Our granddaughter becomes a teenager today ! She has saved money from the clothes allowance I give her and the pocket money her parents give her and is off to a big shopping mall with 2 friends to spend some d spend then back home for a sleepover. She is achieving well in school. Does a competitive sport 4x a week and is in a regional squad for this sport. We see her and her brother at least once a month (they live an hour away) sometimes staying overnight overnight and they have spent three holidays away with us .
Today she is also building a bear for our latest "grandchild"(whose father who was an overseas student and lived with our family for 10 years.( Our grandchildren see him as a sort of uncle and his children as sort of cousins)
But it could have been so different. Our son and her mum met in a project for vulnerable young adults and had her when they were teenagers and her brother 2 years later. There was s.s involvement and she was a child in need for 6 months . They had an acrimonious split up and we supervised contact between our son and the children for many years. They fell out with our son for 2 years because of his inconsistent contact (often didn't turn up)But their mum who has now married and step dad always encouraged our contact with them whilst being angry with our son for letting them down.
Our son now sees them and texts them regularly.
He comes with us on our visits sometimes but also accepts that there are times when we are with them just as grand parents.
Early on it was difficult negotiating complex relationships between our son and his ex and the children .But we persevered and now have good relationship our ex daughter in law and her partner and our son and his girlfriend.
We have so many happy memories of times shared with our grandchildren.
For those of you struggling with complex relationship with grandchildren keep going as time goes on relationships can heal and flourish.