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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>julianito</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13064441"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't believe we are babying him, and we are OK with him being upset. What she calls babying is listening when he's upset, emotionally coaching him through it, and not just telling him, "too bad, get over it.</div>
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I've experienced this attitude, too, from people who are unfamilar with the tenets and reasons for gentle discipline and attachment parenting.<br><br>
In particular, it has come from people who are often older, less sensitive, and not very reflective about their own parenting styles back in the say.<br><br>
I'm not one to coddle, but "babying" a baby to me is just fine. They are, after all, a baby!<br><br>
Even with toddlers and young children, they need sensitive and gentle attention to grow and learn and eventually self-sooth.<br><br>
I know people who leave their child crying...I would never do that...to me it's ok to baby a baby. Just like some believe in crying it out...GD generally does not.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>2pinks</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13064526"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm wondering why your dh allowed his mommy to bash him and his wife's parenting style for 3 hours! Am I the only one who sees anything wrong with this?</div>
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Some DH's don't like to confront their parents, even when they disagree with their parents. Some don't have the backbone, and some simply don't want to make matters worse.<br><br>
I've experienced that a few times. DH would rather just let things slide and he'll hope that they just go away on their own, rather than confront his mother about something.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><br>
I do think husbands should be on the same team, and stick up for their wives, but overcoming that fear of reproach from their mom might be too much for them. My DH would rather just ignore it and hope no one says anything to him.
 

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"We love having your input"? Not! I wouldn't include that in any correspondence all it does is open the door to her thinking she has a say in your parenting decisions.
 

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I have a french MIL, so I can sympathize. I get "they're leading you around by your nose" all the time from her. She loooves to tell me what she thinks we're doing wrong. It's always in a way that she's the only adult in the conversation...argh.<br><br>
We moved to France and I only lasted about 6 months before I told my husband that we were moving back to the U.S. The fundamental disrespect for children in France is very difficult for me to deal with. I saw a preschooler get ridiculed for having a runny nose in my daughter's preschool class. Infuriating!!<br><br>
I've told my MIL "I am the mother and it's my job to parent my child." That sent her to her room in tears and she and FIL didn't talk to me for days. Oh well, at least they got the point.<br><br>
Maybe you could have dh respond that he doesn't like the French way of raising children and that you and he will do things your own way. I've had many battles with them over things like letting the children not finish their plates, letting them leave the table, giving my children too much, being overly concerned with their feelings (same as your issue), not feeding them well, not giving them enough meat, not bundling them up correctly, etc.<br><br>
My husband handles his parents now for the most part. He talks about the things that we're doing with them and he's really enthusiastic about things we do like seeing a naturapath, homeschooling, using cloth diapers, breastfeeding, the ways we communicate with our children, etc. The best thing you can do is to get your husband excited about the way you're doing things. If you get that Alfie Kohn's video "Unconditional Parenting" he'll be able to see clearly exactly the problem with his mother's advice....then, he can have that conversation with her and have it be a pleasant thing that he's excited about.<br><br>
Good luck.<br>
Lisa<br><br>
It's
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>*~Danielle~*</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13062613"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would not address it. My mil has said some really stupid things to me and I processed the situation off other people an realized it wouldn't help our relationship if I confronted her. She isn't changing for anything.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
and 'scuse me, the kid is 3! I think it is so ridiculous I would never respond. Besides the kid is 3! I know I already said that but sheesh, when exactly are you supposed to receive comfort? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/disappointed.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="disappointed">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>That Is Nice</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13062830"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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As much as I think GD is the way to go, I also think I need to help my child learn coping skills and self-soothing skills....<br></div>
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Not sure if you intended to imply GD doesn't help kids learn coping skills...?<br><br>
I agree about helping them learn to cope, but the OP indicated they talk with him about how he is feeling. I think that is a huge part of learning to cope. Then when he is in situations away from home-clearly he is as she said he is in PS- he has to find ways to cope, that is the nature of growing independence. I think it is ridiculous to not comfort a child when one is right there! What message does that send?
 

