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Partner and Head of Family Law, Rugby
As a grandparent myself, I enjoy reading contributions to Gransnet daily. Today I was drawn to a piece written by one grandmother regarding her low mood and how she was struggling to manage isolation under Covid-19 restrictions. I am sure you will be thinking that this sentiment probably goes for all of us to some degree, but maybe the grandparent generation have a slightly different perspective on it.
This particular ‘Granny’, in her negative thinking state, was worrying about all the consequences of the Covid-19 situation on both herself and her family including both her children and her grandchildren. She was having feelings of extreme doubt that things would ever return to normality and worried if the years that she had left, would have to be spent away from her family and friends with no work or hobbies to look forward to.
She was, at this low point, also fed up with counting her blessings and was finding it much easier to identify the negatives in her life, rather than the positives. I can only speak for myself, but on occasion, I too have felt slightly irritated by well-meaning folk making comments on how we need to make the most of our increased ‘leisure’ time. Luckily for me these are but fleeting moments of irascibility, but I can imagine for some, people’s well intentioned bonhomie might provoke a stronger response.
I think that any grandparent who has built a strong bond with their grandchild or grandchildren will be missing the usual interactions they have with them; the play, the affection, the fun, but for some grandparents who play a significant role as a carer for their grandchildren, their absence can leave a huge gaping hole in their lives. Working parents and single parents sometimes have to rely heavily on grandparents for childcare. The current situation will, for most, have impacted hugely on this arrangement leaving not only the practicalities to sort out in some cases, but also feelings of loss for many. Maybe the older generation, including me, experience these feelings of loss more keenly, just because they are aware of their own mortality a little more acutely.
For separated families the dynamics of managing contact with paternal and maternal extended family can be complex and onerous, so with a backdrop of social distancing, keeping relationships healthy with all grandparents, can be challenging and demands empathy and understanding between the separated parents. Whatever negative feelings that exist between ex partners ideally need to be put aside, so that children can maintain a close bond with all grandparents wherever possible, and also with extended family generally. The children will thank parents for that opportunity as they grow older.
If you have any questions about child contact then please do contact the Family Team at Brethertons LLP on 01788 579579 or my email is firstname.lastname@example.org