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Please give me your honest opinion - Page 6

post #101 of 171
The hug comment is very concerning IMO
Stay with your son or dont go see MIL.

My in-laws are already talking about my girls coming down by themselves staying for a couple of weeks. My il-laws form of interacting with the girls is watching tv together

Good thing is by the time my dd are old enough (adults :LOL) to travel by themselves the in-laws will be too old.


If she treats your son this way and you, how does she treat your dd?? I wouldnt want a controlling manipulative person like that training dd in ways you dont care for.
post #102 of 171
oops look below...
post #103 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A
Did you tell your parents what he said?
no i never did tell my parents. my dad wasn't a parent to even speak of (and this was his father who said that to me.) and my mother has sufferred such atrocious physical, psychological and emotional abuse from her parents (mainly her father) that she wasn't one to pity much...kwim. i knew that i would most likely end up feeling much worse if i mentioned this to my mom.

your poor dh! that story is so very sad. and even more sad that he's had to be in such denial about this. my dh just recently experienced psychological freedom from his traumatic past. he has a mother very similar to your dh. it's a long story, one best told by my dh.
post #104 of 171
If your MIL is so abusive and manipulative why is it OK that your DD gets to spend time one-on-one with her?

Yeah, I get she's verbal and all that but she might suffer just as much damage anyhow. It isn't only toddlers who are affected by emotional blackmail...
post #105 of 171
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by momto l&a
If she treats your son this way and you, how does she treat your dd??

I haven't seen anything specifically inappropriate with dd, except MIL giving her caffeine when I told her not to, and then b****** to everyone about it when I called her on the carpet about it.
post #106 of 171
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by magster
If your MIL is so abusive and manipulative why is it OK that your DD gets to spend time one-on-one with her?

Well..............dd enjoys spending time with her, and I haven't seen her be specifically abusive or manipulative with dd. It would be a HUGE fight (with dh, MIL, and dd) if I suddenly stopped the two of them spending time alone. But do you think I should? You know, if dh and I got divorced over this, then I'd have even less say about dd and ds seeing MIL (when dh had visitation.)
post #107 of 171
MIL sounds pretty bad - I don't think I'd allow alone time if I felt uncomfortable with it either. Of course I might do my own passive aggressive thing of not saying much about it until that day, and then make up some sickness DS got that morning that would make both MIL and DH back off. Like saying "DS is coming down with something - I don't want him to accidently throw up in your house while I'm gone. I'm sure you don't want to deal with a crabby/puking kid."

Ultimately you get to decide who can watch your children. While the principle of allowing grandparents alone time is not absurd to me, I would only recommend it for grandparents that have the trust of the parents. Clearly MIL does not have that with you. I love my inlaws, would allow them alone time, but would never allow them to drive the girls anywhere - just a risk I am not willing to take, they are awful drivers. Good luck
post #108 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by starlein26
all (ôl)
adj.
-Being or representing the entire or total number, amount, or quantity: All the windows are open. Deal all the cards. See Synonyms at whole.


my using the word "all" could be one person...but i have definitely seen more than one...i just didn't bother counting.
And I am saying there is no "all" because there isn't even one.

Quote:
my point was essentially that these are human emotions that we are dealing with. we better be sure we know that the family we leave our children with isn't going to damage our children's psyche.
I agree. Completely.
FTR I have emotionaly damaging immediate relatives and I have not spoken to them in over 12 years. I know how you fealt with your grandfather. I had a very similar experience with one of the relatives I no longer speak to.

I understand your point and I agree. I hope everyone understood mine.
post #109 of 171
I can see both sides on this, but I definitely lean more toward the "let her watch them" camp.

To make a long story short, I used to have similar issues with MIL, but after a while, I came to the realization that they were *my* issues that I needed to let go of, and I did, and my relationship with MIL has been fantastic ever since. She may do things a little differently, and she may give DD junk food and stuff that I would never give her, but when I learned to let go of it, then it became a lot easier for me. I realized that she just wanted a relationship with DD, and that she loves DD so much. We have a fantastic relationship now, and we still live far away, but when she does spend time with DD, I really enjoy having the two of them together, because they enjoy each other so much. Yes, DD gets the occasional junk food from her grandma, but I've learned to relax and let it slide, and everyone has a more enjoyable time.

My mom thought that her MIL was toxic, probably for a lot of the same reasons that most people think that their MILs are toxic, and as a result, cut her out of our lives. We were only allowed to see her very infrequently because my mother didn't like her. My grandma was never bad to my brother and I, but according to my mom, my grandma was awful to her (if she was, I was too young to notice). My mom thought that she was protecting us, but really, it just ended up hurting us in the long run. My grandma died when I was about 8, and I've always felt a huge loss in my life because I never really got a chance to know her. It's something that almost 20 years later, I still think about often. I even named my DD after her (which upset my mother to no end).

