Are You Estranged from Your Grandchildren?

I recently received an email from a grandmother who asked me to pray with her because she was estranged from her granddaughter. Her heart was broken, and she was having a very difficult time dealing with the situation–not an uncommon experience for  many grandparents today.

In the mid-life of our lives, it’s perfectly normal to look forward to becoming grandparents. There are few things more exciting than the birth of  our first grandchild. In fact, the birth of every grandchild is an amazing and joyous moment. Unfortunately, there are also many grandparents with broken hearts because they are estranged from their children and grandchildren.

Negative emotions are one of the consequences of being estranged from your grandchildren. Sorting out those feelings and developing an approach for dealing with them is vital for your health, both mental and physical. On the one hand, anguish is a constant companion when you find yourself estranged from those precious grandchildren you love so deeply. On the other hand, you are better able to understand a tiny bit of what our Heavenly Father feels about all those who are separated  from Him.

However, God is still answering prayers, even if it is not on our timetable. So, we ask God for patience to wait until He is ready to answer. Sometimes we have to wait in His waiting room while He is working in the hearts of our grandchildren and their parents. God’s timing is always best. Do you believe that?

I have found the passage in Romans 8:26-28 very helpful when I don’t know how to pray for my grandchildren and their parents. Paul writes, “The Holy Spirit makes intercession for us when we don’t know how to pray.” When I ask the Holy Spirit to make intercession for me according to God’s will, it keeps me from telling God how to answer my prayer, which I am prone to do. Ask the Holy Spirit to make intercession for your estrangement, and let Him carry the burden instead of you. Let go of your agenda and ask Him to show you His.

Here are two suggestions for estranged grandparents:

  1. Don’t give up. Keep trying to gently stay in touch. Send cards and letters to your grandchildren keeping the tone of any communication loving, but light.
  2. Pray intentionally and regularly for your grandchildren and their parents. If you don’t know how to pray for them, I invite you to sign up for my weekly prayer blog. When you sign up I will send you 31 Scriptures to Pray for your Grandchildren which you may download and print for free.

Prayer

Dear Father, I pray You will give estranged grandparents wisdom to know how to face their separation from their grandchildren.  I pray Your Holy Spirit will make intercession for them trusting You to carry out Your agenda in Your timing for their healing. Encourage them and give them peace as they intentionally pray and patiently wait for the parents to allow them to be a part of their lives again.

In Jesus’ name. Amen

31 thoughts on “Are You Estranged from Your Grandchildren?”

  1. I haven’t seen my adult grandson for almost two years and only heard his voice once. I have tried to contact him but he won’t respond. I am going crazy. My heart is broken and nothing I have attempted has resulted in communication.

    I feel so helpless and useless as a human being, I love the Lord but am having trouble accepting my grandson has gone out of my life. I miss him terribly. At least the boy I once knew. He is my only grandchild.

  2. VIDA LOPICCOLO TANNER

    My daughter is holding my grandchildren against me its going on four years, My 18 year old grandson said he no longer considers me a grandparent, and my 17 year old granddaughter has mentioned to me that I blew it as a grandparent, and my youngest who is now 13 was told that I had passed away. I helped raise these children who lived with me for 3 years while their parents were unemployed I help put a roof over their heads and cloths on their backs and food on their table, while my daughter in return pick up something against me and has decided that I am no longer welcome to mingle with her family. I really need prayers especially during the holidays. I cant stop from crying and the depression is overwhelming

    1. Vida, I hope this is better, now. My daughter has been doing the same thing for about 10 months now. Her and my grandsons lived with me for 8 years – most of the youngest’s life. They are 12 and 10. She does not want me to even know her baby who is now 1. I can certainly feel for you. I think the best thing we can do is pray for them… know the enemy is truly at work, but will not win. I text them every week or two… and text my daughter every now and then and ask if I can see them. It’s usually “no”, but yesterday she said they could spend next weekend with me. If she follows through with that, I will see… I have a friend whose daughter has been doing the same thing for the past 4 or 5 years. They say they are followers of Christ, and I do not understand it – other than we are not fighting flesh and blood… praying for you and them.

      1. Please pray that I will be able to see my great grandchildren . It’s been 2 years . I hired an attorney and they just my 6k . I reached out to the other greatgrandma but no response. Iv prayed n prayed ! My heart is totally shattered a void so deep.

        1. Legacy Coalition Blog Team

          Praying with you Janie. Holidays are an especially hard time to be separated. Even though you cannot see them God can.

    1. Eileen, keep praying for him, patently waiting for the Lord to work in him. I understand this and it is working. God is gracious and loves us and our sons.

