 103
This is a kind of emotional thread for me.

My DH and I have a niece and nephews who are very close to us and have been for a long time. Their dad has lived across the country most of their lives and so they have only really seen him once a year, but he is moving back and applying for custody. We haven't had any direct contact with him since he left his family and moved.

I'm reasonably sure he will be okay with us remaining close to his kids, but there is a chance he won't. I acknowledge entirely that they are his kids, but it is incredibly devastating to consider that he might cut us off. We supported them and their mother when he wasn't making any support payments and we have been there for birthdays and trips and vegging out and going to games and things.

In this case I can't see their mother losing visitation entirely, so we would have that time, but still - it opens the question a bit in my mind.

At the same time, I have a fraught relationship with my parents, and I can see situations in which I would not want them involved with my son. One of the things I do in trying hard to maintain a relationship with them is to make sure it doesn't get that extreme, because my preference is that he see them mostly when I am around, and it not get to that very black and white point.

So for me it is complex. I think the courts can't always make up for these things and perhaps leaving the rights with the parents is the best compromise, but I really can't blame people who want to maintain relationships in the face of divorce and custody battles.
post #73 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demeter9 View Post
I think that everyone forgets that *YOU* one day may be that "horrible awful woman who hates everything I do, and I think she abused her son/daughter by XYZ and she'll have nothing to do with my children."

You think that gma is bipolar. What if YOU are the person who is bi-polar? What if the crime you commit as a gma is to love your grandchlidren, but your grandchild's parents aren't abusive enough for you to get custody away from them? What if YOU are the only loving thing in that child's life, and it is the PARENT who is the insane toxic manipulative b*tch?

All of you who are so pro-alternative lifestyle, or pro-marijuana, etc. When you are so into your "thing" that you do have your children involved. You who will not moderate your passion even for your child...you think that if your child gets older and has a child with someone who TOTALLY disagrees with you, or your own child decides that your love of some "totally normal natural substance dammit" that you'll change just so you can have access to your child. And of course, she'll say that you are insane and abusive and your grandchild's parents will think you are being manipulated by some terrible control freak.

It isn't about YOU. That is where EVERYONE who isn't a child falls down into their morass of whine. It isn't about YOU. And that is what the courts are for.

:

I've never smoked marijuana, I'm wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt, I live in a house with a picket fence. I have three kids, a husband, and I used to have a dog. We go on holiday to the beach. I'm about as white-bread as you get

Unless there is a reason for the STATE OR THE COURT TO INTERVENE: i.e. neglect or abuse, children belong with their parents. Grandparents do not have rights, they have privileges. Period.
post #74 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demeter9 View Post
What if the breach isn't fixable? What if your child isn't the person you envision right now, regardless of your parenting efforts? What if your children aren't appreciative - they hate it? What if they are bi-polar and angry at you? What are you going to do to fix that? What if you are homosexual, and your child joins a religion that doesn't accept that? Are you going to change that so that you can see your grandchildren?
I've already begun preparing myself for the possibility that one or both of my children may do things totally differently than I have. Since I have one of those mothers who seems to hate and criticize much of what I do (as mentioned in your previous post), I've realized I can't assume that just because I attachment parent my girls are going to do it, too.

I've realized I can be at peace when they're parents, even if they formula feed and put their babies in cribs (hard to imagine since they've been so happy about child-led breastfeeding and cosleeping for themselves!). I can be at peace because I feel good about the responsive mothering I'm giving them now. And they're learning from me about nursing and why babies should always get their mothers' milk where possible.

So, some 15 or 20 years down the line, I've got to let go and realize I've had my turn and now it's theirs. My oldest has sometimes wondered what things will be like when she's a mother ... and I've said I hope I'll get to see a lot of her and her new family -- but that her children will be her children and I'll respect her as the parent.

So, yeah, I suppose it's possible one of my kids'll marry someone who thinks we're : for letting our kids nurse as long as they wanted, or for having a family bed, or for unschooling. It's hard to imagine a child of mine marrying someone like that (I'm always emphasizing how important it is for dating couples to talk about how they want to raise their kids: my 7yo is already talking about her plans to be a SAHM) --

But if it happens, it happens. All I can do, in that case (or any case), is give them the respect I wish my dear mom was willing to give me. After all, my mom genuinely believes she's right and I'm wrong. I know, first-hand, that someone believing they're right does NOT justify them interfering with and undermining other families. So I'm totally committed to applying this knowledge to myself when I'm a Grandma someday.

If, in spite of all our efforts, dh and I get dissed by all our children and their spouses (hard to imagine but I'm trying to keep an open mind) -- well, I'm sure we'll cry a bucket ... but then we'll pray and I'm sure God will lead us to some precious souls who need our love. And we'll find a way to go on, somehow.

