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A Precious Bond: How to Preserve the Grandparent-Grandchild Relationship

October 03, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 136

What is common knowledge is that grandparents are of vital importance to a child's life; what isn't common is that they are sometimes 'unreasonably' ripped away from a child's life by the custodial parent.

It's time for grandparents to put a stop to this social injustice about the way children are treated like property and the role of grandparenthood is no longer honored or respected. Children cannot speak for themselves, so somebody has to. No voice no choice as the saying goes. Children do not get to choose who they may love and their feelings are disregarded when attachments are broken, which could be considered a form of emotional abuse.

It's up to grandparents, then to figure out how to remain connected to grandchildren so the child reaps the benefits of a long and prosperous relationship.

Grandparents may need to take the responsibility to head off problems before they surface but also right the wrongs that have created denied visitation.

Grandparents sometimes need to be educated about what exactly they can do to right the wrongs that threaten the grandparent-grandchild relationship. The first lesson can be a hard pill to swallow because it involves changing their behavior rather than expecting the parents to change theirs.

When grandparents remain focused on their primary purpose which is keeping the grandchild in their life, the changes will come about perhaps with a little less internal conflict that change often brings about. It won't be easy, but things that matter never are.

Below are a few helpful guidelines for grandparents who are confused about which way to turn.

Change your behavior not theirs. The only way to achieve a different outcome is to change your own behavior.Assume the 'you and me' rather than 'you or me' position. It's much easier to come to an agreement with someone when you are on the same side.Learn how to go along in order to get along. Presenting oneself as agreeable, rather than aggressive and domineering makes life so much easier for everyone.Recognize the red flags. Pay attention to subtle behaviors, such as excuses, that have the potential to escalate.Take action to re-connect. Don't just stand by and do nothing if you find yourself suddenly alienated from your grandchild.Remain neutral and non-threatening. Don't give advice and keep opinions to yourself.Remove all expectations. Parents are busy and so are kids, don't expect them to accommodate your schedule, instead be grateful for any time that you are given.Don't take things personal. When others lash out it really has nothing to do with us.Adopt preventative measures. Respect parental boundaries and follow their rules which can divert problems before they escalate.Focus on being happy rather than being right. You will be much happier remaining connected to your grandchild if you lose the need to always be right.

Grandparents should always take the least adversarial approach when looking for solutions and always consider the best interests of the child first and foremost.

Susan Hoffman is the author of the book, GRAND WISHES: Advocating To Preserve The Grandparent Grandchild Bond, isbn: 978-0-9799168-0-9. The purpose of the book is to raise awareness about the growing social problem of denied grandparent grandchild access as well as a resource for disenfranchised grandparents. Proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the non profit organization, Advocates For Grandparent Grandchild Connection, of which Susan Hoffman is the creator and director, website is: Her second book, A PRECIOUS BOND:How To Preserve The Grandparent-Grandchild Relationship, is a hands on action oriented approach. For more information visit:

Source: EzineArticles
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