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Scotland, 5 Live, London, Berkshire, 3 Counties,  Newcastle, Merseyside, Bristol, Leicester, Norfolk, Shropshire, West Midlands etc

As heard on BBC Radio 5 Live with Shelagh Fogarty (43 mins in) here  

Mary Berry on being a Grandmother and cooking with kids - here

THE place for new grandparents to meet, swap ideas and experiences, and above all pass on loads of useful advice. Are you a new Grandparent?  Are you as excited as we were when our first grandson arrived and lit up our lives?  If so you've come to the right place.  This is:


  • A meeting place for grandparents
  • A resource where we share ideas, advice, expertise and wisdom
  • A place to celebrate our grandchildren but also offload if we’re feeling stressed
  • Somewhere that offers mutual support

We had the idea of starting this website after we’d become grandparents (me for the first time, Michael for the second, but more on that later in About Us) and once we realised how much lively discussion goes on the minute you put two or more sets of grandparents together!  We felt it was about time we had our own special place for Grandparents.

I'll be blogging  regularly below on all manner of grandparenting issues - please send in your comments.


Friends -  Johnny Ball, Wendy Craig and Mary Berry talking about what being a grandparent means to them here.

Under  TIPS you'll find advice on – travel, food, activities, sewing and craft and all the equipment you'll need as a new grandparent.

Do join in here and send us your


You'll find any relationship dilemmas around grandparenting  - questions and answers - under Advice.  Email us your own queries.

And Grandparents rights here

Sadly,  we've had to suspend our forum because it was hacked but do please feel to contact us through or by commenting on the blog.


You may like to send us photos of you and your grandchildren.  If so please email them:
















Teens affected by divorce

April 30th, 2015
Filed under: Grandparenting in the News, Parenting/Grandparenting by: dilysmorgan

It never ceases to amaze me why studies like this
are conducted when common sense could tell anyone the results.  You only have to talk to young people whose parents divorce or separate to sense their anxiety.  As a counsellor, I've had countless youngsters confide their distress to me, distress that they often feel they have to keep to themselves.   And this, probably, is the crux of the problem.   
The children of a relationship that is breaking down bear a doubly heavy burden:  while carrying around their own worries and unhappiness, they often find they have to keep that to themselves for fear of upsetting their parents who, they observe, are going through their own tough time.  It's sad really, how often young people slip into this protective role, for it means their own sadness and distress never gets aired.  And so it's hardly surprising that it so often results in health problems, including headaches, trouble sleeping, tension, dizziness and a loss of appetite.  
Bottling things up is never a good idea and a youngster who sees his or her parents splitting up is exposed to a huge range of distressing emotions – from a great sense of loss and bereavement, to disappointment: a feeling of being let down by those they trusted most; a shakiness that results from finding that the very foundations of their being- their parents relationship – is not all that it seemed to be; as well as deep anxiety about what the future holds.
 Children usually want to be able to love both parents equally – anything which threatens this, like jealousy or an inability by the parents to remain civilised, through to outright war – can leave them feeling particularly exposed and vulnerable.  They may have worries around which parent they're going to live with, whether their loyalties are about to be tested, how much they'll be able to see the 'other' parent and whether their relationship is bound to change.  And if they have absolutely no one to talk to about any of this….no wonder it all festers away inside and makes them ill.
So if you know any young in this kind of position – the best thing you can do for them is offer to listen.  Don't comment or judge, just hear them out.  Friends can be brilliant for this – so too can uncles and aunts and grandparents as long as they don't take sides.  So offer them the time and space to talk:  you'll be helping no end.

Parents: Pick your Battles

January 25th, 2015
Filed under: Parenting/Grandparenting by: dilysmorgan

Parents Pick your Battles!

I witnessed a heart-breaking scene at the shops yesterday: a young girl – probably 4 years old – (and clearly of high spirits as I first spotted her hiding from her parents and running off to escape their attention!) was being persuaded by her Dad to put her coat on before going outside. The little girl was fixed in her mind that she did not want to wear the coat. It was cold, probably freezing, so her father was trying to tell her calmly and kindly that she really needed it. However, she continued to resist and her will was obviously stronger than his. Eventually he was to be seen dragging her out of the shop, shouting at her along the way and continuing to shout on the doorstep about how silly she was being, how naughty and how cold she would become.

It was so horrid to hear this small child being screamed at. One of the shop assitants turned to me and exclaimed: ‘All that shouting! If he’s like this out in public, what on earth is he like at home?’ I replied that I felt like passing on the benefit of some parenting advice but didn’t dare as he’d probably shout just as loud at me. And then all of a sudden I was aware of a woman hurrying past us with a buggy who turned out to be the mother! Later, I spotted both parents on the street putting the coat on the little girl so I wonder what she thought of our exchange!

These situations often make us think of what we’d like to have said, or wish we’d said, and the one key piece of advice I’d have liked to pass on to those parents and to others, is ‘Pick your Battles’……because nothing is really worth expending so very much energy on building up a fit of temper and rage so that you shout at a four-year-old.

