Mother In Law doesn't listen to directions, solution? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 05-11-2013, 11:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone,

 

I am a mother to three children ages 5 months, 1.5 and 3 and am having problems dealing with my mother in law.   Both me and my husband work so she looks after both of them, while the oldest is at school.  My mother in law does not listen to directions about anything.  She has no goals for my kids and is stuck in her old ways.  Everytime I go to the doctors, they tell me my kids are underweight by a lot.  I've tried telling her to change her feeding habits, but shed rather just feed them milk because she doesn't want them crying.  My oldest is ok because he is older, more obedient and spends more time with us, but my middle child only listens to the grandma and has quite a temper.  My mother in law only spoils my kids and would allow them to do anything even if it is dangerous.  I have had a few situations where my children accidently got hurt under her care.  I have spoken to her about it on numerous occassions, but she just doesn't feel like she is doing anything wrong.  I have thought of moving my mother in law out just so my youngest won't develop bad habits like my middle child.  I know we need her help and she probably doesn't mean any harm, but I am started to get worried about my kids when I am at work.  Any other solutions you guys can think of?  Any help is appreciated!

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#2 of 16 Old 05-11-2013, 11:46 PM
 
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find a different child care provider. I understand she is helping you and its awesome but its not worth the worry and damage she may be doing without realizing it. Especially if you have already talked to her about it. She might jus tnot be physically able to watch over them either.
 

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#3 of 16 Old 05-12-2013, 07:36 AM
 
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Yeah, I'd find another child care provider, at least for part of the time. :/

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#4 of 16 Old 05-12-2013, 08:11 AM
 
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The fact that you're worried about your kids while you're at work is very telling. My one last ditch effort would be to involve your husband in talking to your MIL. It will sound different coming from her own child. Sit down the three of you and talk it out. If things don't approve, I would also look for a different child care provider. I understand that money is an issue but I'd move mountains to keep those kids safe. This doesn't sound like a few extra cookies or too much TV (which are also legitimate concerns btw) but tangible safety concerns and real nutrition issues. Get your DH to talk to his mom but if she doesn't start making an effort, please find better care for your kids hug.gif
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#5 of 16 Old 05-12-2013, 08:15 AM
 
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If she's only watching them while you work the eating issue is something you can work on.  If you don't plan on getting new care I would set out a plan and a menu of what you want and expect.  Try it first before saying it won't work because she won't listen.  If that still doesn't work then you're going to have to pay for care. 

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#6 of 16 Old 05-13-2013, 12:07 PM
 
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I also think you should find other childcare.  Let her be Grandma.  It's hard to be grandma and also be their caretaker full time.  I think if you found a good daycare provider or center, everybody would be much happier, and I think you'd see some improvements.

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#7 of 16 Old 05-13-2013, 01:25 PM
 
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I'm not sure how old your MIL is, but personally, I don't know ANY woman over 50 that would have enough energy to watch 3 kids 4 and under for more than an hour.  I think that's asking a lot from anyone.  

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#8 of 16 Old 05-13-2013, 02:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lmk1 View Post

I'm not sure how old your MIL is, but personally, I don't know ANY woman over 50 that would have enough energy to watch 3 kids 4 and under for more than an hour.  I think that's asking a lot from anyone.  

Not to be argumentative  but I am going to be 50 this fall, and have an antire daycare of kids under the age  of four.  By myself.  

 

I wouldn't want to watch my own grand kids for that much time.  But, in groups of about six kids, they are pretty self entertaining.  

 

But, I will say, I think a lot of parents these days are actually "doing it wrong" and "the old ways" are sometimes better.  So, in that way, I probably wouldn't follow directions very well.  If I am watching my grand kids  i'll probably do it my way just a bit.    Although, i've gotten some kids in my daycare that were being watched by Grandma, and it was a train wreck, so I can see how that happens too.

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#9 of 16 Old 05-13-2013, 02:26 PM
 
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The milk thing is odd because I work at a well known daycare. The kids that drink the most milk are the "heavy" kids. In fact, I have two kids who are now on milk restriction because the doctor says they are too heavy for their age. So, I'm measuring out milk carefully to two 18 month olds at this time

But yes, you need other care. Replacement care should be so good that you can concentrate on your work, not your kids, while you are at your desk/workspace, etc.
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#10 of 16 Old 05-14-2013, 09:37 AM
 
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"She has no goals for my kids"

 

What sorts of goals are you wanting her to have?


