Newsweek writer Sharon Begley’s recent piece An Evolutionary Edge: How grandmas may play favorites touched off some debate about the merits of her understanding of genetics. While complaints about oversimplified explanations of genetics may or may not be accurate, what’s more important to me is that Begley points out that grandchildren can benefit from the involvement of their grandparents in their lives in a measurable and quantifiable way, even if the exact causes are controversial.
Parental Alienation Leads to Severing Grandchild/Grandparent Bonds
If grandchildren can benefit from grandparental involvement in their lives, this implies that these relationships should be preserved despite parental separation and divorce. It is not just a “social nicety” to do so, it is fundamental to the well-being of the grandchildren.
Unfortunately, some research shows that 1/4 of children of divorce suffer from parental alienation syndrome. Children alienated from a parent not only suffer the loss or impairment of that parental relationship, but also tend to suffer the loss or impairment of all family relationships on that parent’s side. This means grandparent/grandchild relationships are also negatively impacted. Government policies in many locations fail to recognize the importance of preserving these relationships and often wrongly help alienating parents cut some or all of their children’s grandparents out of their lives, usually to the children’s detriment.