I don't think that it's uncool to tell moms to loosen up a little. I think it's uncool to go through life being so rigid about everything. I think that you really need to look at the long term in situations like this, and it's hard, because you can't predict the future. What's really more important? The occasional cookie and diet coke and "come give grandma a hug", or your kids' long-term relationships with their grandma? You may think that she's the most awful person in the world (and rightfully so), but your kids' experience of her will probably be something different. I think that it's unhealthy to try to force your own projections of people onto your children. I think that it's better for them to be able to form their own opinions.

I just don't think that rigidity is healthy or productive. I see so many issues here that people think are so black and white, and people throwing around the word toxic to describe things that aren't toxic so much as they are annoying. Our children are the most important things in the whole world, so of course the need to protect them is very real and very important. But I think that it's equally important to be able to step back and really examine a situation and not assume that there's a set right or wrong to every situation. Sometimes being so adamant isn't a good thing. If you spend your time focusing on the negative things instead of trying to find the positives, then how can you be happy and teach your kids to be happy?
post #110 of 171
Wanted to add that I, too have relatives that I've cut from my life, and I've gone back and forth as to whether or not I should allow them to have contact with DD, and I've chosen not to. They were abusive to me as a child, and they've half-heartedly tried to mend fences within the last 5 years or so, and I've refused contact, although my mom and brother have contact with them now.

I struggled for a while with this, given my own feelings on cutting people out of kids' lives, but decided that it is in DD's best interests to not have a relationship with them. I could never trust them alone with her, and I can't handle being around them, given our past, so I've refused all contact that they've tried to have with DD, as well as any gifts they've offered for her. Abuse (physical and verbal) is where I really draw the line.
post #111 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A
I know my MIL was emotionally damaging to my dh.... at least that's what my dh's grandma told me. MIL would say to her son (now my dh): "If you don't do X.......I won't love you." Then her son (now my dh) would reply, "please love me! Please love me!" Dh doesn't *recall* any of that happening, so he doesn't think of his mother as emotionally abusive.
Oh crap. I was so hoping to come here today and find out that I was way off base on the whole "conditional love" thing, and you just gave the CLASSIC example. Your poor dh. Hopefully you can protect your dc from receiving the same kind of message. More and more, I think you SHOULD put off leaving your ds alone with her, at least until he is older. (And I thought that to begin with.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A
I just also wanted to say that my parents (who live an hour away) have never had alone time, nor have they asked for alone time, with my kids, and my kids still have a good relationship with them. So, I don't necessarily agree that alone time is essential for grandparents.
Actually, I said it was valuable, not essential. I wouldn't correct you, but it's an important distinction. Having alone time with a grandparent teaches a child that there are other adults in their lives who can be trusted and relied upon to care for them, other than their parents, which I think is valuable AS LONG AS THE GRANDPARENT IN QUESTION IS TRUSTWORTHY, which obviously your mil isn't.

-Melissa
post #112 of 171
I think it's normal for grandparents to want some alone with their grandchildren.
post #113 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleaugustbaby
I don't think that it's uncool to tell moms to loosen up a little. I think it's uncool to go through life being so rigid about everything.
:

Exactly what I'm talking about.

How's about this: if you (general you) don't live with the kid, and you don't parent the kid, and you don't know why that "rigidity" might be there, how's about you refrain from passing judgements about that "rigidity" and whether a parent is making unfair relationship tradeoffs for it? How's about you remember you have no idea what that parent's life might be like if she didn't go through it "being so rigid about everything"?

And how, exactly, should it ever be a choice between having my values and decisions as a parent upheld, and the grandparents having a good relationship with their grandchild? What happened to grandparents that respect their adult childrens' decisions and don't jeopardize their own relationships with their grandchildren by disrespecting those decisions?

How is it the fault of a parent (excuse me, a mother, because it's always a mother) that her rules and decisions aren't being respected? How about we expect grandparents to feel a little responsibility for behaving appropriately, instead of excusing disrespectful behavior and then whining about how much they miss out on when they're not allowed to grandparent unsupervised?
post #114 of 171
You just illustrated my point completely.

To me, there's no point in getting so completely worked up over everything. I just think that you have to pick your battles sometimes. I also think that attitude and respect go both ways.
post #115 of 171
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleaugustbaby
The occasional cookie and diet coke and "come give grandma a hug", or your kids' long-term relationships with their grandma?


