Hi everyone and welcome to Bristol Grandparents Support Group blog. Although we are Bristol based we have grandparents from all over the UK and beyond as members.

It is estimated that over one million children in the UK are denied contact with their grandparents due to family breakdown which may have been caused by divorce/separation, alcohol/drug dependency,domestic violence,bereavement or family feud.
Every child has the right to have contact with their grandparents
if they wish and unless proven unsafe for them to do so. To deny contact from a parent or grandparent has to become as socially unacceptable as drink driving.
I hope to keep you up to date with what is going on in BGSG and I shall continue to campaign for the rights of children to have a loving and meaningful relationship with both parents and their extended family. So please join in as good to hear your views, not just mine!
I also will support via Skype.
There is no membership fee to be part of Bristol Grandparents Support Group.
Esther Rantzen says, " To every grandparent, links of love can never be broken in our hearts."

Please contact during office hours.

Sunday 4 September 2011

Do grandparents have a place in mediation?

The title evokes all sorts of responses I am sure, it rather depends which side of the fence you are on.
There needs to be an honest response, that not all grandparents are the stereotypical, gentle, grey haired elderly folk they once were.
There is no doubt that in a perfect world, grandparents would be the bedrock of the family, senior members of the family unit to pass on their wisdom, experiences and advice. That is not always the case.
As we all know, none of us live in a perfect world.
When our sons/daughters separate from their spouses, it is so easy to blame our childs' spouse, isn't it natural to defend our children, what ever age they are. We become part of the blame game.
But at what expense can that be?
Separation and subsequent divorce is such a painful experience for all involved, an experience that some people never get over.
All parties are equally important, but children are caught up in something that they have no control over, their once stable family life is falling apart around them. Mum and Dad are upset or angry all the time, and they don't know how to react.
Grandparents should be able to see the wider picture, not get involved in the emotional turmoil and be prepared to put their feelings to one side and talk , and listen.
If grandchildren can see that their grandparents are not judging anyone, or being disloyal to either of their parents, they are the perfect people to be a stabilising influence. A sanctuary in the storm.
Sounds easy, but of course it isn't.
We go through the pain as well of seeing our sons/daughters relationships break down, but we need to be as neutral as we can to ensure that the children can continue having a good relationship with both parents and grandparents and all the extended family.
The end game is too precious to put it in jeopardy.


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