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My son's ex won't let me see my grandkids

From Friday's Globe and Mail

I've said things about my daughter-in-law that, in retrospect, I shouldn't have. Now what can I do? ...Read the full article

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  1. A person from Toronto, Canada writes: She never said that this grandparent cannot ever see her children...she said that he can see them on his son's time. I think that's perfectly reasonable. While she has the children, I am sure that she makes sure they bond with her family and they see the grandparent's on her side. It is the son's obligation to make sure that during his time with the kids, he does the same with side of the family.
  2. Dulce et Decorum Est Pro HARPER Mori? from David Thomson please buy back the Globe and restore quality!, writes: The short answer: If you have time, money, and a half-decent case, take her to court.
  3. cyan blue from Canada writes: Oh dear... 'he has very limited time with them and is out of town a lot'

    Once again, we have either a parent avoiding their responsibility, or a court that is complicit in valuing females over males. Except in highly unusual cases, kids should spend equal time with both parents. Else society places a value on women over men that will come to haunt us all. [And, yes, the father should position himself to get a different job or transfer his position within the company so he does not need to spend this time away. There has been a significant, material change here that should not be ignored - and not least by him. Kids don't need money. Kids need love].

    What was that joke about Mother's Day cards selling out in jail, but not one Father's Day card sold?
  4. Western Girl from Canada writes:
    If Grandad had a significant relationship with his grandkids (not clear from the article, and obviously 'significant' begs some definition), the limited and conditional contact his daughter-in-law allows isn't reasonable. From what's presented here, daughter-in-law sounds mean-spirited and vindictive, and seems far more interested in defending her own wounded pride than offering her children access to a wonderful and nurturing relationship with their grandfather. If Grandad had been abusive to his grandkids, then limiting access to when their dad is present is reasonable. No evidence of that here.
  5. A person from Toronto, Canada writes: I don't think the contact the mother proposed is unreasonable.

    I am not divorced, but I have a daughter, and parents, and the truth of the matter is that they see her on our schedule and at my (and my husband's) discretion. I don't see how divorce should suddenly change this such that the grandparents can now force a parent to hand her children over to their care.

    The father in this case needs to step up, stop travelling as much, spend more time with his own kids and make sure that they continue to foster a relationship with HIS parents. The mom will do the same with HER side of the family.
  6. H M K from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Couldn't it be argued that the grandparent is also guilty of 'parental alienation syndrome' in view of their history of bad-mouthing the mother?

    Would children in the grandparent(s) care hear more of the same? As a mother (and judge), I would seriously consider this possibility before allowing visitation, and it doesn't surprise me that there is limited contact now.

    The best way to repair feelings is not in a courtroom; it's with personal contact. Grandparent should show daughter-in-law that there are no hard feelings towards HER, apologize for mean-spirited comments, etc. Only then would more visitation be considered.
  7. Ursula Seawitch from Canada writes: My brother is a single parent whose wife died. He has a shaky relationship with his wife's parents and they don't see their grandson all that much.

    It would have been helpful if the Grandparents made an effort to keep in touch with the kid. They could have sent funny cards or letters. Or offered to pick him up for ice cream etc. It's too bad because the kid is missing out.

    But I agree with the previous writers. Courts would only make the matter worse. Mend some fences with Mom and offer to be some help to her.
    Great column as usual DE and very much a topical subject,.
  8. D K from Calgary, Canada writes: Talk to a lawyer. The Globe column quoting a lawyer and the commenters here are not the same thing. I'm not suggesting you sue or go to court, but an initial consultation will be free for the first half hour or so and give you a more clear picture of your rights. And, to be clear, and to differentiate this from some of the less-informed commenters, your rights and the parents' rights are not really at play here. The rights at issue are the childrens'. It's not fair for their mother to withhold access from you out of spite. The children have a right to be doted upon by both sets of grandparents, and getting the mother to understand this may be where a lawyer - in explaining this to you or to her - may be useful, without going to court. Coordinating that doting must, of course, be done reasonably by both sides.
  9. Ineeda Vacation from Red Deer, Canada writes: As a child from similar situation, all I can say is that the child will choose. You deny access to the grandparents and that will assure that the child will seek them out once old enough and actually likely have a more honest relationship in the end as freinds. That is my experience. The fight to get access through the courts will anger the child and jade them for future relationships with all parents and grandparents.
  10. A D from Canada writes: If I were the mother, I'd be afraid of the grandparents using their time to bad mouth me. Grandparents, you need to promise Mom that you will take care of the kids as she wants you to.

