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Connecting with Grandchildren

Q: I have a hard time speaking directly to my grandchildren. I’ve never been someone who expresses their feelings easily or was a great communicator. My wife usually acts as a “translator” for me. My grandkids spend a lot of time at my house, but I travel a lot and keep late hours. It seems as if I’m becoming less and less important and useful to my own family. What can I do?

A: Your complaint is quite common. In the past, men usually worked outside the home and relegated the household tasks and child-rearing to the women. When Dad came home from a long day of work, he was deferred to as an authority figure, although in truth – because of his absence – he was detached from his home life. Today, technology allows many people to work from home or at least do some work remotely.

Sit down with your children and grandchildren  and tell them you would like to be more involved in family life.  Make an effort to take the time to participate in family activities. Call the children, e-mail them, use SKYPE  often to touch base with everyone. Have your grandchildren visit you at work. The more time you spend in direct contact with each member of your family, the better you will come to know them.


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  1. Stanley Tucci June 30th, 2012

    If you live close enough have them come regularly to eat and sleep over. This works really well until they reach 6th grade. After that hey then are so involved with after school activites and friends. However, not too much time will lapse and they realize they miss those times and then call and ask can we come over for Sat. dinner and sleep over.

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  2. Janet Roach May 8th, 2013

    My problem is Our daughter has lost custody of our two granddaughters to their fathers. She was addicted to drugs. We went to three lawyers to ask about getting custody and were told we had no rights and no ground to stand on. The fathers have there flaws as well. the oldest Emma her father drinks allot and he has left several bruises on her and he emotionly abuses her as well. Avah the youngest her father is also an alcoholic/ and abusive to our daughter, he is back with our daughter who has stopped taking drugs but only because she got pregnant now we have a 4 month old grandson Alex. I am in the process of trying to figure out how to go about getting a bill drawn up and passed on the national level for grandparents to have rights. The only qualifications I have to do this is that I am a grandparent. So any help you might be willing to offer would be greatly appreciated. My name is Janet Roach E Mail [email protected] Phone 334-333-6207 Thank you, Janet Roach

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  3. Yvonne Stainthorpe August 14th, 2015

    Hello, I am reading the posts of others but have not yet found the solution for my situation. I’ll try to keep it short. My single daughter passed away in Nov. 2014. She left behind 2 minor children / 13 yr old girl, and 3 yr old boy. Both have different fathers. However, she was in contact with the bio father’s mother of my 3 yr old grandson. The bio father knew about the baby but did not want anything to do with him, but his mother wanted to establish a relationship. My daughter allowed this grandmother to see my grandson. My daughter was very concerned and she was voiced to me and other family members that she did not wish these people to have any ‘say’ in raising her son because the grandmother wanted to take my grandson to Thailand for a year so that he could learn the culture. Now my daughter passed away suddenly. We did not know the Calif. law allows a bio parent to take the child from the family they are living with without any court order. My son and his wife had both children until the bio dad showed up with the Sheriff to take my grandson. To add further to this, the bio dad had my grandson’s full name changed and told the judge that he does not wish for my grandson to have any communication or contact with my family. The judge allowed the name judge in spite of our many letters of protest. The bio dad and his mother both work for CPS for which this guy mentioned to the judge, stating that he knows his rights as a father and he doesn’t want my grandson to be distracted from their bonding. In the meantime, we have no way of knowing where he is. My grandson has a sister and he has cousins who he grew up with in his short time. I want to know if anyone else had this type of situation and what did they do to obtain grandparents rights. I want my grandson to be able to visit his sister at my son’s home. I also want to file papers in the Monterey court since my granddaughter is there with my son and his family. Thank you for your response.

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