I agree with the posters who've said that the extremely few hateful, spiteful individuals who'd keep their children away from wonderful, loving grandparents just to cause their parents pain, don't justify having laws in effect that could encroach on our rights as parents to protect our children from toxic situations.

In a case where a grandparent's been raising a child for years, and then an absentee parent steps back in to take over -- wouldn't that grandparent have already filed for some kind of custody, just to protect their grandchild from this possibility?

I don't see how that's a "grandparent's rights" issue, if the grandparent has actually been acting as the parent. It would be very easy for a guardian ad litem (sp?) to interview the child (or even observe a pre-verbal child) and ascertain that the grandparent is, indeed, the only parent the child has ever known.

Maybe I'm too naive about human nature. Maybe there's a remote possibility that an individual can grow up with loving, responsive, and respectful parenting, and inexplicably choose to fill herself to the brim with hate and a desire to hurt those parents and deprive her children of truly loving and delightful grandparents. But the possibility seems about as likely as the "cold day in hell" scenarios you sometimes hear about.
post #75 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
My DH and I have a niece and nephews who are very close to us and have been for a long time. Their dad has lived across the country most of their lives and so they have only really seen him once a year, but he is moving back and applying for custody.

(snip)

We supported them and their mother when he wasn't making any support payments and we have been there for birthdays and trips and vegging out and going to games and things

(snip)

In this case I can't see their mother losing visitation entirely, so we would have that time, but still - it opens the question a bit in my mind.
Why would any judge in his/her right mind grant custody to an absentee father who's even withheld child-support for gaps of time? If he's moving back into the area, it sounds like he might be able to get visitation (like every other weekend) which should be nice for the kids if they'd like a chance to know their dad better --

but I can't see how he'd get custody when the mother's been the parent for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through all the years when he's been off across the country, doing his other stuff.
post #76 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Maybe I'm too naive about human nature. Maybe there's a remote possibility that an individual can grow up with loving, responsive, and respectful parenting, and inexplicably choose to fill herself to the brim with hate and a desire to hurt those parents and deprive her children of truly loving and delightful grandparents. But the possibility seems about as likely as the "cold day in hell" scenarios you sometimes hear about.
I actually know someone who would do this in a heartbeat...except that she needs her mom's help (read as "rides, money, childcare") too much. She had a loving mother and respectful parenting...and a toxic-to-the-core grandmother who went around undermining her mother at every opportunity. Her grandmother turned every parental decision that she didn't agree with into "I love you more than your mom does - I'd never do that to you". She completely destroyed the relationship between the mother and daughter...and now she's dead, and the relationship has never recovered. And, yes - this woman would absolutely deprive her children of a loving grandmother out of spite...as a result of the fact that her mother thought she "needed" a grandmother.

I'm very fortunate, as this has never been an issue for me. My mom, dad, stepdad and in-laws are all the type to let us alone to raise our kids. In 14 years, I think I may have had a half dozen unasked for "advisory" type comments, and they've all been out of concern for me (eg. mom's current worry that I'm taxing my body too much by nursing my 26-month-old while pregnant...which stems from a bad experience in the family a couple generations ago) - but she doesn't push.
post #77 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
She had a loving mother and respectful parenting...and a toxic-to-the-core grandmother who went around undermining her mother at every opportunity. Her grandmother turned every parental decision that she didn't agree with into "I love you more than your mom does - I'd never do that to you". She completely destroyed the relationship between the mother and daughter...and now she's dead, and the relationship has never recovered.
Good point! Of course, I think love and respect also includes a willingness to protect our children from "toxic-to-the-core" people. I can't imagine how the undermining Grandma managed to do all this without Mama ever noticing. At the same time, I realize that the mother in question may have lacked other support and felt dependent on her own mom, and been so used to the toxicity she didn't realize what was happening 'til it was too late.

But this example you've shared actually strengthens my belief that parental rights should not be undermined by grandparents.
post #78 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I actually know someone who would do this in a heartbeat...except that she needs her mom's help (read as "rides, money, childcare") too much.
Yes. The thing about angry, vindictive people is: they hate their parents but they also tend to feel their parents "owe" them. If there's anything to collect, and any possibility that they might get something by sticking around, they tend to want to keep a foot in the door.
post #79 of 103
Can anyone here honestly say that, if your children grew up and if, for whatever reason, they decided that they did not want your grandchildren in your life, you'd just say, okay, and walk away?
post #80 of 103
In my observation, though, the angry, vindictive people don't seem to have been attachment-parented.
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