Not sure if this should go here or gentle discipline...
Yesterday at the store, my 13 month old was crying and standing in the basket of the cart, trying to get out of the cart, and throwing things over the side...being a typical one year old imo. My response was to keep things away from her that she would hurt by throwing, and when she would throw something I'd tell her something like "I don't like that, no throwing please" or if she'd stand up I'd say "Sit down please, you'll get an ouchie" stuff like that. She was also feeling a little sick, and needed a nap. So I was surprised how WELL she was behaving, and feeling guilty for bringing her in the store.
Then my mother threatened her "You need to sit down and be good or grammy will slap you". I replied "You wouldn't really do that would you??" And she said "Of course not, but if she get's scared of threats, you'll never have to actually slap her!"
I didn't reply except to give her an incredulous look and try to steer towards the exit. A little after that she also called her a bad girl (for throwing her glasses out of the cart), and I said "We DO NOT say bad girl, she is NOT bad!" and she just dismissed me as trying to make her seem like a bad guy :( She does things like this alot. She is always telling her no, and I tell her that she needs to stop. She says "well she needs to learn the word NO!" Which I reply "She does know the word NO, we just don't use it!"
Rosy is VERY headstrong and quite a little character, and my mom says things like "Well you were the perfect baby-never cried or tantrumed, always sweet and still, where did all her orneryness come from? and says alot about how strong-willed she is, how she's like a little tomboy (she's pretty rough and tumble and daring)...almost like she blames me for giving her a baby that wasn't quiet and sat still!!
My mom actually loves Rosy to pieces, she is quite loving, but at the same time, her upbringing combined with her bi-polar disease makes her say and do things that seems like she's always trying to put me down to build herself up, and if ever called on anything, IMMEDIATELY goes to the oh poor me attitude where she hates herself and everyone hates her. So I can't talk to her about this. Just need some support
Oh, mama. I am so sorry. It sounds like your mom needs you to sit down and talk to her about they way you have decided to parent. It does sound like she loves you and your DD, she is just unaware of the fact that you have chosen to do things a certian way. Sometimes, I think it helps our parents if they know that there is something called "Gentle Discipline" and "Attachment Parenting" (not assuming you are AP, just giving another example". I know for my MIL it really helps her to think that we are following some "method" that is the new "way" to parent. I go along with letting her think that I "follow Dr. Sears' method" because its easier for her to understand that than to understand that I am doing things the way that feels natural and right to me. For me that means: no hitting, no yelling, no name calling, no sleep training, no crappy food, no formula, no freaking out about milestones, no daycare, no babysitters. If I told it to her that way, she would never respect my rules. She'd just think I was against everything that is the way she raised her kids. I have to package it as positives and tell her the things she can do with my child. Maybe you are already doing this, but its something Ive had to change about how I approach things recently.
I totally understand what its like to have someone in your life that you love and obviously loves your kid, but at the same time says things to your child that you would NEVER this is okay. My MIL is all about the "bad girl" and "good girl". I hate it. I am a chef for a 90 year old woman that has once said (to my 10 month old!) "dont do that, or ill pop your hand" about throwing a little teddy bear on the floor. She is usually so friendly and nice, I know she doesnt think anything of it.
That being said, niether of these people are my mom, because I dont see or talk to my mother because she has NPD and is incredibly verbally abusive to me. When we were growing up she used to make empty threats all the time like "Im gonna beat you to a pulp", "Ill ring your neck" and other things. She is a huge supporter or CIO and food training (starving babies until they are famished then feeding them so that they will eat a ton of food and then fall asleep). She thought the fact that I was going to nurse was offensive because of a list of reasons longer than my arm. At any rate, Im sure she would have already threatened to hit my kid if I was around her. Geeze, my mom might have even done it. And then she would have pulled the "poor me poor me everyone hates me" when I scolded her about it.
Good luck dealing with this. Parenting is such a hard thing to talk to some moms about :)
Holly and David
Adaline (3/20/10), and Charlie (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)
"Please don't talk to [DD] that way. It's hurtful."
"I don't ever threaten my child. Please don't do that again."
"I appreciate that you have your own ideas about parenting, but it's my turn now and this is what I've decided. Please respect my authority as [DD]'s mother."
"If you speak to her that way again, we're going to leave/have to ask you to leave." (And then follow through, every time.)
"If you can't refrain from threatening [DD], we won't be able to spend time with you for awhile." (And then follow through, every time.)
If/when she violates the boundary:
"I asked you not to speak that way to [DD]. We're leaving now." (And then follow through, every time!)
I'm sorry, mama. It's hard to have parenting differences with our own parents; they see it as a criticism of the way they did things (and in some ways, that's exactly what it is!) and have trouble viewing you as an autonomous parent in your own right. It sounds like to your mom, you're still her baby and she's in charge. But now's your time to be the mama, and standing up for your DD is your first responsibility. It sounds like your mother loves you and your daughter very much, but is having trouble with boundaries--common but immensely frustrating.
Hang in there!
Loving wife and mama to my sweet little son (Fall 2008) and a beautiful baby girl (Fall 2010)
When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty. --George Bernard Shaw
youve have very good responses, i will remember some of those!
my family tends to say things like that, and my in laws go even further! they esp threaten things with, "do you want pow-pow?!" ive always just said, "dont tell him that." i figure, no one is going to change their parenting style, i might as well just state the truth. dont tell my child that.
Coffee, Vintage and Kids. My Life.
I would just try to be clear- you've had some great examples and scripts given here. I have had to find the balance- I do correct some things grandparents do, but sometimes I roll my eyes- it is easier as kids get older because they will voice it for themselves. "I'm not bad! I just didn't make a good decision!" was a favorite my dd tossed at her grandparents.
As a side note, please tell me the baby wasn't in the big open cart part- it's a huge risk to have them in there and falls and tipping happen far more often that you might realize. I learned the hard way with my oldest, and a skull fracture and concussion. I was watching her and in arms reach every moment, but it happened so fast. Be careful, mama.
My mom and oldest dd's personalities clash really badly at times, and my mom (cause she gets frustrated and cause of her own issues/mental illness/upbringing) says stuff about her at times when dd is most trying and my mom not feeling her best that really hurts me. And then having to deal with a difficult kid feels so much worse. I really feel for you about that. Sometimes the best I try to do is keep my mom away from dd when they're both getting that way.
I've also found that (for both dh's and my families) explaining why you don't do things to your parents isn't always helpful. Obviously they believe what they want to already. It's less likely or important that you change their mind than you change their behavior. So just becoming a 'please don't say that' broken record can be a lot more helpful than explaining why you don't use certain phrases/threats/etc. You already have some good advice about that above.
It's also likely that your mom doesn't remember a lot of the trying times of your babyhood even though they were most likely there (MIL here is the 'my kids never did stuff like that' champ ), and she dealt with a lot of the same problems. So, really, roll your eyes at that and be glad that you won't dwell on the difficult things your baby does when you're older.