FIL insisting ds was trying to hit him. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 01-20-2012, 10:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My ds1 was trying to "vacuum" his grandpa (my FIL) with a belt that was attached to a play shopping cart. I thought it was very imaginative smile.gif .  

 

My FIL kept saying, "Look at that look on his face. He can't wait to hit me with that! He knows you're watching, so he is being good, but any minute now..." and so on. 

 

I was next to ds the whole time, and I could clearly see how he was just simply "vacuuming" his grandpa. Then ds1 told me he was going to catch a fish for his grandpa, so he started to do the fishing motion (which I did tell him he had to do away from people because someone could get hit by the belt) and my FIL insisted that ds1 was trying to hit him. headscratch.gif

 

What do you do when people JUST.DON'T.LISTEN?!?! 

 

I'm just annoyed because FIL always says things like this, no matter what I tell him. Blah. 


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#2 of 14 Old 01-21-2012, 12:46 AM
 
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"Who could blame him, I kinda want to hit you right now, too!"??

 

Okay, I wouldn't actually say it, I'd just think it. In situations like that I try and let it roll off like water on a ducks back, some people are just dense and there's nothing you can do about it.

 

The only other thing I can think of is, maybe his grandpa wanted more space? My dad is great with my kids, he'll take them for a bike ride or play drums & guitar with them, etc... but I'm pretty sure he'd redirect or tell them to stop if one of them decided to play right in his space like that. Is it always when they're close to him that he makes dumb comments?


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#3 of 14 Old 01-21-2012, 06:46 AM
 
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Maybe FIL is just nervous? Sometimes when I see kids playing certain ways or waving things around, I picture all the ways they could hurt themselves or someone else (I have major anxiety, these things just flash through my mind unbidden, though I'm good at not letting them affect my reactions). So maybe it's something like that, and instead of saying he's nervous or whatever, he puts the focus on DS? Maybe that is his way of saying, "This is bothering me, making me uncomfortable," etc. and he's trying to get you to ask him to stop or move away? Some people just don't like to be 'vacuumed'...

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#4 of 14 Old 01-21-2012, 10:07 AM
 
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It sounds like you don't feel very compassionate towards your FIL.  Maybe your FIL likes to tease about stuff like that, or maybe he really did feel like he was going to be hit.  I stop my kids from doing things with sticks around other children because the kids are afraid, not because my kid is actually going to try to hurt the other kid. 

 

Sorry that miffed you, I think whatever you are mad about is more than the belt thing. 

 

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#5 of 14 Old 01-21-2012, 10:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Tjej View Post

It sounds like you don't feel very compassionate towards your FIL.  Maybe your FIL likes to tease about stuff like that, or maybe he really did feel like he was going to be hit.  I stop my kids from doing things with sticks around other children because the kids are afraid, not because my kid is actually going to try to hurt the other kid. 

 

Sorry that miffed you, I think whatever you are mad about is more than the belt thing. 

 

Tjej



Hmmm.  You may be right, but I didn't think that at all.  I think I'd be really irritated by someone assuming bad motives in my child when there weren't any.  Plus, as long as FIL is assuming everything child does is aggressive and mean, he's not seeing the sweetness that mom is seeing.  And that would make me feel bad if I were her.  I wonder, too, if OP thinks that if FIL had loving feelings toward her DS, he'd be less likely to assume that he's constantly trying to hit.  


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#6 of 14 Old 01-22-2012, 01:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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From the responses, I've decided I probably need to be more aware of other peoples comfort levels when my boys are playing near them. With that said, yes, I do get irritated by my fil, so as a pp mentioned, I probably wasn't being very sympathetic. But in my defense, he said it was ok for ds1 to vacuum him. He is just the type of person who believes all children are bad and need to be corrected. So I get so annoyed when my ds is clearly playing and fil keeps saying those things, in front of my ds, as if he can't hear. If my dad said that, I could easily say something sarcastic to blow him off, because that is my own father. I don't like fil insisting that ds1 is "bad" and saying it in front of him. How do I give a overly sensitive, stubborn man a hint that he needs to cut that out?