    Ask your son, next time he needs to skip visitation to go out of town, if you can pick up the duties for him.
  11. Celt Girl from Toronto, Canada writes: I note you have not apologized to the mother. Do you blame her for not allowing you to see the kids? What assurances have you given her that you are not going to 'bad mouth' her to her children?

    Be an adult--apologize. And mean it.
  12. L M from Canada writes: Given the current state of affairs, I completely agree with the mother. The grandparent can see the children during the husband's visitation. It is the sons responsibility to manage the grandparent relationship on his side of the family.
    I don't see how the grandparent can claim 'grandparent alienation syndrome' when badmouthed the mother to his son. He really needs to apologize to the mother if he has any hope of seeing the children during her time with them. Maybe sending a letter would be better than speaking in person. Why would the mother make an effort to have the children see him if he, by his own admission, has said horrible things about her?
    I am not a mother, but I will be, and I am shocked by the concept that the grandparents might have 'rights' to our child. It was my understanding that they would see the children on our schedule, when it works for us.
    The only way I could see an argument for legal access by a grandparent is if either one or both parents had passed away or one or both parents were unfit.
  13. yada yada yada from Canada writes: The mother is absolutely right. Grandparents who can't keep their thoughts to themselves have only themselves to blame.
  14. Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: You made your bed...
  15. Shanny Bee from Edmonton, Canada writes: This happens so much in my family and I am always the one stuck in the middle of all the drama. My sister and mother having outrageous conflicts and me being the referee for them. I see the kids suffering because of their childish behavior. I usually stay out of it when I can, by ignoring phone calls from each party etc. It is very hard for me to see the kids go through this and it affects them more than anyone knows :(
  16. butterfly princess from caledon, Canada writes: I agree with LM.

    The maternal grandparents should deal with the mother, and the paternal grandparents (more specifically, maternal grandMOTHER) should deal with the father.
    If the grandmother wants to see her grandkids more, she should respect boundaries and approach her son first.
    Perhaps when the dad knows hes going to be out of town during his visitation time, the grandmother could go to his house and watch the kids. However, i still think that the grandmother should deal with the father. She should once and for all, leave the mother alone.
  17. Anna Korenova from Czech Republic writes: Definitely not in the best interest of children to associate with people who badmouth their parents.
  18. J S from Canada writes: Unfortunately, this is a case for the courts.
  19. Ziad Fazel from Calgary, Canada writes: Agree with several previous commenters:

    1. Gut check that you are not going to badmouth to the kids, or take sides, before you do anything.

    2. Ask your son whether you can exercise the access he skips when out of town. See whether it would work out better they stay in his home, or yours, when you do so. Find out how to make it best for the kids.

    3. If you are still on speaking terms with his ex, give her a polite heads up about this, and apologize for your past errors.

    4. This is not a case for the courts. The mother of the children has already said the grandparents can spend time with the children during the dad's time, and likely has to scramble when the dad has business trips during his scheduled access, leaving/dumping the kids with her. She might actually be very grateful for the grandparents' contribution.

    5. If there are rough spots, work them out with a mediator. But try really hard to limit the issues in mediation, and not make it a catch-all for all the past issues. Solve one little thing at a time and build momentum to resolve disputes directly, or again through mediation.
  20. chanel turner from Canada writes: Hey, this is why when your 'seperate' from their spouses you keep your mouths shut. You never know if they will get back together also the anger towards the spouse will be felt by the kids.
  21. D S from Canada writes: I wonder why the mother doesn't want you to see her child? Perhaps she is worried that you will do what you accuse her of; Using a child to get back at the mother. The father needs to intervene/get involved and this should never go to court.
  22. Just Me from GTA, Canada writes: I see more things here...
    IMO, there is a clear fact--> the mother wants that the granfather visits happen during the father's time. After she was clearly insulted, it makes sense.
    However, the father travels too much, and he is not visiting his kids a lot. Perhaps the father is faling as dad and son..... and he is the one who should go to the courts...
  23. Oswaldo I from Canada writes: The writer needs to resolve the issue with his son. If the son accepts responsibility and custody rights he can give access to the grandfather.