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i also have a MIL who lives in europe. with our first, she got on this kick that we coddled her too much. but she was only 6 mos old, and my DH was just like, "mom, do you really want her to cry more?" and she said no... i don't think she'd really thought through what she was saying, just probably a gut/reflex response based on the way kids were parented in her day.<br><br>
but, other things have come up since, and the tactic i've developed is to redirect the conversation (i swear, you can use preschooler discipline tactics on ANYONE. i wish i'd read the discipline books much sooner!!). so, if she says something about, say, sleep, i ask "was DH like this too?" with my MIL, it is a SURE FIRE WINNER. i swear, this is gold. it doesn't matter what she says from there. if your DH was different, she'll talk about him anyway. then, you'll learn more about your DH as a baby or child, which is always fun. and if he was similar, heck, you never know if you'll learn a new trick. ask her how she handled the behavior. even if you're thinking to yourself that you'd NEVER do what she's saying, she'll feel respected and validated. with her living so far away, it's not like she'll know you're ignoring her advice.<br><br>
i've never tried this by email, but i think it would work. i'd write something like this: "yeah, 3 sure can be tough! was DH like DS as a kid?" and then tell her about something sweet or cute your DS did recently... help her focus on the positive parts of your DS's behavior. it's worked so far with MIL--we have a good relationship and i don't get all worked up when she starts giving advice.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>majormajor</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13066134"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">i also have a MIL who lives in europe. with our first, she got on this kick that we coddled her too much. but she was only 6 mos old, and my DH was just like, "mom, do you really want her to cry more?" and she said no... i don't think she'd really thought through what she was saying, just probably a gut/reflex response based on the way kids were parented in her day.<br><br>
but, other things have come up since, and <b>the tactic i've developed is to redirect the conversation (i swear, you can use preschooler discipline tactics on ANYONE. i wish i'd read the discipline books much sooner!!). so, if she says something about, say, sleep, i ask "was DH like this too?" with my MIL, it is a SURE FIRE WINNER. i swear, this is gold.</b> it doesn't matter what she says from there. if your DH was different, she'll talk about him anyway. then, you'll learn more about your DH as a baby or child, which is always fun. and if he was similar, heck, you never know if you'll learn a new trick. ask her how she handled the behavior. even if you're thinking to yourself that you'd NEVER do what she's saying, she'll feel respected and validated. with her living so far away, it's not like she'll know you're ignoring her advice.<br><br>
i've never tried this by email, but i think it would work. i'd write something like this: "yeah, 3 sure can be tough! was DH like DS as a kid?" and then tell her about something sweet or cute your DS did recently... help her focus on the positive parts of your DS's behavior. it's worked so far with MIL--we have a good relationship and i don't get all worked up when she starts giving advice.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> The bolded part made me chuckle.<br>
I think this is a good idea.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Mamafreya</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13066417"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> The bolded part made me chuckle.<br>
I think this is a good idea.</div>
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I think it's a good idea, too... Except that when my MIL decided to share, she said, "Your DH was such a good baby. His sister (two years older) was so demanding and whiny, but he was just perfect. I could just put him in his crib to play quietly by himself while I tried to deal with his sister."<br><br>
Ummmm, so you ignored him most of his babyhood? GREAT ADVICE! But it did give me some insight into the family dynamic (which is still to ignore him, b/c he doesn't raise a fuss...)<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>cosmos</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13065833"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Not sure if you intended to imply GD doesn't help kids learn coping skills...?<br><br>
I agree about helping them learn to cope, but the OP indicated they talk with him about how he is feeling. I think that is a huge part of learning to cope.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: Talking through their feelings IS helping them learn how to cope. Saying "tough luck, suck it up" etc would be failing at that. OP, if you do want to get into discussing reasons etc with MIL maybe you could try explaining that?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>swd12422</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13081910"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think it's a good idea, too... Except that when my MIL decided to share, she said, "Your DH was such a good baby. His sister (two years older) was so demanding and whiny, but he was just perfect. I could just put him in his crib to play quietly by himself while I tried to deal with his sister."<br><br>
Ummmm, so you ignored him most of his babyhood? GREAT ADVICE! But it did give me some insight into the family dynamic (which is still to ignore him, b/c he doesn't raise a fuss...)<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:</div>
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In that case, I'd ask how she dealt with your SIL when she was little!<br><br>
To the OP, I do suggest responding to the email because I just don't think she'll let it go otherwise. Something along the lines of:<br><br>
Dear MIL,<br><br>
We appreciate your concerns about DS, but our parenting decisions are not up for discussion. Thank you for respecting our autonomy as adults and as parents.<br><br>
Love, us.<br><br>
If she was coming for a visit soon, I'd add in things about "putting up a united front" and not openly criticising your parenting in front of the child, along with general "you get to be the grandma and spoil your grandchild, let us handle the parenting and the discipline our own way." But I wouldn't even get into that here or now- try to say as little as possible other than a polite "Butt out" for now. When the time for another visit approaches, then it will be time to set some ground rules for her behavior while visiting.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>paquerette</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13082433"><img alt="View Post" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" title="yeah that">: Talking through their feelings IS helping them learn how to cope. Saying "tough luck, suck it up" etc would be failing at that. OP, if you do want to get into discussing reasons etc with MIL maybe you could try explaining that?</div>
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<p>This would work with a rational person who was truly wanted to talk about the merits of the issue. I tried this when DS was a baby and she pushed cry it out on the same rationale. I think she more wants us to know she did it right, and by daring to be different I am wrong. For similar reasons, she reinforces her argument by talking about how mainstream friends of DH are doing it "right".<br><br>
I like RUTHLA's letter:<br><br>
"</p>
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6"><tbody><tr><td style="border:1px inset;">"Dear MIL,<br><br>
We appreciate your concerns about DS, but our parenting decisions are not up for discussion. Thank you for respecting our autonomy as adults and as parents.<br><br>
Love, us"</td>
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<p>Thanks to everyone. We put together a longer version of the above, drawing on some of the more sensitive lines put above, and letting her know why, but basically a polite butt-out, as the dynamic (of behind my back critique), repeated at every visit just feels stressful and unhealthy.</p>
 

