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When other children come over (aka was I out of line?)

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

My MIL watches two girls age 2 and 7.  I've had a run in with the 7 yo before.  It was when they came to my DH's birthday (without me knowing they were coming).   I find the 7 yo to be extremely rude and demanding especially for her age.  I know her mother isn't around.  I know she gets passed from one person to another and that my MIL is her only stability.  I'm trying to have grace with the whole situation. 

 

My MIL asked if she could bring the girls over.  I said okay only based on the fact that she doesn't get to see her own grandchildren very often.

 

The day starts out with them arriving 2 1/2 hours late.  Not the small girls problem but it set the stage for me to be frustrated.

 

It also turned out to be a BEAUTIFUL fall day and since the 2 girls visiting didn't have coats we were stuck inside.  I wasn't feeling too bad about that until the 7 year old started demanding to watch tv.  We don't have tv:  we have movies.  This perplexed her and then my 5 year old DD excitedly told her about a new movie we have.  7 yo didn't want that and demanding another movie we have.  DS started crying because he didn't want to see it.  I got my MIL involved because I just couldn't deal with it at that point. 

 

The movie was put on.  We don't watch movies in the day here, especially when it's a beautiful sunny day.  I was dealing with it until the 7 year old asked repeatedly for the sound to be turned up because I was reading to my children who weren't watching the movie.  One thing I will not do is have loud tv's. 

 

I POed my MIL and SIL by telling off the 7 year old.  I told her she was at my house and that tv is a privilege not a right here.  I told her the sound WILL not be turned up and I expect politeness and that coming over to my house to watch tv instead of playing is actually not acceptable when she was brought over to play.  I did not yell this. 

 

At this point everyone was looking at me like a was a total B**** and they left.  MY MIL invited the 7 y.o to take the movie home.  Let me tell you, it took EVERY ounce not to come unglued.

 

Now they are gone and I'm a super grump monster to my own children.  They don't deserve it:  they did nothing wrong except want to see their Grandmother.

 

AAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKk

 

Thank you for letting me vent. 

post #2 of 32

:(  I don't know.  I do sometimes say things like "oh, not right now" when other kids ask for something I'm not interested in doing at the time, but I'm not sure what I'd do in your situation.

 

((hugs))

post #3 of 32

Oy.. it's so hard to know.  On one hand, I know how annoying seven year olds can be with their dramatic boredom, and their "Gimme, get me, I want, can I have" attitude.  

 

But, on the other hand, the seven year old sounds like a typical seven yr old.  At least wanting the tv on, and wanting to be able to hear the tv. She might have been very rude about how she said it though.  (and I can envision that too)  I think you may have been rude to them by reading a book loud enough to be heard over the movie.  It's like changing the channel when someone is watching something else. 

 

It's odd that your mother in law offered to take your kid's movie home though.  Didn't she ask you first?  Or did she just offer it?

post #4 of 32

I would have asked them to wear something of ours to go outside. They came to play, not sit in the house. Your MIL was way out of line by offering the kid to take YOUR movie home....thats crazy. Is this your SIL's kid from a previous marriage or are these just kids that your MIL watches from some other place (you said your SIL was mad at you). One thing I will say is that to me, if the TV is on, I want to actually watch the show. If I cant hear it, I wouldnt want to watch it.

post #5 of 32

This sounds like a problem with your MIL rather than with the girls.

post #6 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyMommaToo View Post

This sounds like a problem with your MIL rather than with the girls.



So simple.  So obvious.  So completely escaped me.

 

My MIL problems go back to when DH proposed and handed me his grandmother's wedding ring.  When MIL found out she looked at and told me I had to give it back when we got divorced. That has been the high point of our relationship.

post #7 of 32

I agree that the problem isn't with the child. I also agree that it's rude to turn on the TV and then read loudly & closely enough that the people who are watching the TV can't hear. I can completely understand the little girl's frustration at that.

 

I think the easiest solution would have been finding something they could wear outside when they got there. It avoids the whole problem.

 

Also, though, I do get how frustrating it can be to be around a child who is rude & the adults watching that child say nothing. We have limited contact with some friends because their son is this way. He's constantly yelling at us to "get out of my way" or "move over!" His parents just sit & say nothing, and I did lose it the last time we were with them because there's only so much that I can excuse under the guise of "he's a child not being taught how to interact with others."

post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post

I agree that the problem isn't with the child. I also agree that it's rude to turn on the TV and then read loudly & closely enough that the people who are watching the TV can't hear. I can completely understand the little girl's frustration at that.

 

I think the easiest solution would have been finding something they could wear outside when they got there. It avoids the whole problem.

 


Yeah...it sounds to me like you were mad at your MIL and took it out on the 7-year-old. Maybe the 7-year-old WAS whiny and rude, but did you explain the no TV rule when she got there? And yeah, it's pretty rude to let her watch and then keep the sound low while you read to your kids. Sounds passive-aggressive, honestly. I don't mean to tear you up here, but I think maybe your anger was misplaced.