    I think the lawyer in this case was speaking generally in that a grandparent may, rarely, be granted access in the best interest of the child. However, in the specific case, the grandparent already has some access so I think the legal route is a dead end and would only worsen the situation.
  24. G A from Vancouver, Canada writes: At first blush it seemed like a parent using the kid as a weapon - but then other reasonable possibilities come to mind. Of course with the limited (and one sided) information presented, everything else is assumption.

    Have you checked the thought that the children's mother does not trust you to behave yourself and act against the children's best interests? That might explain why you are olny allowed what basically amounts to supervised access.

    Wouldn't it be nice if we were all perfectly mannered and well balanced - then it would be a slam dunk in terms of what is in the best interest of the children.
  25. Denis Pakkala from St. Catharines, Canada writes: What is the good solution for dealing with an abusive and vindictive ex-spouse who is dedicated to seeking revenge?

    Family Courts provide ample opportunity to create more conflict and act as an enabler for an abusive and vindictive ex-spouse.
  26. SomeGuy From Hamilton from Hamilton, Canada writes: I really hope the grandfather has more restraint in talking bad about the mom with the grandchildren then with his son. There is a difference in conversations between adults and then between an adult and a child.

    But I am non-custodial dad, and I don't see much issue here. My parents see my daughter on my time. My ex has even allowed my family to visit on an occassion (well, once).

    But really, what the dad could do is when he is out of town, arrange for his parents to look after the kids. Unless the ex has a right of first refusal to look after the children in the dad's absense, then he should be able to make these arrangements.

    I just hope both mom, dad and the grandparents can all actually act like adults and not talk bad to the kids.
  27. C M from Canada writes: I agree with another poster above - as the parent, I would want to make darned sure that the grandparent isn't bad mouthing me to my child in any way. I think it's in the grandparent's best interest to try and reconcile with the ex-daughter in law first. Even if it ends up being at best a business-like relationship, the mother will need reassuring first that the air at grandma and grandpa's won't be toxic.
  28. peter van arnhem from Burlington, Canada writes: There is not enough information here to comment intelligently.

    This case sounds VERY much like a group of people I know quite well.

    In the case of the group I know, I would NOT let any of them near my kids except by court order....

    The grand parent even tried to get a court order to see their grand children on a regular basis......which was luckily denied....

    They are a group of animals of the worst kind....so until I have more info, I'll give the mom the benefit of the doubt....
  29. Sydney Goldberg from Canada writes: David Eddie is a talented writer and actor, but has no law degree. What would the Grandpa sue the mother about. She is within her rights to suggest quite clearly that he can visit the Grand Children when his son has them. His complaint is that his son travels a lot and spends little time with the children, so that is where the complaint clearly should be. Perhaps better advise would be to find someone who has mutual respect for both parties and can get a message to the ex wife. Maybe if Grandpa who admits his mouth got him in trouble, makes an effort to explain that he made a big mistake and talked out of turn, she will be a little more understanding. I imagine she believes that Grandpa will make un welcome comments about her during these visits and I can't blame her for that. One more suggestion is that he offer to make those visits in her presence. That way the comments will not be a problem for her. I'm also not an attorney, but one thing is for sure if Grandpa takes her to court and loses, he will not see those children again until they are of legal age. Sydney Joel Goldberg
  30. BC Philosopher from Canada writes: I like this issue, so many different ways to look at it so many different variables to consider. The reply was excellent too, solid and balanced advice. Personally I think the issue degenerates from the immediate concern. What has come across in the article is that the father's time with his kids is very limited and that further limits the grandparents time with them. If this is as conveyed in the article the father deserves to have more available time with the kids that he could then delegate to his own parents. As much as its littered with vitriol and bitterness the mother is right to control her time for the kids as she sees fit. The unfortunate thing is that she is limiting her children's abilities to know their roots and make deeper family connections. Due issues in my own family I can say my relationships with my grandparents are strained and limited, only finally growing again now that I am an adult and that to this day saddens me. Especially because my grandfather died when I was 12. You can say the kids have the freedom to seek them out when they are older, but will they be there to be sought out? Whatever anger between the mother and the grandparent may be there, it is wrong to control their relationship with their grandchildren as part of a personal slight. It teaches the children the wrong things, and believe me the children are watching and learning. Push comes to shove if the grandparents are not a destructive unfluence whatever bitterness may be there, let them see their grandchildren the chance may not be there soon. No child deserves to lose the chance to know their family because of personal bitterness, you are punishing the child too.
  31. Dawn A from Waterloo, Canada writes: Remember we don't know all the information here. Perhaps the mother is vindictive and using the children as a weapon (which in this case if that is a fact, perhaps she was like this while in the marriage which makes Gramps comments legitimate).

