Saturday, 5 September 2015

Ask Eileen - Caring for Fretful Children

It's a question I'm asked a lot - "Eileen, as a famous blogger, how do you cope when you're baby-sitting for Celestine, but she's fretful, being a bit naughty or otherwise unable to settle?"

Well, I always think it's important in these circumstances to go to the Bible. And that tells us that grandchildren are the pride of old age.  Which gets me a bit annoyed. I mean, I'm not that old. Not even qualified for Saga.

And then again Proverbs tells us that if you spare the rod, you spoil the child. But when they're littler than you that's always  wrong. And when they're bigger than you and you suddenly decide to try it, you really need something a bit more solid to give yourself the advantage - maybe a cricket bat. Although currently my Slazenger is in for repairs after I had to break that folk mass up. But overall I don't think hitting kids helps. I don't recommend it.

My old Nan used to say you should rub some gin in the gums when kids are teething. In fact, sometimes she would drink a couple of glasses. The kids didn't stop crying, apparently, but she sometimes managed to get some sleep.

Then once they've reached Celestine's age, and start to understand what you're saying, you can find iteasier to quieten them. If she's fretful or troublesome at night, I go and tell her there's goblins out in the wood and her crying could attract them. That tends to mean she keeps quiet.

But there's one foolproof way, when looking after my grandchild, that I find I can ensure a good night's sleep.  I put her in her favourite cowgirl outfit, wrap her up in her little powder-blue jacket, take her out in the car for a short drive, and drop her off at Charlii's mum's house.

Never fails. But do it before you try the gin.


  1. Your forthcoming childcare book should be a bestseller, Eileen.

  2. Spare the rod and spoil the child is one of the cruelest things that I can think off. Children are a gift and very young children are a delightful, joyful gift for everyone else, other than the carer responsible for them.

    I have a way of ensuring that a grand child is never dropped on us unexpectedly - we move house every three months.


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