My daughter is neglecting her kids just like her mum did

DEAR DEIDRE: MY daughter is neglecting her kids and it feels like history is repeating itself.

I’m 60 but when I was young I married a woman who turned out to be lazy, selfish and a terrible mother to our children.

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She never bothered to care for them properly.

She was focused only on her own life.

After we eventually got divorced, the children came to live with me and my new wife.

My eldest daughter is now 29 and has two children of her own.

She’s split up with their father and has struggled.

Last week, she called me and asked if I could babysit the children, as she had to work a last-minute late shift.

I arrived at 8pm to find she had already gone and hadn’t fed them.

She expected an eight-year-old and a six-year-old to get their own dinner.

When I called her, she said it was fine – she’d left food for them in the fridge – and put the phone down.

I’m so angry. Her behaviour is just like her mother’s.

DEIDRE SAYS: Seeing your ex-wife’s behaviour pattern repeated in the next generation must be hugely upsetting. But getting angry with her won’t help.

Try to talk to her gently and ask if she needs more support. There is good reason to worry the kids are at risk, so please contact the NSPCC helpline (, 0808 800 5000) to talk in confidence.

My support pack Protecting Kids From Abuse will be useful too.

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