Q&A with Geoff: How Do I Respond to Being Blocked from Seeing My Grandchildren?

q&a with geoff Jul 19, 2023


Other than praying, how can we be effective grandparents when our child is living with her boyfriend and they have decided to “cancel” us and allow us no contact whatsoever with them or our two granddaughters (they each have a different father, and the boyfriend is not father to either of them), while at the same time they are telling our granddaughters that we do not truly love them, and yet the granddaughters are anxious to see us?


It is a tough situation when family relationships become strained and disjointed. It's evident from your words how much you love and miss your granddaughters. I'm sorry you're facing this trial. Being disconnected from family, especially grandchildren, is heartbreaking. Let’s talk about what you can do to respond to a situation where you have limited options.

You mentioned that you're already praying, and this is an excellent first step. I believe prayer, meditation, and surrender are important for our wellbeing, especially when confronted with situations that feel impossible. In addition to praying, it's also important to be patient and respect your daughter’s process, even when you don’t agree with it. 

While you're waiting, focus on improving yourself and improving your relationships. You don’t have to silently tap your toes while you wait for your daughter to come back to you. Instead, create healthy conditions that will send signals that you’re available for connection when she’s ready. This period can be an opportunity to increase your capacity for love and patience. As you do this, I’m confident it will change the way you see yourself, your daughter, and this entire situation.

Now, regarding the claims that you do not truly love your granddaughters, it is heart-wrenching to hear such things. Remember, it's not about proving to anyone that you love your granddaughters but about genuinely loving them from afar, in your prayers and in your heart.

I recognize that your daughter doesn’t want you to have contact with the grandchildren, but will she allow you to communicate with her? If so, focus on sending messages of love and interest to your daughter and her boyfriend. You might disagree with her relationship choices, but as you take genuine interest in her and her relationship, she might feel less judged and criticized. It’s likely she already feels judged by you and others with her history of broken relationships. She simply might engage with the world from a defensive posture that would make it hard for anyone to get close to her. You might write letters to your granddaughters expressing your love and care for them. It's important to avoid arguing or bringing up contentious issues in these communications.

If you treat your daughter as if she’s getting in your way and keeping you from what you really want, then she will likely feel objectified and disregarded. She was your daughter first and likely has wounds that need tending. Of course, I recognize that situations are often more complex than this, but I do see a lot of grandparents rushing past their own children to connect to the grandchildren, leaving their adult children feeling disregarded. Loving our adult children is often tougher than loving those sweet grandchildren.

Continue to extend invitations to your daughter and her boyfriend. These invitations can be for meals, holidays, or simple get-togethers. Let them know that your door is always open, and your love is unconditional. 

Be careful to not fixate so much on your grandchildren that you inadvertently give up on your daughter. Check yourself and look deep inside to see if there are unresolved injuries or offenses that need repair. Your daughter may be using her own children as her only leverage to send a protest signal that she’s hurting. While I don’t think it’s a good idea to use grandchildren in this way, it may be a signal that’s worth exploring.

I believe that sincere efforts are never wasted. Continue to try to love and reach out to your daughter and her children if she’ll allow it. In time, your genuine love and concern may help heal the rift.

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