Christmas is a sad time of year for many people, but made no more so than the parent or grandparent, aunt or uncle who have been disowned by their family, usually without any reason. Grandparents often find themselves prevented from visiting or seeing their grandchildren for no other reason than family jealously i.e one set of in-laws believing themselves to be superior to the other or jealousy on the part of one parent.

It is usually the father’s family who are driven out of their grandchildrens’ lives. I have known grandparents who have been devoted parents, only to be cast out as soon as grandchildren arrive, why should this be so? Jealousy and spite are certainly a factor and postnatal depression is known to play a part but there must be more primitive Darwinian reason. So please does anyone out there have any idea why this disgraceful behaviour towards grandparents occurs so often.

John Braithwait Prendergast Haverfordwest