Handling Family discipling children - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 11 Old 11-22-2007, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, hanging with IL's always brings up this issue for me.

My MIL, FIL and BIL are nice. Really....I complain about them a bit, but their hearts are really in the right place.

But, I just can't let go of them verbally discipling my children, especially DD7 and DS4 (as they are mine biologically, and not related to them in that manner)

Tonight, DS was playing in the family room and my SD took a toy he was playing with and he let out a (loud) whine. My reaction, is duh, he just got had something taken away by another kid, we've driven 5 hours today, and its 8pm so everyone is a little tired. I'm sitting across the room looking at pictures with DD7 and my future SIL, and before I have a chance to respond, BIL tells DS "NO YELLLING!".

I instantly get VERY angry, but don't say anything and just go over and sit near DS so that I can "protect" him from future things.

It sounds minor, but this scenario is constant. BIL, MIL and FIL constantly step on my toes as a parent, and end up saying/doing things that are not in line with my parenting AT ALL. In the above situation, I would have first asked my SD to please give the toy she took back (she's 8, old enough to understand that taking things from someone else is not nice) and maybe lead DS thru verbalizing his feelings, but I wouldn't have told him "NO YELLING!".

When I'm with DH's family, I just hear alot of "Careful" (about everything) and micromanagement. It makes me : BIL then later made a big deal about DD7 and SD6 closing a door...."Make sure you don't pinch your fingers", which I couldn't help respond that "they have the door closing thing down, and if something happens, it's an accident".

This has turned into a bit of a rant....but it just bugs me so much that they feel the need to micromanage MY children. Sometimes if I wonder if it's because they are MY children and not DH's....like they feel there's a need to indoctrinate them in the family way of being alarmist and micromanging.

But what do I say??? I don't want to scream and flip my lid at them, but at the same point there is just some boundary crossing here, IMO
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#2 of 11 Old 11-22-2007, 08:25 AM
 
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Man I know how much it breaks you up inside while this is happening. I talk to my dd before and
after visits to her paternal side of the family. I explain to her that in other people's house we should
go by their rules, even if Mommy doesn't agree with them all.

I had a talk with dd's grandmother when she was just a baby. I know that her daughter (dd's aunt)
spanks her kids with a spoon. I know that when they are acting up MIL will do this as well. I told
her that she will never touch my dd with a spoon, hand, or any object. My ex backed me up. I also
asked them if they are going to punish another child that it's not in front of my dd. Maybe that talk
said something to them, cause they never discipline dd even now.

If somebody raised their voice to dd, I would ask them not to do it again. Plain and simple. I wouldn't
get mad, or spew a speech, I would just say "Don't talk to my child like that, thank you".


-Janna, independent mother of dd, Ms. Mattie Sky born on my 25th birthday, 06*23*2000. My Mama Feb.21,1938-Sept.10,2006
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#3 of 11 Old 11-22-2007, 04:16 PM
 
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Your children are old enough to remeber these times that you don't stand up for them. So stand your ground with the IL's. Its the best thing you can do for your kids.
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#4 of 11 Old 11-22-2007, 04:41 PM
 
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Have you talked to the ILs about it? I know it can be uncomfortable, but it's important to let them know what you are and aren't comfortable with them correcting the kids about. I personally don't mind my parents disciplining my kids, but it's because they redirect and correct them. They don't yell at or punish them.

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#5 of 11 Old 11-22-2007, 04:58 PM
 
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I simply pretend that they didn't say anything, and proceed to do as I would normally. This is rebuke enough for my ILs.
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#6 of 11 Old 11-23-2007, 12:15 AM
 
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That kind of think always makes me so uncomfortable too! I'd be as polite as you can manage, but I also would stand your ground. Like a previous poster mentioned I would just proceed as normal just like the inlaws or whatever family member isn't even there. They should get the point. If they don't I think it's okay to say "We prefer to handle these things by ________"

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#7 of 11 Old 11-23-2007, 04:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
That kind of think always makes me so uncomfortable too! I'd be as polite as you can manage, but I also would stand your ground. Like a previous poster mentioned I would just proceed as normal just like the inlaws or whatever family member isn't even there. They should get the point. If they don't I think it's okay to say "We prefer to handle these things by ________"