  3. Please help me pray. I’m being kept from my 4 year old granddaughter with whom I shared a very close relationship. I saw her a month ago and she clung to me repeating over and over “I missed you so much”.
    My heart is broken for both me and for her. I worry about what this is doing to her. For me it’s pretty much ruined my life. I cannot stop crying and wake up each day wishing I had died in my sleep. Please pray for me. I

  4. Please help me pray. I’m being kept from my 4 year old granddaughter with whom I shared a very close relationship. I saw her a month ago and she clung to me repeating over and over “I missed you so much”.
    My heart is broken for both me and for her. I worry about what this is doing to her. For me it’s pretty much ruined my life. I cannot stop crying and wake up each day wishing I had died in my sleep. I pray everyday but I think I need others to pray with me.

  5. My grandsons turns 21 this Tuesday. I’m struggling on if I should try & reach out one more time. He lives with our estranged son. It’s been 7 years. I miss them. I’ve forgiven them & myself.

  6. Thank you for your encouraging words. May God continue to work in and through you. I am sorry this response is so late. It was just sent on to me. May God mend relationships and restore strong family unit once more.

  7. I just learned about this website and am so grateful for it. The stories in this blog here are very heartbreaking.
    My daughter died 15 years ago of cancer and I had a very close relationship with my son-in-law and grandsons who were in
    grade school at the time. Eventually my son-in-law remarried and his new wife gradually turned my grandsons away from me. Now as adults, I have found, they have turned on her. I continue to text them and try to call them with no response. I found out in a round-about-way) that the oldest is now engaged. No one called me to let me know. Yes my heart breaks, but I still believe in the words ‘….but God’. He is faithful and I know He is still in the ‘business’ of restoring broken relationships.

    1. Legacy Coalition Blog Team

      Yes He is! Praying for God to work in ways that only He can. May you see reconciliation.

  8. My granddaughter has kept me from seeing my great-granddaughter for 3 years. I have no contact number or address for them. She doesn’t want anything to do with her mom’s family (my daughter) I have been praying that she would seek counseling

  9. Mrs. Amy Campbell

    Please pray that me and my husband may get to see our grandchildren and his children. I have never met them though I have been married to my husband for almost 16 years. There was something that happened back in 2004, and his daughter and step-daughter from a past marriage won’t see him or let us see his children. They are the only grandchildren I have, and step-children, and I very much want to meet them and lead them to Christ if they don’t already know him. Please pray they all come to Christ.

  10. Please pray for me. I’ve been estranged from my son since 2020. I never believed I would have grandchildren so when my grandson was born in 2018, the gift of him was all the more precious. I love him so much but I only got to see him for the first 2 years of his life. Unfortunately, I, along with others, had concerns about his wellbeing and after trying unsuccessfully to discuss the issues with both parents and the maternal grandmother, I contacted social services. I was hated for it ( I can understand that, but my concern was for my grandson). My son has made it clear he wants no contact and that I’m not to buy or do anything for my grandson. He and his partner have since had another child, a girl who was born last September.
    My daughter died in 2012 from the effects of cancer treatment. She was 20. Of course, I still mourn the loss of her but I have the comfort of knowing she is with Jesus. The grief I’ve felt from being separated from my grandson has killed something inside of me. I can’t explain it but I know it has changed me. On the other hand, I can see God working in my son’s life – he’s been sober for just over 2 years. I don’t think anyone could have seen that coming! But it gives me hope. There is a God in heaven who works all things together for good to them that love Him and are called according to His purpose.

  11. Don’t wait around for grandchildren to return. I did and when he first contacted us through social media he was so condescending, and there was nothing we could say that was right. Now I just pray for him and his brother. Parents who alienate their children from grandparents and other family members are abusive parents. They will try and get our grandchildren to scorn us. Let them go and if you don’t have any other grandchildren that you have contact with (we have one and he is making us proud), then be a surrogate grandparent to a child in need. Also, focus on your own life, and give it to God.

  12. I am praying that my son gets clarity regarding his family and wife. My son is married to a woman who despises his family. Strange as it sounds we aren’t meddlesome but loving. He is the only one working in his household ( she isn’t disabled she just pretend work is too overwhelming) and they have 3 small children infant to toddler. She doesn’t keep the home clean or cook. The hygiene of my grandchildren isn’t always maintained.

    We never speak ill about her to my son or her. When asking about the children we include both of them and she is quick to say “no” as a form control.

    I was only seeing my grandchildren 2 times a month and we live 10 mins away. I am crushed. Saying this is overwhelming is an understatement. We don’t make any demands on him and want him to be happy.

    We bought them a car for transportation, give money, buy food and gifts and that irritates her. Her family does not help at all. When we do those things ( and we don’t talk about it) she gets irritated. She has made the statement to my son “it’s just us!”.

    She is now insisting on staying a way and that he does so as well. Because the grandchildren love coming over she has forbade them to come to my home. She has verbalized she is jealous of my son’s closeness with his family. (Her mother is dead and she doesn’t interact with her siblings.). She says that we make things look easy and feels insecure and inadequate in comparison. We’ve never separated her but tried to embrace her. She doesn’t want to be loved.

