Helen and Emma's story

I can't see my grandchildren

Helen's story: When things deteriorated between me and my ex-daughter in law I didn’t know who to turn to. I heard about mediation and thought that would be the best thing to do as we did used to get along. I didn’t really understand why Emma wasn’t allowing me to see the children as I had seen them regularly since they were small.

The start of the session was quite difficult especially when Emma was accusing me of overstepping the mark where the children were concerned. The mediator gave us both the chance to say our side of the story. I thought I was doing the right thing when it came to the children but Emma thought I had interfered too much. I was upset for my son, Dean, Emma’s ex, as he was going through Court to be able to see the children, and the children had started calling her new partner daddy. I didn’t think it was right, they only have one daddy and I felt I should explain that to them. The mediator asked Emma to think about what it would feel like if the children started calling Dean’s partner mummy. Emma agreed that she wouldn’t like it but still felt that I shouldn’t be talking to the kids about stuff that is about her and Dean. We weren't able to agree on this but talking things through really helped us reach an understanding and we both shed a tear at the end. I was so happy that Emma said that I could start seeing the kids again.

Emma’s story: When I got the letter from MyMediation I had had enough of Dean and his family and had reservations about whether it would make a difference. I felt that Helen had been out of order on several things the last few months and then when she started telling them what to call my partner that did it for me and I stopped the contact. Deep down I felt bad about this because she had seen them every week and the kids were happy to spend time there.

At the start of the session I was quite angry and needed to get it off my chest. The mediator helped me focus on what was important and to get my feelings under control. I heard what Helen said but didn’t agree with her however the mediator did help me think about things from her perspective. We talked about how we each see her role as a grandmother and what the children think about her. I think this in particular made me think that it wasn’t fair on the kids and as long as Helen stuck to just being a grandmother and not interfering then I agreed to let them see her again. Although the session was emotionally difficult I did feel better afterwards and that we could start to rebuild our relationship.

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