After all, what would have been the worst-case scenario, had Dad reacted more calmly and simply said ‘OK….have your own way’. The child would have got cold pretty quickly, and, knowing most kids, would soon have demanded the coat for herself. Problem solved.

But as happens so often in families, Dad probably got carried away with his lack of control. Obviously with a new baby in the family, there had probably been behaviour issues already. Possibly the little girl had been acting up for weeks and testing her parents’ patience. But most children do once a second small being suddenly arrives in a family. And the best way to manage that is to offer as much extra attention as possible so that no one feels left out, overlooked or superceded. Shouting isn’t going to do that; it’s going to drive an even greater rift between parents and toddler and heaven help this family when the little girl grows into a teenager. Shouting is learned behaviour and she’s having a wonderful lesson! So they can expect a lot of answering back and rage from her in later years.

If this Dad had only been advised to pick his battles, he’d have realised this one wasn’t worth fighting over. Children need to learn the consequences of their actions; she would have learned that being stubborn can lead to being cold. Good lesson, easily learned.

Recipes for prisoners

December 10th, 2014
Filed under: Grandparenting in the News, Parenting/Grandparenting by: dilysmorgan
A friend who runs training for the Probation Service has come up with a novel idea to help recently released prisoners with some basic lifeskills.  One of those skills is cooking -
so he's asking if we grandparents can help by passing on some of our experience and expertise.  He outlihes his idea below:
In my work as a Probation Officer, I found that many people I worked with lacked the basic skills and knowledge to manage their lives outside of prison. 

My strong feeling , which is supported by research, is that helping people to develop their skills while also helping them to develop more positive attitudes will assist them to sort their lives out and avoid getting into trouble in future. 

Many people I work with also lack a positive role model with the skills and experience to give them guidance when they need it.

If you would like to help ex-offenders to turn their lives around, I believe that your Life Skills and experience could be of real benefit to this group, and help to reduce crime in our society.

I am asking people to simply donate a recipe, which they have found to be simple to prepare for someone with no previous experience of cooking and a minimum of equipment. It should be cheap and nutritious- filling but healthy, and ideally could be made in a batch and used throughout the week. 

The recipes will be incorporated into the workbook that the programme participants are given, and we will tell them that they have been donated by grandparents who wanted to do something to help them. No Personal details will be given. We will include a first name if you wish this to be added to your recipe.


So if any of you feel you can help by donating a simple, nourishing recipe, and sending in to us, we'd be most grateful and I'm sure the recipients will too!

The magic of Christmas

December 1st, 2014
Filed under: Grandparenting in the News, Parenting/Grandparenting by: dilysmorgan



Christmas and small children is a magical combination. And those of us who are grandparents are so lucky to have children in our lives at this time of year. I just love their wide-eyed wonder, their belief in all things magical, and their excitement at seeing the first light, the first tree, the first mince pie!

I indulged myself his weekend when they came to stay.   I'd bought a Gingerbread house to make with them and I'm not sure who had most fun!  It was a great buy – a very easy to follow, put-together house ready supplied with ample sweets for decoration.  All we had to do was mix an egg white with icing sugar and attempt to pipe the icing in the right place!  The result may not have been perfect, but it was made with love and laughter and the boys were thrilled to be able to show it off to their parents.

I've left the decision with them – whether to keep it as a decoration or let them demolish it gradually by eating it!  I know which route I'd prefer from the point of view of their teeth, but it is their gingerbread house now and I'll be fascinated to see what becomes of it!

Let’s End Going Home Alone

November 20th, 2014
Filed under: Uncategorized by: dilysmorgan

We really like the sound of this RVS campaign to ensure that the elderly are not shunted out of hospital and back off home without some arrangements being put in place to look after them.  I well remember how difficult it was for our family when my 97-year-old aunt was discharged from hospital without any care or thought being paid to how she would manage alone.  She lived in a good-sized house with her bedroom upstairs; she had been used to doing all her own cooking yet no thought was given to whether there'd be any food in the fridge, whether the house would be cold, how she'd get upstairs to bed.  Then there was the problem of precisely when she'd be discharged:  I lived an hour and a half away and yet there was no means of letting me know when I needed to set off to be there to welcome her home. 

Little failings like this in our health system and social care provision probably don't seem to amount to much to busy hospital executives or civil servants! Yet they are of vital importance to any elderly person living alone.  So this new campaign seeks to address some, if not all, of these issues by encouraging hospitals to be better at communicating and fitting in around older peoples' requirements, by encouraging volunteers to offer their services to befriend those about to be discharged so that they can make sure there is a warm house and well-stocked fridge to return to, and by encouraging others to donate to the cause.


We wish them well – and as we do so would like to highlight this quote that we found on their website from their founder Lady Stella Reading when she first established the Womens' Voluntary Service as it was then in 1938


'The ultimate strength of a nation lies not in her trading, nor in the multitude of her financial transactions. It’s not found in her banking operations nor in the acumen of her leaders. The ultimate strength of a nation lies in the character of the men and women who are that nation and voluntary service is an integral part of that character'

What wise words to end on!

