I was ready for my empty nest years – instead I’m raising my three grandchildren.

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Janellen, 48, was just beginning to enjoy the freedom that comes when your children grow up when her eldest son, Adam, dropped a bombshell: he’d got a girl pregnant. Adam has Asperger’s and his then girlfriend has learning disabilities. When baby Finley was born, it became clear they couldn’t look after him. So Janellen and her husband Hugh offered to raise Finley as their own son. A year later, Adam became a father again – to twins. Janellen told Charlotte how it feels to be a grandmother left holding not one but three babies.


What do children really learn from books?

Rapunzel coverAs children clamour to dress up as their favourite fictional characters for World Book Day, should we care about their choices? Will our daughters never strive to be leaders if they spend their childhoods emulating long-haired princesses who can’t even use the stairs? (Yes, I’m talking about YOU Rapunzel!) Emma tells Still You why what we read really can change who we are.


To the parents who want us to sleep train our kids

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As the mum of two chronically sleep-shy children – who’d both dropped what passed for a daytime nap before they were a year old – Charlotte is ready to bite the next person to say (or strongly hint): ‘you’ve brought this on yourself’. She begs sleep-training evangelists to stop treating the parents of wakeful children like the Victorian ‘Undeserving Poor’. Unless you’re asked for advice, she says, keep your ‘expert’ opinions to yourself and remember that what’s right for one family might wreak havoc on another.


The dos and don’ts of Chrimbo Limbo

Chrimbo limbo

It’s a tough come down from Christmas. All that early morning chocolate gorging, sibling-induced tantrums, and frenzied present unwrapping. There’s a lot of emotional ups and downs – and that’s not to mention how the kids must feel. Rachel has some dos and don’ts to get you through this downbeat period known as Chrimbo Limbo…