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DS is avoiding MIL

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

My inlaws will be staying with us for four months or more because we are expecting our 2nd baby in september.

 

What has surprised me is that my Son, who turned two in april, has immediately become avoidant of my MIL at almost every opportunity.  He cried when she was going to sit next to him in the car from the airport, he almost never wants her to feed him, he won't give her hugs, in fact he doesn't even like to talk to her.  On the other hand, my FIL is like his favorite person in the entire world.

 

I have never seen my son be avoidant in this way towards ANYone.  I feel bad for her; the last time she saw him he was an infant.  I have tried to help them bond by doing things like letting her feed him ice cream (which he gets less than weekly), but after three whole days he still only asks for his grandpa and is just not digging her.

 

Can anyone suggest a way to help him change his behavior or explain to me what on earth my son is thinking? 

post #2 of 11

Maybe he is just overwhelmed?

Maybe he is attached to you, and so isn't wanting/looking for a "replacement" for Mama and is leary of a female?

 

I would try to get her to back off and not try so hard to bond, build a relationship. Give him space and let him come to her. He will come around and bond more quickly if he is left to do it on his terms. At least he will if he is anything like our DD! Everything in her life so far has been much easier when we let her do it on her terms.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by colsxjack View Post

Maybe he is just overwhelmed?

Maybe he is attached to you, and so isn't wanting/looking for a "replacement" for Mama and is leary of a female?

 

I would try to get her to back off and not try so hard to bond, build a relationship. Give him space and let him come to her. He will come around and bond more quickly if he is left to do it on his terms. At least he will if he is anything like our DD! Everything in her life so far has been much easier when we let her do it on her terms.

 

This would make sense but DS was put off from the minute we reached the aiport towards her and didn't even know who she was.  Furthermore, he had a nanny coming a few times a week and was perfectly happy with her.  Plus, like I said, he seems to like his grandpa better than even me and met him at the same time as my MIL.

I would be lying if I didn't admit to some small guilty pleasure at being preferred because I was initially feeling insecure about MIL coming and 'taking over' for me for a while because she likes to spoil kids, but knowing how devastated she must feel makes me care more about how my son could improve towards her.  

 

And for the record, we don't push anything with DS: he is purely NOT in to her when she even talks to him he looks away.

post #4 of 11

Is there something he LOVES that she could do on her own that might draw him in?  Like, could she sit and color, play cars, play dough, paint, read his books near him and give him the chance to go to her on his own terms?

 

My kids are 12 and 7 and they still show no interest in my mil.  They LOVE my fil but they are polite to mil and not very interested in her.  She's just not as fun as fil.  After observing them all together last weekend I totally understand why they don't care about her ;)  

post #5 of 11

My son is like this and I have tried every thing. He might have a good day but NEVER and i mean NEVER wants her to hold or interact with him. Some times he is is a super good mood and puts up with her.  I just always attributed it to her weird behavior that he just does not like. We just get over it. The more i tried to make him interact with her the worse it got and the more attention it brought to it. He will grow out of it or he wont. I cannot make him want to be held by her and forcing him to do something he is not comfortable with I am not comfortable with. IDK why mine loves FIL though. He is a grandpa baby.
 

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

Is there something he LOVES that she could do on her own that might draw him in?  Like, could she sit and color, play cars, play dough, paint, read his books near him and give him the chance to go to her on his own terms?

 

My kids are 12 and 7 and they still show no interest in my mil.  They LOVE my fil but they are polite to mil and not very interested in her.  She's just not as fun as fil.  After observing them all together last weekend I totally understand why they don't care about her ;)  

 

 

Good ideas.  I can't help but giggle at our MILs. The poor things! I have made a rule that she is the only one allowed to feed DS ice cream in the house, which is his favorite, and only once a week.  I will work on more activities too, thanks for the suggestions.

post #7 of 11
It must suck to be the unloved mil. But I know mine comes by it honestly. My kids are people and she just doesn't know how to interact with people. If she would have stopped trying to make things how she wanted them (from like, the first month of dh and I dating!!) and instead left them as they were, we would have been fine. But she had this image of her family and where she wanted me to fit in and it wasnt what her son wanted soooo.
post #8 of 11

My DS also avoids my MIL.  I know this is because he's at the age (just turned 1) where by if he doesn't see people on a daily basis, he's nervous of them and MIL doesn't visit often.  Neither does FIL (MIL and FIL are divorced BTW) but he will eventually go to FIL and sit on his knee or hand him a toy etc, because FIL is much more chilled out about the whole thing.  FIL lets DS come round by just ignoring him almost but MIL gets upset if DS doesn't go to her.  She tries hard not to show it but it's obvious, she physically tenses.  Children can sense these things.  I know it's hard but could you tell her to back off and leave your DS alone? (in the nicest possible way of course!)  It must be awful - if it was me I'd feel rejected - but kids are wary of strangers end of story.  It's a good protective mechanism.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by demeter888 View Post

 

This would make sense but DS was put off from the minute we reached the aiport towards her and didn't even know who she was.  Furthermore, he had a nanny coming a few times a week and was perfectly happy with her.  Plus, like I said, he seems to like his grandpa better than even me and met him at the same time as my MIL.

I would be lying if I didn't admit to some small guilty pleasure at being preferred because I was initially feeling insecure about MIL coming and 'taking over' for me for a while because she likes to spoil kids, but knowing how devastated she must feel makes me care more about how my son could improve towards her.  

 

And for the record, we don't push anything with DS: he is purely NOT in to her when she even talks to him he looks away.

Is your son a little on the introverted side?  It's probably hard to tell at two, but as an introvert who was previously a child, I can say that people who were super excited to spoil kids were a bit overwhelming and exhausting to me as a kid.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelsmama View Post

Is your son a little on the introverted side?  It's probably hard to tell at two, but as an introvert who was previously a child, I can say that people who were super excited to spoil kids were a bit overwhelming and exhausting to me as a kid.

 

 

I don't sense that he's at all introverted.  But he has shown signs of greater sensitivity than I expected him to in the past few weeks.  His aunt also came to visit yesterday and he wanted nothing to do with her.  He is pretty fine around men and children, but doesn't seem to like women right now.  He was never shy before and always loved everyone.  I am starting to suspect his swim class has something to do with it.  They have done a very poor job of transitioning him into different activities.  The instructors are females.  It has been his first bad scary experience with adults and they happened to be mostly women.

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by demeter888 View Post


I don't sense that he's at all introverted.  But he has shown signs of greater sensitivity than I expected him to in the past few weeks.  His aunt also came to visit yesterday and he wanted nothing to do with her.  He is pretty fine around men and children, but doesn't seem to like women right now.  He was never shy before and always loved everyone.  I am starting to suspect his swim class has something to do with it.  They have done a very poor job of transitioning him into different activities.  The instructors are females.  It has been his first bad scary experience with adults and they happened to be mostly women.

My son is just like this. I think it really is a phase/personality thing
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