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Helpful hints for looking after the grandkids

• Looking after your grandchildren should be a joy, not a commitment.

Being a grandparent is an art of knowing when to give advice and when to keep your distance.

• Tell your children a babysitting/caring schedule which is acceptable to you.

• Tell them your limits, or they will assume you have no limits.

• Discuss whose rules apply when you are looking after the grandchildren.

• Get the boundaries in place before you start.

• Your relationship with your grandchildren won't suffer because you are now looking after them. Children thrive on stability and consistency.

• Don't overfeed grandchildren. There is evidence to suggest that some children looked after by grandparents are overweight.

• Make sure you plan activities which are age appropriate.

• When you start to feel overtired or overwhelmed, let them know.

• Don't feel guilty. Don't be afraid to speak up and don't let resentment build up on either side.

• Grandparents are valuable teachers and have the opportunity to make a difference in the life of their grandchild.

• Grandchildren can enrich their grandparents lives with their love and zest for life.

For more information visit www.catholicgrandparents association.org

Irish Independent