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#11 of 16 Old 05-14-2013, 12:32 PM
 
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Not to be argumentative  but I am going to be 50 this fall, and have an antire daycare of kids under the age  of four.  By myself.  

 

I wouldn't want to watch my own grand kids for that much time.  But, in groups of about six kids, they are pretty self entertaining.  

 

But, I will say, I think a lot of parents these days are actually "doing it wrong" and "the old ways" are sometimes better.  So, in that way, I probably wouldn't follow directions very well.  If I am watching my grand kids  i'll probably do it my way just a bit.    Although, i've gotten some kids in my daycare that were being watched by Grandma, and it was a train wreck, so I can see how that happens too.

 

As with anything, there are exceptions.  But in general, the older one gets, the less energy one has...especially doing intensive toddler activities.  You mentioned that the kids you watch are self-entertaining...and I think hence the difference with siblings, who tend to fight more with each other, and who are also spread out as far as ages, and thus need more guidance in playing with each other.  Also, when I drop my kids off at daycare, I think they have no expectation that the adults will play with them...but if they're at home with me, or grandma, they want to play with us...and it is more difficult to get anything else done when someone is constantly tugging at you.  

 

I think there's also a lot more info that the OP hasn't provided, like how long are the kids in grandma's care...because if they have a good breakfast and a good dinner, I can't imagine they're going to be malnourished from drinking milk during the day.  My kids have always been on the low end of the percentiles for weight, and I'm always trying to get food into them, but sometimes they just won't eat. 

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#12 of 16 Old 05-14-2013, 09:11 PM
 
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Wait...50 is old???
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#13 of 16 Old 05-14-2013, 09:16 PM
 
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Wait...50 is old???

Where did I say 50 is old?  All I said was the older one gets, the less energy one has for chasing 2 toddlers and taking care of a baby all day.  I pulled the number 50 out of thin air, but honestly, I'm in my early 40's, and I can't imagine taking care of 3 kids under 4 who would need constant supervision all day.  I only have a 5 year old who's pretty self sufficient, and a 2.5 yo who's tugging at me all day long to participate in EVERYTHING with him, and most days I'm freaking exhausted.  

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#14 of 16 Old 05-14-2013, 09:16 PM
 
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Find another childcare provider. You don't have a lot of power in this situation and you are unlikely to get any. 

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#15 of 16 Old 05-16-2013, 09:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lmk1 View Post

 

As with anything, there are exceptions.  But in general, the older one gets, the less energy one has...especially doing intensive toddler activities.  You mentioned that the kids you watch are self-entertaining...and I think hence the difference with siblings, who tend to fight more with each other, and who are also spread out as far as ages, and thus need more guidance in playing with each other.  Also, when I drop my kids off at daycare, I think they have no expectation that the adults will play with them...but if they're at home with me, or grandma, they want to play with us...and it is more difficult to get anything else done when someone is constantly tugging at you.  

 

 

 

It is true.  I can watch 8 kids with no problem, because they like to play together, and haven't seen each other since the day before...so when they are back together, they just have fun.  I have a full on incredible set up.  One giant room full of toys, a climber inside, tables, art supplies and more toys in the kitchen.  The art supplies are left out all the time, so the kids have enough to do at all times.  I don't have all the kids do one thing at the same time, it's all open ended.  So, basically, I am only here for support, and food.  I meet the basic needs, and they do the rest.  

 

If I only had two or three kids, it would be very different.  It's MUCH more tiring when there are fewer kids than more kids.  I would NOT be able to watch my grandkids all the time.  I wouldn't even enjoy it.  I'd love to have them occasionally, or as a part of our group,  but not my only focus for a full day.  

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#16 of 16 Old 05-16-2013, 05:03 PM
 
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I would find a new childcare provider. People put up with stuff from grandparents that they would never put up with from a paid stranger. I'm all for giving grandparents a little leeway to spoil their grandkids during family visits, but if they're placed in the role of daycare provider, there's a whole different standard, IMO.

I suspect that two big reasons that people put up with subpar care when it comes to grandparents are fear of confrontation (since this is someone who will continue to be a part of your lives after you "fire" them), and money. Grandparents often don't charge, and it starts to feel awfully convenient to have free childcare, so your standards slip.

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