Grandparents Do Not Deserve 'Rights' to See Children


My children love, love LOVE their grandparents. They possibly love their grandparents more than I love my own parents or my husband loves his. They have none of the baggage or memories of slights that we have. They have only a positive and unblighted view and, to me, that's awesome. They have the kind of relationship with their grandparents that I had with mine and I encourage that.

But if I saw any evidence that there were things I didn't like about the way they were being treated, then my husband and I would have every right to limit visitation. In some states, apparently, that's not the case.

Grandparents are fighting to be allowed to visit grandchildren from whom they're cut off. And some are even winning, and those who aren't are driving their children into debt fighting them. It's reprehensible.

I am all for the importance of multi-generational exposure, and I love that my children love my father and stepmother as passionately as they do. But they don't trump me or my husband. If I saw evidence of the things I didn't like being passed to my children or I felt that my children were being treated in a way I wasn't comfortable with, I would be the one in charge, not them.

Some of the parents complain that they have to do visitation with family members they accuse of molesting them. Others are being forced into bad financial positions by grandparents who have more money and can force them into court. It's a bad situation.

For children, it's bad not to see grandparents, but we have to assume that their mom and dad know what's best for them. After all, they were raised by them. If a person thinks their parents aren't healthy for a child, then who are judges to say otherwise?

The situation is sad and tragic. Parents should want their children to know their own parents. But I assume that if they don't, they have good reason and that should be respected. Obviously some cases (like one in which the father chooses not to be involved with the child, but his mother still wants to know him) are different. But by and large, grandparents must adhere to the wishes of the parents.

Not all grandparents bake cookies and behave in a loving manner. They don't have "rights" to their grandkids. Only privileges. It's part of the deal. They don't have to put in the overtime or 1 a.m. hours, but they also don't get the same rights.

What is your kid's relationship with their parents like?



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Kritika Kritika

To be fair there are parents that use their kids as a tool to get back their parents or in laws for petty things. Sad but true. I'm sure there are instances where the grandparents really shouldn't be around but some obviously won court battles for reasons...

Lucre... LucretiaMcEvil

My parents are awesome and my baby loves going to visit on Sundays. They always have a gift for him.

My husband's parents live in Sweden, but we Skype every Sunday (and sometimes Saturday too).

I hope he can meet them one day. They're such nice people.

On a side note, yesterday on "Dr. Phil", there was a grandmother who made false accusations towards her granddaughter's father out of spite. That caused the father to be kept from his daughter for 1 1/2 years. It was sad that she would say that about him just because he didn't want to be with the mother anymore.

I think too many parents involve their children with the grandparents in the wrong ways. Grandparents need to be grandparents, and just visit with and spoil the child. When they are given too much access to raising the child, that causes problems.

Kasey Comingore

in a case where one parent passes away, and the surviving parent refuses to let the child's family see them, yes, a grandparent should have the right to sue. a friend of mine has a child with a horrible man, whom she never married. the man wasn't a part of the daughter's life until she was 4 (she is 9). he has been denied joint custody (unheard of where i live) three times. my friend has lived with her mother since she had her baby. the grandmother helped when the father didn't. recently my friend had a routine, low-risk surgery(as far as surgery goes, less than 1% die). the father told his daughter "the surgery your mom is having is dangerous and i just hope she makes it through. but if she doesn't, don't worry, you will come live with me and my wife." my friend is fine, and doing great in her recovery, but i would hope that the grandmother would have the right to sue for visitation (if not joint custody) with the child she helped raise.

Mommy... MommyMeggyG

i agree with this article. My mother was abusive to me and was even investigates by CPS a few times but nothing was ever done about it because she was a social worker herself. My ex knows that I don't even want my son around her and why but leaves him with her when my son is in his care because she guilts him into it and gets money out of her. Ther's not a whole lot I can do because I don't have any documentation of the abuse just my word.

nonmember avatar kimmyk

Each situation is different. What if the grandparents helped raise the child? My mother helped me raise my son. She is like a second mom to him (and yes, she has helped out at 1 a.m.) They have a special relationship and I think both would be negatively impacted if I were to suddenly limit contact.

This issue should be decided on a case-by-case basis. The best interest of the child should be considered first and foremost, not whose "rights" - parents vs. grandparents - trump all.

jagam... jagamama0710

Our kids have a wonderful relationship with my mom and stepdad. Father-in-law lives states away so he's only seen them a couple times. Mother-in-law passed away before the kids came.

My dad is a different story. He's not abusive but I don't agree with any of his beliefs and he frequently tries to push them on me. He drove drunk with my brother and me once when we were small (we were fine, I didn't know of this til later.) He's always telling me I'm raising our kids wrong and the "crunchy" things I do (cloth diapers, breastfeeing, natural birth, even the fact that I'm going to be a doula) are too weird and unhealthy. He told me I was trying to turn our son into "a gay" because I have a picture of him pushing his sister's stroller, I'm going to enroll him in a class at MyGym and as an infant he wore onesies. Yes, onesies sound gay to him. He's 20 months old. The man is the very definition of crazy conservative christian. Whenever he talks about them he says "MY grandchildren". "Why would you do that to MY grandson?" He acts as though I'm still 12 years old and doesn't respect the fact that I am grown up now and these are my children. He had a chance to raise his kids and he didn't do it. Combine that with the fact that I believe he still drinks (I haven't seen him in 2 years, I talk to him once or twice a month) I would never be comfortable letting him be alone with them, although I don't mind him visiting with them in our presence. It makes me sad. He wasn't always so crazy.

jpfsmom jpfsmom

Obviously certain conditions apply but to deprive rights to grandparents over trivial items such as keeping the child up an extra hour past their bedtime or because they gave your child a candy bar against your wishes is petty but my sister in law did just that to get back at her family.

Kristy Hinojosa

I have a situation where I've stopped allowing visits because of the accusation of molestation and if my inlaws tried suing me, I'd go public with it.  I don't care, it's my job to protect my children and I don't trust anyone that's ever molested a child.

Melis... Melissa042807

We have good relationships with both of our parents and they love our son. My mother-in-law can rub me the wrong way sometimes but she adores her grandkids and would never ever do anything to harm them. 

batb2009 batb2009

My kids dont really see any of their grandparents.  Their fathers mother doesn't call or put in effort.  His father is deceased.  My father and mother dont put any effort into even calling so....its just how it is. I feel bad and want them to have grandparents, but I can't force them to be good to my kids.  I tried bringing them to visit and the grandparents don't even talk to them.  Someday I'll be a wonderful grandparent to my grandkids to make up for this loss in our families.

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