I totally agree. I've had similar experiences with a particular member of my family (DH is estranged from his family so I don't really have IL's). I have confronted her (as tactfully as possible) privately and told her that I EXPECT her to respect my parenting style and my requests and if she can't then she will force me into the very awkward position of having to limit her contact with DS. Being around him is a privilege and a responsibility, not a right.
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#8 of 11 Old 11-25-2007, 01:36 AM
 
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No advice, just commiserating… We just had a less than pleasant Thanksgiving weekend at my sister’s house. She and my BIL have only one 12 mo dc who has NEVER cried. I have 2 boys, 3 and 5, who act like, well, boys. They can’t deal with having my children around. They’re constantly correcting them, often yelling over me while I try to quietly remind them about the “no wrestling at Aunt X’s house” rule, etc. They also never take their dc anywhere, so he’s easily startled by loud noises. My boys love their little cousin, but they inadvertently make him cry all the time. This just adds to my sister and BIL disapproval of us. I feel so unwelcome there, I’m starting to wonder why I keep going there and subjecting myself to this.

Anyway, I think if you can say something in a non-confrontational way, and you think they would be receptive, it could be helpful. Sadly for us, the one time in my life I tried to have that sort of conversation with my sister (about her behavior, but not in regards to children) she told me that I was upsetting her so much she thought she was going to faint. :

Also, I think a pp mentioned something like this, but making sure you are consistent with your treatment of your dcs around your ILs. When my sister acts this way, I find myself being harsher towards my boys because I feel this pressure to show that I’m not the terrible mom she thinks I am. Which is ridiculous, I know.

Thanks for posting this – I’ll be watching for other good advice. Good luck to you. I know it really stinks to see your child treated poorly.
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#9 of 11 Old 11-25-2007, 03:39 AM
 
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As an aunt, I make it a point to never discipline my nieces and nephew unless asked or their parents are not around to watch out for them (which, if this happens, I am always asked anyway).
When I was single, my sister would go on frequent business trips for several weeks, several times a year. She left me to supervise her kids. All the girls had nannies so the task of preparing clothes, food, etc was left to them. What I needed to do was discipline them and make sure they did not walk all over their nannies. I was basically their mom whenever their parents were not around. I had pretty much blanket authority. But when their own parents arrived, I step back and become the aunt again. Even when we're all together and I see something that is disapproving, I never discipline. Not because I am afraid of their parents but because I believe it is not my place and I am confident that their parents will discipline them the way they see fit.
I would probably feel the same way as you do if somebody else yelled/admonished my son. Especially before I have an opportunity to do something about the situation. I think that was very preemptive and presumptuous on your BIL's part.
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#10 of 11 Old 11-26-2007, 01:16 PM
 
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You know what really bugs me abou this? It's not so much that the ILs aren't respecting my/your parenting methods. It's that they aren't respecting the child. They would never speak that way to an adult. Why do they act like children have no feelings? My MIL once asked my dd (3 or 4 at the time) why she couldn't be more like her brother I immediately squatted next to dd and told her she didn't need to act like anyone else because she was her own wonderful self and we loved her that way. My MIL said, "That's right." I think these people just haven't taken the time to reflect on the way they were parented, so they're just replaying it...sigh.

I pulled one of these last weekend. We were visiting a church where some friends are ministering. Their 3 yr old was standing near me and I impulsively reached down and smoothed his hair (it's that built-in-ooh-he's-adorable thing.) He looked up at me with a major scowl! I bent down to look him in the eye, apologized and re-introduced myself. I mean, who was I to invade his bubble? It's easy to do:
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#11 of 11 Old 11-26-2007, 03:32 PM
 
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We live with my parents. So as you can imagine this has come up several times. I simply sat my mom down and told her that while I appreciate that she's trying to help and I know it's almost reflexive for her to respond to DD in a parental type role, I am her mother I need to be given the chance to take care of situations that arise. Sometimes she slips and I remind her, but point blank letting her know that she needs to respect me as my daughter's mother and that if she has an issue, she needs to let ME know and then I can handle things with DD has worked well for us.

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