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Intolerant Brother-in-law

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have a 9 yr old, 7yr old and 9 wk old. BIL was visiting over the holidays-- he's my husbands oldest brother, never had kids and hasn't been around them much. 9 yr old has ADHD and Aspergers-- he talks nonstop and we constantly have to redirect him on this behavior. He interrupts our conversations and we have to remind him that its inappropriate to do this. BIL got annoyed a nd told our son to shut up and this bothered us- we don't say that to him and BIL who only visits once every couple of years has no right. We were right there and he does not parent our children, we do. There was never a good time to talk to him about this since the kids were always around and we didn't want them hearing it. My husband told his mom who will probably talk to BIL about this. I don't want him visiting if he's going to overstep his boundaries like this. There are tons of issues between him and my husband-- they are half brothers with the same mom but different dads. My husbands dad couldn't stand him, so he kicked him out at 15, so BIL has issues with my husband because he looks so much like his dad, plus stuff from his own past. Either way, I don't want him projecting on our children-- he called our 7 yr old a "whiny baby" which I didn't like either.
post #2 of 11

Under the circumstances, I don't think I'd extend an invitation again to BIL. If he were to ask to visit, that would be the good time to mention that his parenting advice is both unwelcome and unhelpful.

post #3 of 11
Luckily, if you see him every few years only it might be a nonissue. If you knew you'd be seeing him again I would state something like " the kids will be happy to see their uncle gain, please remember that we don't use unkind words like shut up" (I don't mind polite lies smile.gif). Then I would defend my kids and my rules if he said something rude. "Uncle Meanie, we don't say shut up (or call eachother names) in our house, please." If he can't listen he can't come back.
post #4 of 11

I think maybe I would take this out of the realm of parenting, away from all the family connections, forget the special needs issues (BTW, I am a parent of special needs kids, too), and look at it as "a house guest said a rude thing". Saying "shut up" or calling a person whiny isn't parenting at all - it is just plain rude. If a guest said something that bothered me, I would either say something ("we don't talk like that here"), or just not invite them back.

 

I don't mean to minimize or over-simplify. But when you remove the emotional family history, separate it from parenting styles, all that is left is a rude person. How do you deal with other rude people in your life?

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Pajama View Post

Under the circumstances, I don't think I'd extend an invitation again to BIL. If he were to ask to visit, that would be the good time to mention that his parenting advice is both unwelcome and unhelpful.


I've told my husband this and he agrees.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammary View Post

I think maybe I would take this out of the realm of parenting, away from all the family connections, forget the special needs issues (BTW, I am a parent of special needs kids, too), and look at it as "a house guest said a rude thing". Saying "shut up" or calling a person whiny isn't parenting at all - it is just plain rude. If a guest said something that bothered me, I would either say something ("we don't talk like that here"), or just not invite them back.

 

I don't mean to minimize or over-simplify. But when you remove the emotional family history, separate it from parenting styles, all that is left is a rude person. How do you deal with other rude people in your life?


Maybe my existence is sheltered, but the majority of people in my life are not rude like this. Strangers can be rude, but I put them in their place or ignore them---they don't matter. Unfortunately, you can't pick the family you marry into and my children have no family that they see on birthdays and holidays other than my Mom---husband's family is not around  because the majority of them live in other countries except this BIL who lives about 8-10 hours away

post #7 of 11
I believe it's ok to politely tell him in front of the children that 'shut up' and 'whinny' are not acceptable in your home. Period. After being told that, he may not want to come back, but would you mind?

It's your house and you establish the rules.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
I wouldn't mind if he didn't come back. It would be difficult explaining to the kids why he wouldn't be coming around anymore. I don't feel that my husband cares that much about maintaining a relationship with his brother-- especially if it made me uncomfortable having him here acting like this. It makes me sad and it disappoints me that BIL can't behave, but he has his problems that he needs to deal with-not our problem and its not fair our kids to be subjected to his intolerance.
post #9 of 11

I think it would be a powerful example to your children to be able to call him out-in front of them, if he says something rude. It doesnt' have to be nasty or confrontational, just something simple like - "Hey BIL, please dont speak to my children that way" or whatever. Then follow up later in private. If people dont get confronted on their behavior, then they assume its OK and they get a pass. he might not like it, he might not come around again for awhile, but getting that negative energy out of your space *and* modeling for your children about standing up for something is important. 

 

(btw... i am not underestimating how hard this is!! i am in a situation with my step mother where I need to start doing this and it important and necessary, but definitely NOT easy!) 

post #10 of 11

The only way to end the behavior is to stop it in it's tracks. "Please don't do that, let us handle _______ (in this case, discipline, etc)" or something similar. That line actually works in a lot of siutations where you may be struggling to find the right words quickly enough.  Or also, "Thanks, but we have it covered."

 

Don't be so concerned about sounding polite that you let them get away with it. By not speaking up you are telling your BIL - and more importantly - your children, that that kind of behavior is ok and tolerated. It isn't.  So speak up, and don't worry too much about being polite or hurting his feelings. He certainly wasn't worried about yours.

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa85 View Post

The only way to end the behavior is to stop it in it's tracks. "Please don't do that, let us handle _______ (in this case, discipline, etc)" or something similar. That line actually works in a lot of siutations where you may be struggling to find the right words quickly enough.  Or also, "Thanks, but we have it covered."

Don't be so concerned about sounding polite that you let them get away with it. By not speaking up you are telling your BIL - and more importantly - your children, that that kind of behavior is ok and tolerated. It isn't.  So speak up, and don't worry too much about being polite or hurting his feelings. He certainly wasn't worried about yours.


Yes, yes, yes!!!

This says what I was trying to say, so much better!

If you rehearse your response, it will come easily when you need it!
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