When I was young, my mother's motto on raising children was: Spare the rod and spoil the child.
Now at 77, like most grannies, she lives by the motto: Spoil them rotten if you can.
My mother defends my nine-year-old daughter for misconduct that would have earned me a good spanking at that age. Sometimes she just consoles her with: "Come here Poppie", bear hugs and cuddles.
Why do grandparents spoil their grandchildren? Are they trying to make up for all the shouting and spanking they gave their own children or have they simply mellowed with age and realised that it's not worth sweating over insignificant things? What amazes me, though, is how the older people always seem to bend the rules of parents, especially the mothers.
An older friend confesses that she always gives her grandchildren cookies or ice cream, which leaves their diet-conscious mother livid. Her grandchildren love her for it. She thinks that their mothers need to relax a bit.
When you leave your children with granny, you had better accept that some things you don't agree with and like are going to happen.
Remember that your mother loves your children. She will not put them in harm's way. She will not allow them to swear and be unruly, but wisdom has taught her that life is too short to spend reprimanding children over minor misdemeanours. But this is my time and I will reprimand all I can. My time to spoil my grandchildren will come.
Unless it's really serious, don't sweat about it. If granny lets then eat ice cream before meals, just make sure that that rule ends at granny's house.
A family friend is trying to take over her grandchild. She plans to buy a single bed and put on cartoon-character duvets and toys to keep the child with her. She says: "I want her to love it here and to miss it whenever she's at her parent's place."
I think my granny pal should get a life.
Granted, no amount of money will buy your child the kind of nurturing and pampering that your mother can give. So if you are lucky enough to have a mother close by, who is still strong enough to baby-sit, you should rejoice, I say.
Grannies are and have always been very valuable members of our society and very helpful with the kids. Seems to me - whether you like it or not - spoiling your little darlings is a wise granny's prerogative.