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When Family Relationships are Difficult
Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Family relationships can sometimes be the most difficult to manage and the effect that the disharmony can have on children can be devastating.  There are so many complex aspects to intergenerational relationships and it's usually the children who suffer as a result of unresolved issues.


SunnyKids have been working with a local family through the SunnyKids in Schools program for some time. The family consisted of Mum, Grandad, Grandma and a young boy.  The presenting issues identified by the school all centred around relationships between Mum and the maternal Grandparents.


Unfortunately Mum appeared to be uninvolved and showed little interest in parenting and it became apparent that there was little to no attachment with her son.  Grandad was playing a vital role in the upbringing of and day to day provision for his Grandchild. However, as relations became strained, Mum decided it was time to move out of the family home and raise her son independently.


It soon became evident that the share accommodation that Mum and son and moved into was a very unhealthy environment for both of them, resulting in them moving back in with the Grandparents.  With relations between Mum and her parents becoming even more strained the school reported a decline in the child's attendance and behaviour at school.  As it became evident that Mum was taking part in very risky behaviours and exposing her son to many inappropriate situations, it was clear that this family had reached a crisis point and were at serious risk of statutory intervention.


SunnyKids organised relationship counselling to assist Mum and her parents to work together and become focused on the best interests of the child.  The counselling proved beneficial and after some time,  all parties attended mediation to establish a parenting plan that outlined decision making responsibilities and where the child would live.


Mum has now moved out of the family home and her son remains with his Grandparents.  Thanks to SunnyKids managing a solution for this family, security and stability now allows for a safe and nurturing environment for this young boy to thrive in.  His academic outcomes have improved and attendance at school is back to normal.


Mum's life, at the moment is still transient and all parties have agreed that the current living arrangements are best.  Grandad still makes contact every couple of weeks with the school to ensure his Grandson receives the best possible opportunities in life. 

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