Do you think a 'feeling' is valid? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-10-2008, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As in, if you as a mother have a 'feeling' about someone, is that a valid enough reason to limit their time with your 3 year old alone? We are having this issue with my IL's. My dh just cant accept the fact that I am uncomfortable with them taking dd out for a few hours. I've only ever left her with dh and my mom, who lives with us.
DH says I need a better 'reason'. My reason is I don't like the way they do things, and I just plain don't like them all that much.
BTW, it's not that I think dd would be hurt in any way, I just don't like certain things about them, and would rather me be there with them, instead of them take her out alone.
ETA: I accommodate them in whatever activities they want to do. It's not like I limit their time with dd at all. If they want to do something with her, that's fine, I just want to be there. They are welcome here at our house any time, and I make an effort to plan fun things when they are in town (every 4-6 weeks)
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Old 05-10-2008, 03:02 PM
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Yes, a 'feeling' is valid.
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Old 05-10-2008, 03:52 PM
 
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What do they do that you don't like? What do you think would happen if you weren't there? What have you had to stop from happening when you have gone?
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Old 05-10-2008, 04:02 PM
 
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Absolutely. My In-laws are not going to ever be alone with my children. I think you get to decide who influences your children.

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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Old 05-10-2008, 04:05 PM
 
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I don't think there is anything wrong with using your gut feelings. Dh and I had that same feeling about his mom when the kids where little. She had that "nothing bad ever happened to you when you were little!" attitude. We were really honest with her about it and pointed out a few child-proofing ideas about her house (like sharp tools, chemicals, cactus, lots of glass knick-nacks, open basement door, etc......); but she thought we were silly. She genuinely felt that those items were fine where they were and that she would be able to stop the kids from hurting themselves. So we just visited her with the kids when they were little (and even with her, myself, and dh there, ds still managed to grab the cactus and have teeny tiny needles in his hand that were impossible to get out). So basically, I would spend the entire time following them both everywhere taking dangerous things out of their hands. (What would of happened if I wouldn't of been there?!?) We let her take them to the movies when they were about 4 & 6. But then last year, one of the times that she visited us, she yelled at both kids for really wierd reasons. She really hurt their feelings (ds(7) cried and dd(5) was just stunned). So we don't really want them to be alone with her.

Good luck; I know it's a really tough situation.
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Old 05-10-2008, 04:08 PM
 
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I believe gut feelings should not be ignored. They are totally valid.

fwiw, my ds is not allowed alone with my ils either. Nor my dad. I just would not appreciate their influence on him.
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Old 05-10-2008, 04:13 PM
 
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Absolutely. God gave us instincts for a reason, don't ignore yours Mama!
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Old 05-10-2008, 07:18 PM
 
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Gut instincts, mother's intuition, 'feelings' are always right. So yes, I feel they are valid and shouldn't be ignored. However, ask yourself if it's 'gut feeling', or if you feel weird leaving your kids with someone other than you and dh (the parents) or your mother (your parent). You know how your mother parents, you were there. You do not know how your in-laws parent, your dh does. It could just me a familiarity issue.

I only point this out because when my kids were little I was uncomfortable leaving them with the in-laws only because I didn't know what kind of care giver they were.
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Old 05-10-2008, 07:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AutumnMama View Post
Absolutely. God gave us instincts for a reason, don't ignore yours Mama!
:

My mom isn't allowed to be alone with my kids because she did something stupid that endangered my first DDs life when she was a baby. Follow your instincts, and don't let it get to that point.
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Old 05-10-2008, 07:50 PM
 
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I agree that whatever you're "feeling" is valid, especially since you've spent a considerable amount of time with the IL's and presumably know them well enough to weigh, think about and explore these feelings.
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Old 05-10-2008, 08:29 PM
 
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Ehhh . . . I think gut feelings are valid, but I also think if you have bad feelings about a lot of people or a lot of people of a specific sex, you need to take a look at whether you're responding to your gut or to the scare-mongering of our society.

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Old 05-10-2008, 09:07 PM
 
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.