 

Which is not to say I'd have handled it any better in the moment. It can be tough to have clarity in a situation like that.

post #9 of 32

I would have just  found them some sweaters and sent them outside. The 7yo was being a normal 7yo.  If you had an issue with her being there, you should have taken it up with your MIL.

post #10 of 32

Yeah, the issue is with the MIL.  And don't feel bad finding whatever sweaters you can find and shipping them outside.  The kids in my neighborhood are always wearing each other's sweaters for this reason.  We have one sweater and one sweatshirt that belong to other people here, and I think there are three sweatshirts out at other kids' houses.  We have a communal sweater thing going on.

post #11 of 32

I'm sorry but i think you were out of line.  She was being a 7 year old.  Telling her off didn't accomplish anything but make your MIL and the kids leave-but if that was your intent then I guess it worked.  I would have found a sweater or something for the girls to wear and have made them go play outside or just tell the girl nicely that you weren't going to turn on the TV you can play in the bedroom/playroom/where ever or you can play outside.  

post #12 of 32

Another one who votes that you were totally out of line.  Passive aggressive to boot. Your MIL sounds like a piece of work and you need to find a way to deal with your feeling about her so that those around you don't bear the the brunt of anger/frustration.  I feel bad for the 7 year old and for your kids who had to deal with the after effects. greensad.gif And I feel bad that you have such an unpleasant MIL.

 

 

Couple of questions....

 

Where do you live that the kids cant out to play for a little while w/o coats?  Obviously they made it your house with out the coats.  I live in NE and it is rarely too cold to play outside, even for just a a half hour or so.  Even on below freezing days the kids run around, heat up and half of their coats end up on the ground anyway. :shrug

 

The TV thing. First of all I would be confused with "We don't watch TV, we watch movies".  Yeah but the movies are on the TV, so can't you see that would confuse a child? Plus, its your house right? If you didn't want them to watch then don't turn it on.  However since you did you need to accept that and not be passive aggressive by sitting close enough to disturb the TV watchers with your reading.  I mean she's 7, she must of been confused by your anger/demeanor. Either move elsewhere or compromise.  Could you have said 'lets read for a little while and then all watch together".  You are the adult, you can control the situation. 

 

Is some of your frustration that your MIL watches 2 other kids but doesn't see your kids that much?

post #13 of 32

You make it sound like it was the 7yos fault that she didn't have a coat or sweater?  She's 7.  She was dragged along by a grownup, who might have thought to grab a coat for her.  

 

Also:  I will say even the best-behaved, sweetest, 3yo, or 5yo, can turn into a 7yo that sounds like she was raised by wolves.    Really.  I've seen it happen with friends' kids, so I wasnt' surprised when it happens to me.  Remember that growing up is a process of learning how to relate to others on your own, and establishing your independent identity. Lots of kids go through a phase of overly-independent behavior in which they wind up coming off as rude -- and the 7yo in your case sounds like she's not getting a lot of role modelling for better behavior.

 

And frankly, she didn't get it from YOU that day either.  TV is a privelege? Okay, that's fine.   Well, once you granted it, you did it half-heartedly and insisted on reading loudly over it, and then when she said she couldn't hear you got mad at *her* because you were talking so loudly that you "told her off" and threatened to take that movie back away?  

What lesson is she learning from all of that?  What did she learn about correct ways to behave in company? 

post #14 of 32
Yes, the situation could have been handled better. Previous posters covered it . If the girl does not have much stability, the tense stay at your house was yet one more time adults could not provide her with clear, consistent and reasonable rules
post #15 of 32

I agree with everyone else. Sounds like you don't like the kids or your MIL and nothing they did was going to meet your wants. What was your goal with the get together?

 

If the goal was to have a playdate with the girls, then say no movie or TV. Surely your children have things to play inside as well as outside. If the goal was for your MIL to play with your kids, then put on the movie for the babysat girls and send your children outside or to another room with MIL to play and spend time with her. 

 

This just sounds like you didn't want them there, refused to do anything but what you wanted to do--outside or reading--and were mean to children when they didn't conform to what you wanted to do.

post #16 of 32

Another vote for yes, you were out of line.  I understand some of your frustration, but would have tried to be much more gentle with this little girl.  It sounds like she has it pretty rough.

post #17 of 32

Yes, it sounds like you were out of line. For reasons others have mentioned. But, hey, it's a frustrating situation.


Edited by Hoopin' Mama - 11/21/10 at 8:15am
post #18 of 32

I mean this as gently as possible - sounds like the problem was you.  there were several times you wanted to say "no" and probably should have said "no" and didn't, so instead you got po'd and passive aggressive.  then you told off a child.  Not good!

 

I speak from experience, I know how it is.  :/  I think, like me, it sounds like you need to work on saying "no" and setting firm boundaries with your MIL so it doesn't get taken out on that child again.

post #19 of 32

I'm sorry, but I think that you were really rude to the little girl.  You couldn't find anything for the girls to wear to go outside, even though you have similarly aged children?  Then you made a fuss about the difference between TV and a movie on TV, which is a differentiation some parents make but I personally don't really understand, and definitely don't expect a 7yo, who just wants moving images telling a story, to understand.  Then you passive aggressively made it so that she couldn't hear the movie, and blamed her for it.

 

Honestly, it sounds like you went out of your way to make the little girl's visit as unpleasant as possible.

 

FWIW, I would have used the movie disagreement to teach your kids about being a respectful host.  Assuming that all of the movie options were age appropriate ones that you don't mind your kids seeing, letting the guest pick the movie is polite.  A 5 year old who breaks down in tears over the movie selection is quite old enough to have that explained to him.  I'm not saying it's not age appropriate for a 5yo to get irrationally upset over something like that: but it is certainly age appropriate for you to have stepped in and done whatever you do to stop that sort of tantrums and explain how to be a polite host.

post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by beezer75 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyMommaToo View Post

This sounds like a problem with your MIL rather than with the girls.



So simple.  So obvious.  So completely escaped me.

 

My MIL problems go back to when DH proposed and handed me his grandmother's wedding ring.  When MIL found out she looked at and told me I had to give it back when we got divorced. That has been the high point of our relationship.


Wow. No wonder you were on edge.

 

I think you're going to need to invite your MIL to stuff so that your time with her is on your terms.

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