...the voice of pensioners

Have you thought about being a ‘hands-on’ grandma?

21 May 2019

Dear LPG,


I recently became a hands-on grandma as I have agreed to look after my young granddaughters on a regular basis, and it was something that I read in your pages which swayed my decision to do so.   As a result they now spend three afternoons a week in my company.


When I was asked I spent a lot of time wondering if I really wanted to take on all that responsibility.  I thought about having to push a pram down the road again and what it would be like to chastise a child which was not my own.  I have to say that spending time alone in charge of a youngster these days is very different from the way that I remember it the first time round forty years ago, and we had to work quite hard to get used to each other, but after three months they have learned my ways and I am so glad that I took on the challenge. 


There is something  very special  about knowing that you are needed and although there are many things that I need the younger ones to do for me I don’t feel so obligated to them when I  ask for their help because they are getting mine, and swapping skills allows me to be helpful as well as need help.


 I also hope that forging a closer than normal relationship with my grandchildren in this way will allow me to stay closer to them as they and I get older.  I find that I have less trouble working out what sort of presents they want because I know them so much better and they do keep me feeling young and up to date.  I have to admit to knowing all about CBeeBies. 


I have one word of caution though.  Please remember that if you are helping one child’s children it is vital to make sure that their cousins, your other children’s children are not being neglected. Sometimes your children don’t want to let you know, but even if you can’t see any hint of jealousy growing between those siblings be aware and keep the family on track.  So, if you, like me, are a grandma who takes this on for one of your children, I suggest that you put the fact that you need to call the others regularly in your diary and be seen to remember them too. 


IW. Bell Green.




IW pointed out the post that swayed her decision to take this on…