    I would try to reconcile with the mother of the child. Whether the father is out of town a lot or not makes no difference---my father was out of town a lot for work because that's what he had to do to look after our family. So, for those of you who just say 'Get a job that's closer and spend more time with your kids', maybe easy for you to say but it's not easy for someone to do necessarily.

    If you have to Gramps, guilt the mother into recognizing the importance of having grandparents around. To those of you who say that it's reasonable that the grandparents see them during visitation--well that depends. What if the father gets 2 hours a week with them? When I was growing up I saw my paternal grandparents (after my parents divorced) as much if not more than before the divorce. They were like a second set of parents. NEVER underestimate the importance of grandparents.

    If all else fails, get a judge. The child depending on how old, will probably not even remember the court case so it won't affect them. Exert your rights as a grandparent though. It's 'in the best interests of the child.'
  32. harry carnie from Northern B.C, Canada writes: A Person from Toronto , and Chanel Turner, Just Me, EXCELLENT POSTS

    If 'Grampsey' visits with the father(his son), there is still the opportunity to rebuild a 'tolerant' relationship with his ex daughter in law.

    It would appear that Grampsey while giving moral support to his son did NOT REMAIN NEUTRAL.
    Difficult to do (keep one`s mouth SHUT!) but
    necessary.
    He also may have contributed to the tipping point in the breakup as well.
    Grandmas/Grandpas.......uncles/ aunts
    LET THE COUPLE HANDLE IT ON THEIR OWN.

    LISTEN TO BOTH SIDES with a sympathetic ear.
    Even it you have to chew your own tongue to keep
    silent...do it. When it all blows over..there will be much less heartbreak for all.

    Those who advise going to court, must be lawyers.
    Or bloody stupid. That destroys any relationship that has a chance of developing forever..and creates LIFETIME ENEMIES of all concerned.
  33. harry carnie from Northern B.C, Canada writes: P.S It is also expensive as H3LL.
  34. Rain Couver from Canada writes: My biggest concern is for the child's welfare, not the grandparent's rights.

    By the way, this grandfather never apologized, his only remorse is that he said things that maybe he should have just 'kept to myself.' It is obvious that this grandparent is going to bad mouth the mother so I would respectfully suggest that the mother in fact speak to a lawyer to ensure that grandpa is not allowed to be around the child.

    If the grandfather is so intent on seeing the child, he will do everything and anything to rectify the situation, and a good first start would be to apologize profusely for saying the things that he said to the mother. Another poster recommended possibly helping the mother, that would be another great place to begin.