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I would just ignore her. She lives in FRANCE. How often does she really come?<br><br>
I handled most conversations that started down this sort of road with my own mother by interrupting gently and saying (very nicely) something along the lines of "This is what's working for us. It's not better or worse than what you did. We're just doing what's best for our family in our situation. Thanks for listening and respecting our choices."<br><br>
If necessary, I would get tougher, saying outright, "I understand you want to help, but you had your chance to be the parent! I'm the mom now, so I get to decide. This just isn't up for discussion. Thanks for understanding."<br><br>
It worked. I had to say it a few times, and every once in awhile I still pull it out of my back pocket, but I'm just nice, polite, firm, consistent, and don't get upset. And it works.<br><br>
Part of the key is to FLATTER her regarding how she parented and comment that your different choices are NOT a reflection of her own parenting. For example, when my mom started to insist that something she did was right, even though I thought it was horrible, I would say, "You guys did a great job and that worked really well with me. Choosing to do something different with our kids isn't saying anything about how you did as parents because you were great parents. It just says that <our dd> is different or is reacting differently than I did." Who cares if it isn't true - it's diplomatic and it helps make them stop arguing or insisting.<br><br>
Good luck! This is a boundary that can definitely be set. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I think Ruthla's letter was great.<br><br>
I am just always surprised how people get all up in arms about how they think a 3 year old will be as an adult, I mean, really? She wants a 3 year old to not be talked through things? Geesh- he has plenty of time to develop "coping skills" and right now, you are walking him through that, as well you should- he is 3!!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Ok so your kid is 3 - and your not supposed to mother him - this is SO typically french - oh help! What is it about french MILs (I can say that I live in France!!) I'm actually surprised that she was as polite as your email suggests, I'm pleased you told her politely to butt out - but goodness, if it ever comes up again your dh needs to nip it in the bud - difficult I know when you don't see her much but if she ever tries again it needs to be stopped immediately - and it will come up again - even when you send nice polite emails asking her not to! Good luck and you're doing a great job with your ds!!!
 

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I haven't read all of the other replies yet, I will in a bit... but I think boundaries are more about you and your reactions and your decisions than they are about controlling another person. So, you can choose how you raise your son, how you FEEL about the way you raise your son, and how you react to what other people say to you - but you cannot control what other people say or do to you.<br><br>
She's most likely coming from a place of love and concern AND - as another poster put it, SHE feels out of control. She is worried and really that is her problem and you don't need to make it yours. I'd say just have some compassion for her "issues" do not make them YOUR issues, and trust and honour yourself and what you believe is right <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Arguing, questioning with the intent to make another see the error in past ways, trying to convince, trying to make another feel guilt etc etc is pointless and only serves to bring everyone down ESPECIALLY yourself because of the intention to bring guilt to the other person and to be "right" at their expense. If dialogue is possible then give it a try......but in a lot of cases it's not.
 

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I like the response or the variation on the first page. You can't change her mind, but at least you can say that you heard her and know she loves your family, but that you know your child best and you are confident in your parenting and this topic is now closed. If she seems open to it, perhaps you can expand on the reasoning behind what you are doing. Which to me seems to be teaching him the coping skills he needs in a safe environment, not coddling him as she seems to think. He will have to do it himself eventually, but he is still learning how right now. However, I wouldn't go into it as justification for your parenting though, only if she is genuinely interested.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ewe+lamb</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13088812"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Ok so your kid is 3 - and your not supposed to mother him - this is SO typically french - oh help!</div>
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To me it seems that these sort of attitudes have to do with the generation. I am in Europe but my American mil tried to advocate leaving the baby to cry, etc.<br><br>
The strange this here is that your mil was willing to basically spoil the visit. To me that screms "I want control." Sounds like she has not let go of wanting to be the most important woman in her son's life or something.<br><br>
When my mil visited for a week last fall, she made sure to compliment us on what great parents we are. Frankly, she probably disagreed on a lot of things (based on how she raised her kids and what she used to try to tell me when dd was a baby). However, she is bright enough to know that it makes more sense for her to try to enjoy her time with dd, and that getting us annoyed would not achieve anything.<br><br>
THAT, being common sense, is what the mil here is missing. She is willing to put her pride above all else. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 
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