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#7 of 14 Old 01-22-2012, 01:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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And I'm sorry if my tone was a little harsh. I just feel so stuck. Like, I can post here all I want, but nothing is going to change. =\

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#8 of 14 Old 01-22-2012, 07:18 AM
 
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It seems as though, while FIL is ascribing negative behavior to your son, you are also ascribing negative behaviors to FIL. Have you tried to talk to FIL to see where he's coming from?

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#9 of 14 Old 01-22-2012, 07:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBombMama View Post

And I'm sorry if my tone was a little harsh. I just feel so stuck. Like, I can post here all I want, but nothing is going to change. =\


maybe post in Gentle Discipline? not really for disciplining your son... but to get some ideas on how to handle such a situation, which it sounds like is sure to recur.

 

i would take the suggestion that whenever FIL starts making such type of comments, you immediately move your son on to another person, say, "DS, i have a bunch of dirt here on my shirt, could you please vacuum it up for me," whatever it takes to get him out of FIL's way. IOW, isolate the FIL away from the "offending" child. 

 

FIL sounds a bit like a bummer. if that's the case, he won't change. someone with no tolerance for a child aged 3 and under is someone who has very little tolerance.

 

best to just accept that that's the way he is, and... like a PP stated... give FIL his "space."

 

as for any comments / advice, you don't have to take any of that from FIL either. i would also practice giving him his "space" whenever he starts in on negative comments about your children or parenting advice for you. as in, physically move away from him.

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#10 of 14 Old 01-22-2012, 09:01 AM
 
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I had a friend who was staying with me while I was on bed rest.  Ds was very into playing Sleeping Beauty, he was Prince Philip and every single time he did something Prince Philip-like she insisted he was trying to hurt her.  Even when he would throw his sword down the hall it was always "too close" or "dangerous".  It was ridiculous, especially since ds was truly the most gentle toddler ever.  I mean he truly never hit, bit, pinched...nothing.  She always saw bad behavior where there was none. Eventually we just limited out visits to grown ups and left ds behind because she really didn't "get" little kids.

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#11 of 14 Old 01-22-2012, 12:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBombMama View Post

How do I give a overly sensitive, stubborn man a hint that he needs to cut that out?


Hmm, can you ask him as a question. Just use his own words back to him, but as a question. "Why do you think DS will hit you?" "Why do you think DS will only be good now and not later?" Rinse and repeat. Over and over. Not in a nasty way, just bring his own words back to him as a question. Maybe it will get him to think about what he is saying and stop. Or maybe it will annoy him, but he will still stop. You could even go so far as asking "why did you say DS could "vacuum you if you think he is going to hit you?" Good luck. 

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#12 of 14 Old 01-22-2012, 08:23 PM
 
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It means a lot to me that both my parents and my husband's parents adore my children and think everything they do is just the most brilliant, most cute, most whatever.  When we are around them, they are constantly remarking on how great the kids are with a heavy emphasis on how loved and taken care of they are by us.  And it's really nice to have that all acknowledged constantly with them and for them to say over and over again what great parents we are and what great kids our kids are.  I would be pretty unhappy if one of them were acting like your FIL.  Have you talked to your dh about it?  Is his dad pretty negative generally?  Or does he just not get kids?  Maybe he's just that way and you can learn to not take it personally (assuming you are feeling at least in part like I would).  It's sad for him that he can't see how sweet it is that your ds wants to vacuum him.  A lot of grandparents would be beaming over that.  Maybe if you can think of it as him missing out because he doesn't have exactly the winningest personality, it'll be easier to swallow.  

 

I really don't think this is a case of you and your ds not respecting g'pa's space (though, as previous poster mentioned, maybe looking at it that way and giving him more space will help).  Seriously, g'fathers shouldn't want more space.  They should be tickled that they're getting to spend time with their g'children.  And he's an adult who should have some experience with children and should understand what kids that age are like and what they are capable of physically.  

 

Is there any chance that he's kidding?  It just sounds so odd to me.  