Wow. I really didn't mean for/expect this thread to get this long. But just for the record, I don't completely forbid cookies, but I would like to be asked before my 3 yo. has one. Have you seen the obesity rates in this country???? And yes, I forbid caffeine completely, in my house and elsewhere, because the combination of carbonation and caffeine is horrible.

So, I have a hard time with "grandma is sacred, therefore she can mess up your kids' health" mentality. The last time she had her for 24 hours, she didn't feed dd ONE SINGLE fruit or vegetable!


But I REALLY have to argue the "hug" issue. It wasn't just "come give grandma a hug." It was, basically, you don't want me to be your grandma if you don't instantly jump off your mother's lap to give me as many hugs as I want. Because, ultimately, I want you to love me more than you love your mother.

Children who are forced to give affection have a hard time protecting their physical boundaries either as children or adults. I have a HUGE problem with making my kids hug anybody--me included! I always try to ASK for a hug, rather than insist upon one.

Well, dh and I fought and then talked some more............and he's willing to be more on the watch for any emotionally abusive talk from his mom and help me stop it instantly. (Which is huge for him to stand up to her like that.)

Oh, and back to the day in question, I will talk to MIL again about feeding dd decently but she will get to sleep over. I'll just use the "I'm going to stay and visit" line when she asks me to leave ds by himself. :LOL Then ds and I will leave after we visit awhile.
post #116 of 171
Just like extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, rigidity that pays heed to that little voice inside of you is not only not wrong, it's *good parenting*.

I have really good instincts. I have had some very sad instances of my completely irrational, baseless assessment of a situation turning out to be spot-on. I think my instincts are so good because I ALWAYS heed them.

If we lived in a world that put the safety of women and children first then I could understand telling people to loosen up BUT WE DON'T. If you are feeling like you can't trust someone you HAVE to pay attention because no one else is watching out for you or your child.

And again, it's not just about abuse - a child can be just as dead from running out into the street in front of a car b/c grandma took her eyes off him for two seconds. Don't second-guess those feelings when you get them.
post #117 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A
Wow. I really didn't mean for/expect this thread to get this long. But just for the record, I don't completely forbid cookies, but I would like to be asked before my 3 yo. has one. Have you seen the obesity rates in this country???? And yes, I forbid caffeine completely, in my house and elsewhere, because the combination of carbonation and caffeine is horrible.

So, I have a hard time with "grandma is sacred, therefore she can mess up your kids' health" mentality. The last time she had her for 24 hours, she didn't feed dd ONE SINGLE fruit or vegetable!


But I REALLY have to argue the "hug" issue. It wasn't just "come give grandma a hug." It was, basically, you don't want me to be your grandma if you don't instantly jump off your mother's lap to give me as many hugs as I want. Because, ultimately, I want you to love me more than you love your mother.

Children who are forced to give affection have a hard time protecting their physical boundaries either as children or adults. I have a HUGE problem with making my kids hug anybody--me included! I always try to ASK for a hug, rather than insist upon one.

Well, dh and I fought and then talked some more............and he's willing to be more on the watch for any emotionally abusive talk from his mom and help me stop it instantly. (Which is huge for him to stand up to her like that.)

Oh, and back to the day in question, I will talk to MIL again about feeding dd decently but she will get to sleep over. I'll just use the "I'm going to stay and visit" line when she asks me to leave ds by himself. :LOL Then ds and I will leave after we visit awhile.
I agree with you on the hug thing. I think it is a good idea to insist that the grandmother follow your food guidlines when the kids are with her. I want to point out that the bolded seems like it may be something you are reading into your MIL's feeling rather than how your MIL actuallty feels. I could really be wrong, of course. But if I were you I would exammine where that feeling is coming from on your part. I think all mother's are a bit insecure when it comes to their kid's love and devotion and I think maybe that is coloring your view of your MIL's intentions. Very humble opinion on my part.
post #118 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleaugustbaby
You just illustrated my point completely.

To me, there's no point in getting so completely worked up over everything. I just think that you have to pick your battles sometimes. I also think that attitude and respect go both ways.


A&A, my MIL sounds a lot like yours. Actually, my FIL is even worse than she is. I have reached a point where I just laugh and say "Gosh, how silly Grandma is" when she starts pouting and fake cry because DD won't kiss her and tell her she loves her. Believe me, I tried to reason with them but to no avail. I decided that "Hey, they are Brazilians. They are emotional. They are dramatic. They L-O-O-O-V-E our DD to no end" and I just point out to DD when they are a little over the top. She totally gets it and pokes fun at them herself.

Family dynamics are unique and only you know yours. But my life sure became a lot less stressful once I decided to take my in-laws' antics in stride and quit complaining to my husband about his parents. I must say, though, that I have never gotten a really bad vibe from either one, they are just too expressive in their enthusiasm for being grandparents, yk? It sounds like your MIL is quite different. But I still think that she can't be all that evil if your DD enjoys being with her and you aren't afraid to let her stay overnight there without you.

