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  • I just got back from looking after my two grandsons whilst my daughter Madeleine attended their school’s open day.

    As I watched her drive off I remembered having to stand my ground with her teachers when she was little. I didn’t believe in pushing her academically I wanted her to find her own ability with confidence.

    I made marmite toast for Theo and Rowan.

    “What is Dracula’s favourite food Grandma?” asked nine year old Theo.

    “Um, blood?” I answered.

    “And what food does he hate?”

    “Um, I don’t know.”

    “Steak!” he chortled, and ran upstairs to play on his computer.

    When Madeleine returned home she was still glowing with pleasure from the praise Theo’s teachers gave him.

    “They said he is very mature and confident. “

    “Wonderful!”

    “But although he has an IQ of 120 he doesn’t show his ability in his daily work.”

    “He’ll get there in his own time.”

    I am so happy. One of the reasons I came to live in Ireland was to boost Theo’s self esteem. He will be nine years old in December, but he is the same height as his five year old brother.

    I believe as long as a child has plenty of love and encouragement, they will be able to cope with their differences with ease.
    Image: a small but strong strawberry plant pushing up through the asphalt in our front garden
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