My grandkids won’t talk to me!

February 12th, 2013 posted by Family Corner Staff

Photo Copyright Amanda Formaro/The Family 1998, 1999, 2000


“How does a grandmother deal with divorce, when it comes to the grandchildren? They will not communicate with me when they are with their mom(ages 6 & 8). When they are with my son, they are totally different (like it use to be).”

~ Please help

Answers from our members:

Camille Arthurwrote:

I lost my children to their dad and I just recently received joint custody of them and get them for the summer and on every other weekend, but it is hard and the kids will play the other parent against the other, but I also never talked bad about their dad and I let them know that their feelings counted and if they can’t express them to me or their dad to talk to their grandma’s but then that became an issue, but there are so many people (counselors) that may help, but I used the issue of talking out your feelings and we now understand that it is okay to have those feeling. It is a struggle also because my family lives in the same town as my children and they are not to talk to them in the presence of their step mother. So if I helped good, but I also need help in this particular situation.

Susan Nikolauswrote:

I am not a Grandmother yet, but have step children who show the same signs when with their mother than with me. I never talk bad about their mother and treat them the same way I treat my children, with love. That’s the way I would go if I were you, ignore the “bad blood” between the parents, and just love them as their Grandmother!

Susan Wilkins-Hubleywrote:

Hi there! Your situation is not unusual at all. It’s obvious that your grandchildren have some conflicting feelings of loyalty between their mom and their dad’s side of the family. There are many different reasons that this can happen. Sometimes it is because one parent pressures the children to “take sides” or bad mouths them. Sometimes it is because the children themselves feel an obligation to “choose” regardless of outside influences or lack thereof. Most of the time, the children have been influenced in some way however *by someone*. My advice to you is to continue to attempt to make contact with these kids as they are most likely confused and want to know that you still love them. They need to know this, regardless of their behavior or their awareness of it. This is nothing personal. You might even want to gently bring this up with “mom” in such a way that you show concern for the kids. Stay away from laying blame or pointing fingers. Use “I” statements, telling her how you feel and how you think they might feel as well. Let her know you are willing to work with her, rather than against her and that your agenda is genuinely in favor of the kids. She might feel uncertain about your relationship with her. Hopefully this advice will be helpful and it will be the solution. In more extreme cases, there are resources and avenues grandparents can take legally to see and speak with the children, although costly — but worth it! Depending on how long the divorce has been going on, things usually change and get better in time once everyone has found their place and understands the changing roles and boundaries that a divorce incurs. Susan Wilkins-Hubley The Second The Ex-Wives

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