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#13 of 14 Old 01-22-2012, 08:52 PM
 
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How old is your DS? My DD gets a little skittish over that sort of behavior from DS, though it isn't an unreasonable expectation because he is still learning to be gentle. When she starts up vocalizing her fear that he's going to hit her or something else undesireable, I remind her that if she continues putting the idea out there then he probably will. With nearly 18 month old DS and even our roommate's nearly 3 year old DS (though he's gotten a lot better about it), constantly saying that they're going to do something is a pretty good way of ensuring it happens. I'm not saying that's the case with your DS, but if your FIL is truly concerned about being hit, maybe a similar line might at least get him to think twice before saying your DS is going to hurt him. Just a thought.

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#14 of 14 Old 01-22-2012, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicana View Post

 

i would take the suggestion that whenever FIL starts making such type of comments, you immediately move your son on to another person, say, "DS, i have a bunch of dirt here on my shirt, could you please vacuum it up for me," whatever it takes to get him out of FIL's way. IOW, isolate the FIL away from the "offending" child. 

 

I have sort of been doing this. Sometimes I will redirect ds1 to myself, other times I make dh interfere, sometimes I don't even do anything at all greensad.gif I'm sure I need to be much more consistent. Bah, its just so hard to constantly be on top of this! 



Quote:
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Hmm, can you ask him as a question. Just use his own words back to him, but as a question. "Why do you think DS will hit you?" "Why do you think DS will only be good now and not later?" Rinse and repeat. Over and over. Not in a nasty way, just bring his own words back to him as a question. Maybe it will get him to think about what he is saying and stop. Or maybe it will annoy him, but he will still stop. You could even go so far as asking "why did you say DS could "vacuum you if you think he is going to hit you?" Good luck. 


^ I like it! That would be a whole new approach. Thank you smile.gif

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post

It means a lot to me that both my parents and my husband's parents adore my children and think everything they do is just the most brilliant, most cute, most whatever.  When we are around them, they are constantly remarking on how great the kids are with a heavy emphasis on how loved and taken care of they are by us.  And it's really nice to have that all acknowledged constantly with them and for them to say over and over again what great parents we are and what great kids our kids are.  I would be pretty unhappy if one of them were acting like your FIL.  Have you talked to your dh about it?  Is his dad pretty negative generally?  Or does he just not get kids?  Maybe he's just that way and you can learn to not take it personally (assuming you are feeling at least in part like I would).  It's sad for him that he can't see how sweet it is that your ds wants to vacuum him.  A lot of grandparents would be beaming over that.  Maybe if you can think of it as him missing out because he doesn't have exactly the winningest personality, it'll be easier to swallow.  

 

I really don't think this is a case of you and your ds not respecting g'pa's space (though, as previous poster mentioned, maybe looking at it that way and giving him more space will help).  Seriously, g'fathers shouldn't want more space.  They should be tickled that they're getting to spend time with their g'children.  And he's an adult who should have some experience with children and should understand what kids that age are like and what they are capable of physically.  

 

Is there any chance that he's kidding?  It just sounds so odd to me.  


No, he is not kidding. I wish he was. His first great grand daughter will not even speak to him or acknowledge him because of how he "plays" and talks to kids. Completely inappropriate and always assuming the child has a mean intention. I don't want that to happen with us, so I try to redirect, redirect, redirect, make excuses, ignore ... Its hard. My dh grew up with this kind of attitude towards children being the norm, so its not a huge issue to him. BUT, he has learned to stand up for our boys, which is a very big deal in the family. Just telling his dad, "Dad, he doesn't like that." could very well start a full blown argument. So, other issues going on there ... 

 

But yes, this man basically does not understand kids. He is very likable, but when you get down to his beliefs about how to treat women and children, its kind of ugly. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tooraloora View Post

How old is your DS? My DD gets a little skittish over that sort of behavior from DS, though it isn't an unreasonable expectation because he is still learning to be gentle. When she starts up vocalizing her fear that he's going to hit her or something else undesireable, I remind her that if she continues putting the idea out there then he probably will. With nearly 18 month old DS and even our roommate's nearly 3 year old DS (though he's gotten a lot better about it), constantly saying that they're going to do something is a pretty good way of ensuring it happens. I'm not saying that's the case with your DS, but if your FIL is truly concerned about being hit, maybe a similar line might at least get him to think twice before saying your DS is going to hurt him. Just a thought.


He is 2.5.  And I agree, if ds1 keeps hearing the word "hit" he most likely will hit! eyesroll.gif There is no winning! 

 


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