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Old 05-10-2008, 10:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RainCoastMama View Post
For the most part I agree with listening to gut feelings, but after working for a counsellor for a while, I also witnessed people having 'gut feelings' that were actually neuroses dressed up as intuition, ie. their own insecurities, etc. etc. gave them a panic/whatever reaction that they interpreted as a 6th sense.

Just make sure to sort it out before you damage family relationships.
I'm not a professional, but I wonder about this too.

it sounds like you just plain don't like them.
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:27 PM
 
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Yes.

Frankenstein never scared me. Marsupials do. Because they're FAST.
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:35 PM
 
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I think a feeling is valid.
I have learned to really follow my intuition as a mother.

~e, wife to my sweet T , mama to my turtleman (12) , sunshine (9 ), and monkey (6)
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Old 05-11-2008, 12:20 AM
 
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I really believe in both listening to and checking out your feelings. As a survivor of abuse, I wish my parents had listened to theirs - but I have also had a lot of "gut feelings" that were just not good.

I also don't think it has to be completely black and white.

Here's what I might do. For now, you go along with them the way you have. I think that's a perfectly reasonable middle ground and people who insist on "time alone" creep me out.

Take the time to observe what makes you most uncomfortable (quietly obviously). And then decide when those things might no longer be an issue. For example, my mother is really good with kids that are not defiant and terrible with kids who are. So obviously ages 2-5 are not great ages for her to have long periods of time alone with my son.

With your DH, you have to remember that he loves his parents. So you have to frame your concerns with a lot of I statements, like "I am just not comfortable with a 3 year old going alone when they are not here that often and she is developing so fast. But I think in another X years I would be."

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Old 05-11-2008, 11:27 AM
 
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I agree to keep kids away from people you are not comfortable with - regardless of the reason. But, it is a little strange because you don't have any specific concerns. Maybe you could spend some alone time with them - go for coffee, to dinner, etc, and get to know them a little more? It will only benefit your understanding of them and perhaps helps the kids keep a positive image of them? Again, I'm not saying have the kids alone with them, but try to figure out what is going on with your fears. My mom hated her ILs and to this day it still drains on my psyche (not bad people, but she didn't like them and thought they should be different people).
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Old 05-11-2008, 12:51 PM
 
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YES! You gotta listen to them!
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Old 05-11-2008, 01:10 PM
 
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I would say yes, but in general, the people I have "gut feelings" about, there's something to back it up. For instance, if someone has a short temper with kids, or doesn't respect our parenting choices and/or has boundary issues or strange ideas about what their rights are with my kids, or is potentially irresponsible (or drunk) or harmful to my kids. I can tell you exactly why a certain individual can't be alone with my kids. It could be that you actually have reasons, but just haven't articulated them yet.

I'm wondering, also, as I havent' been separated from my children for very long periods of time, that perhaps that is what is bothering you more? When you're not with her, you can't watch over them, and you have to trust that she are being cared for and protected and nurtured the way you would want her to be?

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Old 05-12-2008, 12:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies ladies!

Here are some of the concerns I have with the IL's.

1.They raised (and still believe) their kids to obey without question. We don't do this at home, so my 3 year old wont just 'do it' because someone said so. She (rightfully so) expects a reason and a good one at that.

2. My MIL is skilled at the art of manipulation and puts it into practice with EVERYTHING/everyone. With her own sons and with dd when she is with her. I don't like that she preys on dd's feelings to get a kiss or a hug or to get her to 'comply'.

3. FIL teases about everything. Seriously, he is constantly teasing dd. About every single interaction/thing she does. DD can only take this for so long before she starts not liking it, which fuels his teasing even more. It's all in jest (he isn't intending to be mean) but he just doesn't know when to quit.

