No Contact with Inlaws anymore - how to explain to kids? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 09-16-2013, 04:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi everybody. 

we had a very big and nasty fight with my inlaws at the weekend. It started with MIL stating that we should ABSOLUTELY stop getting anymore kids because ours are: "So seriously damaged, and any new one would have the same defects" 

My FIL stated similar things, my DH didn't know what to say anymore and I exploded. I said that if I hear anything like this ever again in our house or from them: That's it than. I won't take my children being talked about like that. Not from nobody, especially not from their grandparents. 

FIL said than, that since he gave us "so much money" he has a right to make the rules. And I was like: WTF? No! You have not! Not in this house. 


And than they said they would leave and WOULD NOT COME BACK! 

And I was kind of relieved, since they are mean and evil people, even before this event.


On the next day we went to a preschool happening, a thanksgiving party with food and games. We never invited them, we did not tell them where it was and they never mentioned that they wanted to come. But they did. MIL behaved totally inappropriate with telling the kids that she is so sorry because she won't ever see them swimming, horse riding or whatever and was crying the whole time.

DD started crying so heavily that strangers asked me what was wrong with her (being a very happy and outgoing child normally) I asked her to leave, but she didn't, so I took the kids and left. 


They obviously didn't understand what was wrong. And I didn't want to tell them what nasty things there grandparents had said about them. 


So, I don't want them to have contact with them just now, there were other things happening on the weekend that were disturbing, but I kind of tried to overlook them, but I cannot do this anymore. 


How would you explain something like this to your kids? 

Trin with DH , DD(7) 
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#2 of 9 Old 09-16-2013, 05:13 AM
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I wonder if you can just not mention them again. Were your kids close to your in-laws? If not, you may can just let it slide and not bring them up as part of your life again.

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#3 of 9 Old 09-16-2013, 06:04 AM
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I wouldn't give too many details, but I also believe that they need some honesty here. Your relationship with your inlaws is one thing, and is yours. Their relationship with their grandparents is theirs. I believe you have the right to limit or prevent contact, but it is still their relationship (or memory of one). 


Something along the lines of "sometimes adults don't get along. Sometimes some people say hurtful things. Your grandparents really hurt my feelings, and so we aren't going to spend time with them."

Twin boys (2/05) and little sister (10/07)
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#4 of 9 Old 09-16-2013, 06:05 AM
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These folks are toxic and I don't blame you for what you're doing.

This is also a reason why to be careful accepting money you think is a gift. There are always strings attached! I know it's too late for you, but for people reading and deciding whether they should accept a gift of money from parents or inlaws, this experience you're having might be something that makes them reconsider.

I would just tell the kids that they did something that was really hurtful and that your family won't see them because of it. I wouldn't get specific or say either "forever" or "for a while." I would specifically say that it isn't anything the kids did and it isn't the kids' fault. That it's something the grandparents did.

Good luck! Is there any way to ensure that they won't show up places again? I've had my issues to deal with but this is far beyond anything I've had to endure. I wouldn't put up with it at all ever either.
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#5 of 9 Old 09-16-2013, 09:19 AM
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Wow. If you kids are super defective, apparently, why does you MIL want to watch them swimming that badly? Obviously she is insane.

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#6 of 9 Old 09-16-2013, 10:33 AM
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So, there's two things going on:

- Your in-laws are trying to come down on you about how many kids you have, and control your behavior.  As part of this, they have threatened not to see you or the children any more.

- After doing all that, the in-laws showed up to weep to your children and make it sound like this is your fault.


Neither of these things is okay. 


For the kids, I'd put it like this:  There was an adult disagreement, about some adult things, and now Grandma is sad and scared about what it means for the relationship.  You're going to be talking to their grandparents, and figuring out what happens next.  Whatever happens, Grandma and Grandpa will always love them, the way you will always love them, but it may be necessary for Grandma and Grandpa to not be around for a while.


For the grandparents:  Wow, that was absolutely NOT okay.  Children have no way of understanding adult arguments about these issues, and if your ILs regretted their statements, and wanted to make changes, the appropriate course was to to talk to the adults.  Not to frighten the kids.  You can facilitate their relationship with their grandchildren only if your ILs respect you as parents, and treat your family with respect and kindness.  Respect and kindness are not difficult to achieve in family relationships, but if they do not feel capable of it, it would be best if everyone had some space and you will not be making plans to see them.  If there is EVER a scene like this one again, where one of them comes to a public event and makes your child cry,  you will cut all contact.

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#7 of 9 Old 09-16-2013, 01:48 PM
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if your signature is up to date then you have to talk to a 6 year old and a 4 year old.


i dont think you have to say much. 


i think you need to be honest. you have to say (without blame, because they love their gparents) that you guys are not getting along. every time you meet there are words exchanged that are not kind. dont say who the words come from. 


say that things might be hard. that you wish it wasnt this way but for the moment separation is the best policy.


and then go from there and be prepared to answer hard questions. 


try not to use gma and gpa wont be a round. meaning make it simple. let them ask you. give them an idea that it makes everyone sad when the adults are around and everyone starts fighting or better still unkind words are exchanged.


dd might ask why it is so - and you can say - you dont know. sometimes there is no reason. life is just like that. 


later let them understand what the reason was. when they are grown up and able to handle emotions better. 

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#8 of 9 Old 09-16-2013, 11:00 PM
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I agree with meemee to keep it simple, for a 4 and 6 year old you could tell them sometimes when adults disagree they need to take a big time-out from each other, that's what's happening right now with G-ma and G-pa, don't worry the adults will sort it out, it's not their fault, etc.

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#9 of 9 Old 09-24-2013, 12:25 PM
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I am so sorry this is happening to your family. I hope that in time it can be worked out. Sometimes a family counselor helps a lot.


I have had a very difficult relationship with my mom. For about 10 years or more we never even saw each other or spoke. It was the kids asking about my childhood and their grandma that made me decide to try counseling once again. For about a year we just went to the counseling and she never saw the kids. Then we agreed on some rules and we tried to make it work for her to see them and be a grandma. She is actually a pretty good grandma.


I have told my kids all along that sometimes people don't get along. And if people hurt your feelings too many times and won't stop, sometimes you have to stop being around those people. I think teaching boundaries is an important lesson. As is teaching tolerance, forgiveness, and trying to work things out.


My mom and I are having a cold spell right now and for months we did not see each other and the kids did not see her either. I explained what was going on. Finally after some more counseling I invited my mom to a band function of one of the kids. She's their grandma and deserves to see her grandkids doing stuff, but so far I don't see intimate family gatherings in the future. Just public events.

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
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