    Another poster argued that mom and dad should get equal time. I respectfully disagree. The child should spend more time with the parent that is most likely to provide a stable and caring environment. How healthy is it for a child to have to go to two separate schools based on whoever has custody? How healthy is it to live like a vagabond and not have one place to use as an address. I am not saying that fathers don't deserve equal rights, good fathers do, just as well as good mothers. Bad mothers and fathers do not deserve equal rights.
  35. Hee Hoo Sai from Canada writes: Put brain in gear before activating mouth. Any attempts at legal action will profit the lawyers quite nicely and make the present bad situation worse. Take whatever time it requires to get this sorted out to everyones satisfaction. The childern will not gain anything by more exposure to an unplesant situation.
  36. Blue Guy from Canada writes: Obviously you have not a clue about shared parenting and that makes me very angry to say the least. YOU ARE DEAD WRONG!

    My son lives with me and my ex equally. He goes to ONE school. He is well adjusted inspite of the fact that she is a vindictive mean spirited idiot.

    People will use whatever they can against the other and the courts need to wake up
  37. Chuck the Canuk from East of Eden, Canada writes: The person who answered the letter imparts a great amount of wisdom and humility. The answer he gave was absolutely great I thought. Informative, non argumentive. Now all I see posting here are a bunch of petty minded weasels crapping all over the father and grandfather for all sorts of various things. And I bet most of them are females taking the woman's side. All you can think about is revenge and causing more pain to make the people suffer more and deny the child the love they deserve. Attitudes like yours make me sick, and that is why the lawyers make gazillions of dollars in cases like this, and the courts are filled with spiteful idiots who want to use the kids as weapons. Someone called you a name or said something you didn't like. Big deal. Get over it and move on is what I would tell the mother.
  38. harry carnie from Northern B.C, Canada writes: Rain Couver...Excellent points.

    At my age I have seen a lot of unnecessary heartbreak with friends and relatives over the years.

    You cannot remain impartial(silent yes) in not
    having sympathy for ALL concerned.(both sides)

    People in most cases, do bring it on themselves. Just a sad component of human nature.
  39. S K from Canada writes: I see nothing unfair in the mother's request and I'm confused by how Chuck the Canuck is so offended. If the mother's parents wanted to see the kids on the father's time I'm sure the father would also say no. I'm sure she's upset by the Grandfather's words but it sounds like she did get over it. She's not saying he can never see the kids, he just needs to do it when it's his family's time.

    The grandfather makes excuses for his son's lack of presence. I know people who once divorced quit jobs that required travel because their household no longer had someone at home to watch the kids and they WANTED to be with their kids. Even if it meant a pay cut. Grandpa needs to get his son to spend more time with his kids so that he can see his grandchild.

    Either way grandpa should apologize. It's the adult thing to do when you get caught bad mouthing people.
  40. Susan Cook from Newmarket, Canada writes: Parents always have the right of first refusal when the other parent cannot exercise their time with the child(ren). That will always supercede the grandparents. Granparents can spend thousands of dollars in legal fees to find out that same thing. I had clients who were being refused access to their grandchildren even after the grandmother was the daycare provider for the twins for the first five years of their life....if that isnt more significant a bond than with most grandparents I dont know what is...and they still lost every time they went to court.
  41. Rain Couver from Canada writes: Blue Guy from Canada writes: My son lives with me and my ex equally. He goes to ONE school. He is well adjusted inspite of the fact that she is a vindictive mean spirited idiot.