4. They have undermined my parenting beliefs more than once, regarding dd. We have a 'limited tv/media' lifestyle, and they have in the past 6 months gifted dd with a leapfrog video game system, 5 games for said system, and at least 10 movies. We have also had in length discussions about staying away from plastic/MIC toys (and an abundance of toys in general) yet they continue to bring these to dd every time they visit. I know GP's like to give gifts, that's fine. BUT, MIL was a Montessori teacher, she KNOWS what types of things we use around here, and purposely ignores it. They also feed her junk. Everytime they come they bring lollipops, gummis, whatever. I usually let it go, since this is a limited exposure to candy, and since now she is used to them bringing it (and *I* would be the bad guy if I said no). BUT, because of this, I feel like I can't trust them. Like I said, I know they would hurt or put dd in danger, but still, I want to be able to trust them, you know? I don't want them to take her out and feed her coke and candy when they KNOW I wouldn't approve.

SO, as you can see, not HUGE red flags, but annoying ones. I just want my dd to be old enough to really stand up to the manipulation/teasing and I want to feel like they will respect my parenting even when I am not there. I don't think that will happen. To my dh, they are great parents/GP's, and he sees no reason at all for dd not to be able to go with them. I just keep telling him I am not comfortable, because I don't think I could tell him the list I wrote above. 1. He would never believe me about the teasing and the manipulating, he grew up with it so it's not a big deal/dd needs to get over it. 2. He will stand up for his parents until the day he dies, it's been a sore spot in our marriage (yes I read Toxic Parents, *I* know they can be toxic, he just doesn't get it!)
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:27 AM
 
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You're not going on a gut feeling. You're going on a great deal of information and concrete reasons.

FWIW I think a feeling CAN be a valid reason. But in this case you have TONS more reasons than a feeling.

I really like and get along with my MIL. I think she's a sweet lady. She will not have my kids without dh or I there until they are old enough to stick up for themselves. She has some odd ideas and hang-ups especially about food and I feel that it's my responsibility as a parent to protect my child from that.

-Angela
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:45 AM
 
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I wish more people would act on those feelings. After that crazy BTK killer turned himself in, all these people came forward saying how they'd always "had a feeling" about him but pushed those feelings aside. If I get a bad vibe from someone, then I have no problem limiting or restricting their access to my children completely. This is a crazy world we live in and I refuse to take the risk.
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Old 05-12-2008, 01:02 AM
 
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Barring active neuroses -- and you need to be honest with yourself about that -- I always believe a feeling is valid when it comes to these sorts of things.
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Old 05-12-2008, 01:22 AM
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I think your instincts are one of the most important tools you have as a parent.
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Old 05-12-2008, 02:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mommy2abigail View Post
Thanks for the replies ladies!


2. My MIL is skilled at the art of manipulation and puts it into practice with EVERYTHING/everyone. With her own sons and with dd when she is with her. I don't like that she preys on dd's feelings to get a kiss or a hug or to get her to 'comply'.

3. FIL teases about everything. Seriously, he is constantly teasing dd. About every single interaction/thing she does. DD can only take this for so long before she starts not liking it, which fuels his teasing even more. It's all in jest (he isn't intending to be mean) but he just doesn't know when to quit.

4. They have undermined my parenting beliefs more than once, regarding dd. We have a 'limited tv/media' lifestyle, and they have in the past 6 months gifted dd with a leapfrog video game system, 5 games for said system, and at least 10 movies. We have also had in length discussions about staying away from plastic/MIC toys (and an abundance of toys in general) yet they continue to bring these to dd every time they visit. I know GP's like to give gifts, that's fine. BUT, MIL was a Montessori teacher, she KNOWS what types of things we use around here, and purposely ignores it. They also feed her junk. Everytime they come they bring lollipops, gummis, whatever. I usually let it go, since this is a limited exposure to candy, and since now she is used to them bringing it (and *I* would be the bad guy if I said no). BUT, because of this, I feel like I can't trust them. Like I said, I know they would hurt or put dd in danger, but still, I want to be able to trust them, you know? I don't want them to take her out and feed her coke and candy when they KNOW I wouldn't approve.
First of all, yes, a feeling is a valid reason.
Second of all, the parts I quoted are extremely valid reasons. They tease, they undermine your parenting, and they manipulate? Screw that.