On Death and Dying

October 20th, 2014
Filed under: Uncategorized by: dilysmorgan

Two moving stories in the news this morning on this less than cheerful subject.  Firstly, the sad news about the death of Linda Bellingham who so bravely talked about her impending death and what it was  like to be in the final stages of a life she clearly would have preferred to go on longer.  And then this morning on the Today programme on Radio 4 an interview with the daughter of an 86 year old who decided to end her own life by starving herself to death.  What these stories have in common is a perfectly natural desire to be in charge of one's own death.  Both women demonstrated extraordinary clarity of purpose and a wish to be in control.  It's hard to understand why this should surprise us;  we all feel better when we're in control of our own lives and our own destiny and yet too many of us seem to have to surrender these powers when we come close to the end of our days.  I've often said that I feel this is bound to change;  as the baby boomer generation ages those of us who've become used to having a say in how things run will be unlikely to relinquish this readily.  But let's hope the change happens sooner rather than later so that people don't have to suffer the indignity of taking extreme measures like refusing food and drink in order to satifsfy a desire to die graciously and at a time of their choosing.

Volunteers’ Week

June 2nd, 2014
Filed under: Uncategorized by: dilysmorgan

We depend so much on volunteers in this country that we should mark this week by giving all volunteers some recognition and a big thank you.  It doesn't surprise me that as a nation we are generous with our time: my neighbours include a volunteer who drives the sick and elderly to hospital and doctor appointments; a charity shop worker; the chairman of two societies; one who visits the elderly for company and another who referees hockey matches. 

We all volunteer our time for different reasons;  some are purely altruistic, others have a self-interest, some do it to fend off lonliness, others because they know that life has dealt them a good hand and they want to give something back.  The people I've mentioned above are all of a 'certain age' and it seems to be the case that the retired are particularly good at turning their hand to volunteering once their working lives are done. 

But what encourages me today is that I've recently come across a number of young people who  volunteer  their time too.  And it seems quite clear that if they start early, they're likely not only to continue but to inspire others.  So I'd like to give a special round of applause to all young people who currently volunteer…….and encourage those that don't to consider it.  You can always choose an area that interests you anyway, and thus derive some real enjoyment from your labours.  It can also enable you to meet new friends, different people and enlarge and enrich your social life. So you've got little to lose and lots to gain!

Old age begins at 80?

May 21st, 2014
Filed under: Uncategorized by: dilysmorgan

It's really good to read – for a change! – that a new survey has discovered that perceptions of old age have changed a lot over the last few years.  This is the conclusion of the people at who commissioned the survey.

And it's particularly good news for those of us who know we are ageing, but who hate being continually categorised as 'the elderly', or 'pensioners' or even grandparents!  How often do you see a news story saying 'father robbed'… or 'mother mugged' when if the person happens to be a grandparent that title is automatically attached.

And don't get me started on the illustrations that newspapers usually use on stories about pensioners or senior citizens.  They are almost always someone who is at the extreme – someone very wrinkled, bent, hobbling and bandaged.  Whereas those of us who have recently become pensioners know that many, if not most, of us are still trim and fit and upright and fighting off that wrinkled skin!!!

So if 80 is the new 60 that's fine by me.  And much more representative of how life really is.  People in their sixties, seventies and eighties are nowadays often leading busy, full lives contributing to society.  So let's hear  and spread this message more often!





Family Life

April 17th, 2014
Filed under: Uncategorized by: dilysmorgan


I'm currently in France where grandparents are out in force minding grandchildren for working parents.  It's the school holidays here, just as home, although Friday isn't a public holiday, so parents need even more cover!  The difference I observe though is that French families traditionally holiday together – all,generations – so many parents will have taken part of their annual leave in order to be with the entire family.  They really value family life here, which is why they've introduced this new rule that staff shouldn't have to take work emails or phone calls after 6 pm.  It sounds wonderful for the work-life balance but surely pretty impossible to implement, particularly if you're a journalist – say – who really has to respond to news whenever or wherever it happens.

But the intention is good – that children should be entitled to their parents' full-time attention after school and before bed.  Will be interesting to see how it works!

Happiness Day?

March 20th, 2014
Filed under: Uncategorized by: dilysmorgan

The idea that we can all suddenly be happy – just because someone has decreed that today is Happiness Day – is bizarre.  In fact, it's downright insulting and actually quite dangerous for nothing is more likely to make someone depressed than the idea that they 'should' or 'could' be happy when they're not.

Happiness isn't something you can switch on.  It's not even a sensible goal to aim for as it can be elusive.  I always tell clients that hardly anyone is happy all the time.  Some people are sometimes happy;  others spend their lives in a state of anxiety and despair ; most us know highs and lows.  Far better to aim for a life of contentment for that is far more  achievable – a much more realistic goal than all-out happiness.

Besides, at a time when there's so much misery in the world with wars, disasters and air-traffic accidents all around us – promoting World Happiness Day just feels inept and inappropriate.  Whoever dreamt this up should find better things to do with their time.