    >>I would recommend that you document any possible issues with your ex. If she is as you say, you might have the potential for full custody. Again, my concern is for the welfare of the child. If he grows up well adjusted and not having to go through therapy or does not manifest any behavioural issues, than consider me happy that I was wrong. Unfortunately, I have way too many family members working in education, policing and law to know that your child will be the exception rather than the rule. I wish it were not so.
  42. Man of La Mancha from Canada writes: Chuck the Canuk from East of Eden, .... you are correct Chuck. You beat me to it. Most posters are suggesting mean and petty ways of continuing the battle. Is it any wonder that so many divorces are so nasty?
  43. Chrissy Simon from Canada writes: I think the son sounds like an idiot. Why on earth did he report everything his dad said about his wife to her? Rather than trying to force his ex-daughter-in-law to allow him access to the kids, this grandfather should encourage his son to travel a little less and spend a bit more time with his children. Grandparents are a luxury not every child has, but an involved and interested dad is a necessity.
  44. Sherlock Holmes from Toronto, Canada writes: Chuck the Canuk from East of Eden - It has nothing to do with a female thing. Perhaps it is your own bias but as a female, I would have sided exactly the same way if the story were reversed and it was the man who had been badmouthed. I'm actually quite offended that anybody would imply otherwise. What I know from the article: 1. The grandfather badmouthed the mother 2. The father relayed these mean-spirited thoughts 3. The father is not around the kids much during his time. What I strongly believe: 1. The family unit is the father, mother and the child. All others are extensions - and while I'm not advocating that associations should be cut, the primary care takers and decision makers are the mother and the father. That grandfather has no right to the child. In fact, I find that when grandparents interfere and conflict with parenting given by parents, it makes the situation worse. 2. By his own actions, he was NOT responsible in the way he dealt with the situation between his son and his daughter-in-law. As the daughter-in-law (and if it were reverse, son-in-law), why should I trust the actions of this man around my children? His BEHAVIOUR sets an example for my kids. 3. If anything, his request to go to court seems like a clock for validation of his own vindictive actions. If he really wanted to be responsible, he would own up to his actions and apologize to his daughter-in-law, and you know what? If she doesn't immediately forgive, it is his responsibility to try to seek reconciliation. 4. He could also talk to his own son, and make it clear that he would like more time with them during his son's time. By going to the court, HE's the one being vindictive and trying to take the easy way out of consequences due to his own actions.
  45. Rick Jones from The Rock, Canada writes: Rain Couver from Canada
    -----------------------------

    Good post!
  46. M J from Canada writes: Such 'knowledgeable' comments...my former mother in law decided that I could make her son have a more positive relationship with her father and told me so. Had she have kept her mouth shut, we would probably have a more positive relationship, regardless of the actions of her son. While that statement impacted my relationship with the 'out-laws' I chose to allow a grandparent relationship with their granddaughter, even taken her to another province on my holidays because their son did not...an act that I was ridiculed for repeatedly over the years. My daughter is now an adult who can make her own choices. I noticed that the mother did not object to a relationship with the grandchild, only that is was not separate or distinct from that of the father. By not objecting to him seeing his grandchild at all, it appears that she is showing more grace to him, than he is to her. He, by his own admission, seriously badmouthed his former daughter-in-law, a fact that HE is responsible to own up to, with HER. He is responsible to heal the rife, that he created. I appears that so far he is not man enough to own up to his own failings. She has no responsibility to him, her responsibility is solely to her child. Based on the information presented, he messed up. He needs to suck it up, be a man and apologize for his actions. I will bet that he will see a marked difference in his daughter-in-law if he owns up to his owns up to his own failings and demonstrates that he is willing to put aside his own feelings and work for the best interests of his grandchild, regardless how he feels about his former daughter-in-law. The next move is his...and it should be towards her, not a lawyer. Lawyers work in adversarial arenas, not cooperative ones.
  47. MJ Patchouli from Regina, Canada writes: Since we have no idea what the grandfather said about the mother, it's hard to judge. It could have been something quite egregious that she would never want repeated to her children.

    I agree that she has NOT denied access to the kids, and also that if it's at all possible, he should try to apologize and tell her he loves the kids.

    But lots of men won't do that, will they? Court is a bad idea.
  48. Mikey Dee from Canada writes: I would allow a a carefully supervised visitation...after all Grampa dissed the mom badly and could very easily continue thru the children. Now mom is quite capable of defending herself BUT children are very very impressionable and pick up on many things you would never think
  49. Kilgore Trout from Canada writes: It's sad, and ultimately selfish for people to use their children as pawns. Too many people take the bitterness they have towards their spouse and think the kids should be on their side too - that once spouse is unequivocally wrong and therefore the other is 'right'. Unfortunately a lot of women are very possessive of 'their' kids, forgetting that the children are actually their own persons and have rights to relationships with others too - regardless of how the mother feels about them.

    The man should probably apologize to her, promise to butt out of disputes between her and his son in the future and take the moral high-road but at the same time, it's tough to reason with bitter people.

