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I'm sure most of you have been through this with at least one or two family members, so I would love some advice.

My in-laws (all of them) are incredibly harsh when it comes to discipline - they spank, they threaten to spank, they use time-out quite liberally ("That's the 2nd time you asked for a cookie and I already said no - go to time out!") and when all else fails, they tell the kids how terrible they've been and shame them until they cry. They are not bad people and they mean well, but they are barbarians when it comes to disciplining children. They put no thought into their parenting whatsoever - they just repeat what was done to them. My question is how should I deal with that when they start thinking DD needs discipline - probably 6 or 8 months from now? We all get together at MIL and StepFIL's house often. MIL feels it is her right and privilege to discipline her 2 other grandchildren and I see no reason to believe she will feel any differently about my child. However, when she believes spanking is an acceptable way to handle a tantrum and time out works for everything that doesn't warrant a good slap, you can see where there might be a conflict. She also believes in forcing a child to sit at the table until they clean their plate of all the food you thought they should eat - including new foods they don't want to try - and sending them to bed if they refuse. (She once held my SIL on the ground and literally shoved artichoke into her mouth and forced her to swallow it once when she was a kid just because she wouldn't try it.)

I don't think any of this would matter to me because I could choose to ignore them. However....how in the world will we be able to all get together without conflict between the little cousins if my DD is treated so differently from them? Because it won't just be the parents treating them differently, kwim? I refuse to allow my MIL to treat my DD the way she treats my nieces. Period. She cannot talk to her the way she talks to them, force her stupid food rules on her the way she does to them or threaten and punish her the way she does to them. I can't see how this would be anything but obvious and won't that cause tension? Like won't everyone, including all the kids, think, "Oh, Richelle thinks her DD is so special that she gets better treatment than everyone else"? How will we handle that? Should we even care?
 
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