    I’ve held her hand, told her I love her, we never alienate her and try to provide her the support she needs but to no avail she picks apart every action.

    We had a family meeting and he apologized for her behaviors over the years and explained that he wouldn’t be coming around for a while but that he loved us. We cried and embraced him, but what could we say.

    My prayer is not that my son leave this woman but that God will open her eyes, mind and heart and see that this is wrong. I’m praying that the bond between my son, grandchildren, and us will be so strong that she cannot break or interfere. I pray all strongbholds of the enemy will broken and destroyed. I pray he will see her for what she truly is and get his house in order.

    I pray whatever he shows him about his wife my son will be able to handle it. I pray that my son will have an overwhelming yearning for his family and not keep himself or his children away from us. I pray that the weapons she attempts to use with the enemy to destroy this family will not prosper. I pray God will show her how her jealousy has ruined her relationships, not just with this family, but others. I pray God will heal her of her narcissistic traits and that she will love my son the way God designed. I pray my son will love her as a husband should and to continue taking care of his family successfully. I pray that her lies about us are exposed and that she will have to repair the relationships she has broken.

    I pray that God will heal our hurt and anger towards her and the feelings of hopelessness as a mother. God please heal her childhood hurts and pain. Please remove her jealousy towards us.
    Restore my family and make us stronger than before. Cover my grandchildren and bless them to know us and know we love them. Blessings to our family. Prayers that we my prosper, have a hope and a future. It has been almost 5 months since I have seen my grandchildren. I’m broken and devastated.

    1. Legacy Coalition Blog Team

      Praying for you! May God show Himself mighty and powerful in your life as well as in your son’s family. Holidays make it especially hard.

  13. Our adult daughter has come out as gay and is living with her partner and planning a “wedding” in Sept. She has not talked to us for a year because we disagree on this lifestyle…..We did not reject her, she rejected Us, saying if we cannot embrace who she is (meaning her sexual identity) then we don’t really love her. She has not allowed us to see our 4 grandchildren for 8 months now. We had a very close relationship with them and it is killing us not seeing them, being a part of their lives, hugging and loving on them. All we can do is send letters, no phone calls, texts, facetime, etc.
    I pray continually, but I also cry continually. We trust that God is in control but I cannot seem to get a rein on my sadness, I miss them so much.

    1. Legacy Coalition Blog Team

      I am so sorry you are experiencing this. You may want to seek the help of your pastor, trusted godly friend, or even a Christian counselor to help you with your sadness.

  14. Alexandrina Foley

    Since my first grandchild was born there has always been favouritism toward the maternal grandparents. Most of their early growing up years all three of my granddaughters have been kept away from my husband (who is not their real grandfather and myself).
    The other grandparents go on many holidays with them caravanning and some overseas ones too. Yet, in contrast my granddaughters have been allowed to stay over for just one night or at the most two nights on an occasional school holiday but that’s all we’re allowed and they have a very busy schedule during the term with dancing comps so never see them then either or get invited to comps. My grandchildren don’t answer my texts and my heart breaks when I think of the years that we (myself, husband and our daughter) have been robbed of my family’s time and affection. I love them all so very much yet as they get older (16, 13 and 9) it seems they are becoming less interested in us. I pray for them every day that Jesus will draw them all close to Him and keep them safe. Though we’re only 20 minutes away we don’t get invited to any of their birthday parties or concerts (only three in 16 years now) we just pop over on their birthday for a cuppa and cupcake. I have tried to get close to my daughter in law and I’m always kind and interested in her and have asked a few times if we can meet up for a lunch or coffee but there’s always an excuse so I don’t bother asking anymore and my son tells me if I complain or make another text comment to him that we don’t see them enough he will cut me off (completely estrange me)
    My son and I used to be very close from the time he was 10 months old to age 19 it was just we two as a single parent family and he used to be a Christian. I have invited the other grandparents to Christmas and picnics they came to one but they don’t want to reach out to us. Christmas occasions can be just awkward and uncomfortable with my son and daughter in law but my grandchildren and I have had a lot of fun and special moments on the rare times when their parents aren’t around. So I don’t bother asking my daughter in laws parents anymore they are really strangers to us, for years it has been like this. My heart breaks and I cry a lot when I think of my son and grandchildren (it hurts when I see so many friends and family so close to their grandchildren and wonder what K have done wrong, I know I have tried my very best to reach out to them but I’m trying now with the help of the Lord to be just thankful for the rare times we do see them and thankful that the communication lines are still open even if it’s only when it suits my son and his wife and so long as I don’t complain to them. I will just keep showering them with love when I do see them.

  15. Saideh mehryari

    Is so sad to read all these heartbreaking stories
    I myself going through it and I am not giving up I will fight for my precious 5 year old granddaughter till my last breath
    The system approved his alcoholic father to take her from my house
    He is destroying her in every way

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