    I say this as a child of a parent who often feuded with other relatives and in-laws - mums who restrict access to other relatives (abusive ones excepted, of course) because of their own quarrels with them are just plain immature and selfish and when their kids are adults, they will see it too.
  50. ginny smith from Canada writes: The grandfather needs to reach out. Right now, the mother is not forbidding grandparent visits; she's said they can take place during the father's times. That's not unreasonable - our kids see their grandparents on our schedule too. (and we only have one set; my spouse's parents died before the kids were born). If the grandfather feels he has a right to more visitation, then he needs to actually do something about the comments he 'feels badly about'. Individuals are responsible for their actions; from the letter, he hasn't done anything about those comments, ergo, he hasn't taken responsibility for them. I'm not surprised that the mother isn't so willing to budge - would you, if you knew that your inlaws have said terrible things about you?
  51. scott thomas from Canada writes: Grandad said things about his ex-daughter in law that he acknowleges were unacceptable. How can she trust him with her children? And the idea is to take her to court? That will come out of the clothing budget. Nice. Real nice. Perhaps grandpa should just go away, lie down, and think about what he's said.
  52. A Concerned Gramma from bc, Canada writes: I have observed to my dismay that the custodial parent seems to think they have absolute 'control' over the child's relationships. So many moms become tyrants. I don't feel that access should ever be denied to a child unless there has been abuse. And courts have to very carefully consider whether alleged abuse by a tyranical custodial parent is real or not.
    It seems that these tyrants get so tied up in revenge that they do not make good decisions for the children involved.
    A child deserves to lap up the love, support and experiences from all members of their family - not just the side of the family that the custodial parent likes.
  53. shoshana berman from Canada writes: She has no reason to deal with this man who has maligned her and possibly would continue to do so in front of her children. The best interests of the children are also not served by a third parent figure with legal standing. She is correct in saying the grandfather can see the children on his son's time with them. His son is the person this grandfather needs to talk to. As far as a court case goes, I believe this would only hold water if the son were dead. With the son alive and with access and parenting there it would not be in the best interest of any child to involve third parties in formal rights to access and parental rights. Absolutely if his son were dead or incarcerated, but not when there is access and already a coparent.
  54. shoshana berman from Canada writes: By the grandpa, you would be immensly harming your grandchildren and their mother by taking her to court, with its emotional and financial toll for your own selfish reasons aka seeing your grandchildren more. You get to see them, just when your son wants you to. this has nothing to do with their mother. Contrary to the advice given in this column, not only is taking this to court a bad idea that the children will resent, I think your chances are slim to none when you have access through your son. You could lose them entirely if they decide they don't want to see you anymore because of what you put their mother through. Tread carefully.
  55. Anna Korenova from Czech Republic writes: 'No, sweetheart, you cannot have... because Gramps took me to court and I had to pay a lawyer.' Yes, that's really going to help the relationship. An apology would be cheaper and more effective, don't you think?
  56. SusieQ 321 from Canada writes: I have seen the other side of this watched the Mother struggle to decide does she give up her time with her kids to grandparents she doesn't like, who have badmouthed her... the answer is exactly what this mother is doing.
    The father has time with his children, his family can spend time with the children when it is his time, not the mothers time. There is no rule in this world saying we all have to be friends.. and why should I be forced to deal with an exes family he can deal with them.
  57. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: As parent, it's my way or the highway unless you're prepared to take on a significant amount of the challenge of raising the kids during the rough spots.

    Floating in when things are fun and disappearing otherwise generates no entitlments as far as I'm concerned.

    Seems the baby boomers have found themselves another "entitlement" they can't live without.
  58. Irresponsible and Unpredictible from Canada writes: How old are the kids? Maybe they have something to say about this.
  59. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: I'd beware taking this to court. If he wins the right to visitation, she can sue him for support payments.

    Nothing comes for free that isn't freely given.
  60. Cake Eater from toronto, Canada writes: Philosopher King - I AGREE....

    I can say from experience...the grandparent ends up causing more damage then good....at their age what's the chance the grandparent will change?

    Why take a chance with having your children spend time with a disgruntled grandparent....

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