Ok, enough from here.

Good luck with the upcoming visit.
post #119 of 171
Quote:
Wow. I really didn't mean for/expect this thread to get this long. But just for the record, I don't completely forbid cookies, but I would like to be asked before my 3 yo. has one. Have you seen the obesity rates in this country???? And yes, I forbid caffeine completely, in my house and elsewhere, because the combination of carbonation and caffeine is horrible.

So, I have a hard time with "grandma is sacred, therefore she can mess up your kids' health" mentality. The last time she had her for 24 hours, she didn't feed dd ONE SINGLE fruit or vegetable!
I'm well aware of the obesity rates, and it's something that is a huge concern to me, probably moreso than a lot of people. Three months ago, my brother had a massive, near-fatal heart attack at the age of 33. Obesity and heart disease are constantly on my mind, and I'm very dilligent about limiting saturated fats, junk, caffeine and sodium in my diet and in DD's. That doesn't mean that I don't let DD have occasional treats, of course (she actually just had a cookie a few minutes ago and is happily licking the chocolate crumbs off her fingers as we speak). My parents (I live with my parents) don't care about junk food whatsoever. They are constantly buying crap loaded with preservatives and hydrogenated oils and all of that other fun stuff, and despite my repeated pleading, they still try to give it to DD. When I'm around to watch, I know that I have better control over what she eats. When my parents babysit (which is very, very rare), I always assume that they're going to feed DD something crappy that I'd never give her, which they usually do. I always make sure that there are healthy snacks and meals available, or I'll cook dinner for DD and leave it in the refrigerator so that they just have to heat it up. But if I find out that they bought her a happy meal, I take it in stride, as much as I hate the idea of DD eating a happy meal (both for health and political reasons).

You can try talking to your MIL about it again, and just explain why you want to curb some of the junk food. Maybe you can reach some sort of compromise, like let her know that cookies (or whatever) are OK, but tell her that you'd be more comfortable if DD and DS were only allowed to have 1 or 2 cookies each, and that you'd really prefer, say, a banana to a cookie, etc. I think that if you approach it from a "can you please do this" perspective, rather than a "I don't want you to do this" perspective, she might be a lot more likely to listen to your requests.

Quote:
But I REALLY have to argue the "hug" issue. It wasn't just "come give grandma a hug." It was, basically, you don't want me to be your grandma if you don't instantly jump off your mother's lap to give me as many hugs as I want. Because, ultimately, I want you to love me more than you love your mother.
A lot of people do this with little kids, my mom does it too, and I don't think that people realize how manipulative it really is, nor do I think that they have any bad intentions when they do it. I think that you might be reading a little too much into it. My mom literally got offended when my nephew (who was 2 at the time) didn't want to give her a kiss. Her feelings were really hurt and she took it as rejection. I tried to explain to her that he wasn't rejecting her, he was just being a 2 year old, and he was being honest, he didn't want a kiss. You can try to explain it to your MIL, but it might not be worth it, because I'm sure that she doesn't see it the way that you do, and bringing it up might cause more problems than it solves.

At any rate, I think that the whole thing ultimately boils down to control, and I think that as parents, it's a struggle to figure out when it's ok to give up a little control to others when it comes to our kids. It's not a character flaw, it means that we love our kids and want to protect them. But at the same time, it's ok to learn to give in a little bit. Things are SO much less stressful when you learn to release a little bit of control. That's something that I've learned from firsthand experience. What's that saying? Life is 5% what happens to you and 95% how you react to it, I think is how it goes, and it's so true.

Good luck with it. If I came across like I was trying to attack you, I wasn't. Just offering my opinion based on my personal experience.
post #120 of 171
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelovedBird
I agree with you on the hug thing. I think it is a good idea to insist that the grandmother follow your food guidlines when the kids are with her. I want to point out that the bolded seems like it may be something you are reading into your MIL's feeling rather than how your MIL actuallty feels. I could really be wrong, of course. But if I were you I would exammine where that feeling is coming from on your part. I think all mother's are a bit insecure when it comes to their kid's love and devotion and I think maybe that is coloring your view of your MIL's intentions. Very humble opinion on my part.

You don't know my MIL.


MIL's MIL (dh's grandma) told us that if we only had one child, she'd turn out like dh's mom. That night we started TTC #2! (And yes, I know there are well-balanced only children, but MIL is not one of them!)

She actually pouted, seriously, that ds wanted to stay with me and not go to her. So, yes, I think what I said before was accurate.
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