I have a child who may be in therapy for the next 10 years to undo several years of manipulation from relatives who screwed up her head, and I can tell you it's no picnic. They may have made it impossible for her to ever trust anyone or have healthy relationships at all. We have completely cut off contact with them and now we get to be the bad guys while we try to de-program her. Do not underestimate the damage someone can do to a small child with psychological manipulation. We are worried sick about her future. And yes, for 2 years I had a feeling we shouldn't let her have anything more to do with these toxic relatives while my dh pooh poohed my intuition. :

Don't let them spend any time alone with her if you feel funny about it. Just don't. It's a lot easier to prevent damage than it is to un-do it.

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Old 05-12-2008, 02:55 AM
 
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Here are some of the concerns I have with the IL's.

1.They raised (and still believe) their kids to obey without question. We don't do this at home, so my 3 year old wont just 'do it' because someone said so. She (rightfully so) expects a reason and a good one at that.

2. My MIL is skilled at the art of manipulation and puts it into practice with EVERYTHING/everyone. With her own sons and with dd when she is with her. I don't like that she preys on dd's feelings to get a kiss or a hug or to get her to 'comply'.

3. FIL teases about everything. Seriously, he is constantly teasing dd. About every single interaction/thing she does. DD can only take this for so long before she starts not liking it, which fuels his teasing even more. It's all in jest (he isn't intending to be mean) but he just doesn't know when to quit.

4. They have undermined my parenting beliefs more than once, regarding dd. We have a 'limited tv/media' lifestyle, and they have in the past 6 months gifted dd with a leapfrog video game system, 5 games for said system, and at least 10 movies. We have also had in length discussions about staying away from plastic/MIC toys (and an abundance of toys in general) yet they continue to bring these to dd every time they visit. I know GP's like to give gifts, that's fine. BUT, MIL was a Montessori teacher, she KNOWS what types of things we use around here, and purposely ignores it. They also feed her junk. Everytime they come they bring lollipops, gummis, whatever. I usually let it go, since this is a limited exposure to candy, and since now she is used to them bringing it (and *I* would be the bad guy if I said no). BUT, because of this, I feel like I can't trust them. Like I said, I know they would hurt or put dd in danger, but still, I want to be able to trust them, you know? I don't want them to take her out and feed her coke and candy when they KNOW I wouldn't approve.
I somehow missed this before. These would be huge red flags for me as well, especially the teasing. I could probably deal with the junky gifts (although I feel the same way) but the teasing would be an absolute dealbreaker for me. That's totally not right and I agree with a PP that it can do serious damage.

Good for you, mama, for sticking up for your DD.
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Old 05-13-2008, 12:47 AM
 
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I think a "feeling" is totally legit. And even if the feeling is simply you not liking what they do or who they are, it's still legit.
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Old 05-13-2008, 12:50 AM
 
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You're not going on a gut feeling. You're going on a great deal of information and concrete reasons.

FWIW I think a feeling CAN be a valid reason. But in this case you have TONS more reasons than a feeling.
: Totally.

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Old 05-13-2008, 11:48 AM
 
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My reason is I don't like the way they do things, and I just plain don't like them all that much.
Would not be a good enough reason for me if it were coming from my spouse.

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Old 05-13-2008, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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phathui5;I understand that sentiment. however, since he grew up with these folks, he honestly doesn't see anything wrong with the reasons I listed in my 2nd post. i dont want to be brutally honest with him, yk? the truth hurts. i know it would hurt his feelings if he knew how strongly i felt about his parents.

me on the other hand, I can be honest about my own parents shortcomings. It doesn't make me love or respect them any less, but I am honest about what I don't like for the sake of my children. For example my dd's will never be left alone with my dad. He's a great guy, don't get me wrong, but just not alone with my kids. My mom is great with babies and young toddlers, not so much with my 3 year old. She is just not patient with her, seeing that we just added a baby sister, ect. In a year or so, she'll be great with her, so for now, I try not to let her be alone with dd1 for a long time, an hour or so and that's it.

If dh told me he had some concerns, about whomever, for whatever reason, I would honor them, ESPECIALLY concerning our children. I'd rather err on the side of over protective than not enough, you know? Hope that clears it up a bit.
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