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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I shouldn't even have to defend my parenting choices to my in-laws but, alas, on nearly every turn there is something. (I mean EVERY turn, from bfing to co-sleeping, to GD, to nutrition.

Whenever in-laws come to town (which is at least once a month) they ply my 2 yr. old with junk. I sometimes leave him in their care while I run errands or take a little time out to visit a friend or something and I come home to find that they've fed him chicken nuggets, french fries, and soda! (I could handle the nuggets and fries on rare occasions, but I am very anti-soda for any occasion.) They are the worlds BIGGEST snackers. I swear, they snack all day long on junk like potato chips, candy, snack crackers that have no redeeming qualities (they can't buy anything healthy, of course), on and on with things full of food coloring, sugars, empty calories--think junk and they buy it. Then they feed it to him! I tell them "Nathan doesn't eat that" and when I leave the room, it somehow ends up in his mouth. It is so frustrating! Same with the sodas. I have told them every time they have come in town, literally, that I don't let him drink it and then I find out they gave it to him. Last night I was soooo frustrated bc I had gone shopping wihta friend and came home to find out that for lunch he had the traditional wendy's nuggets, fries, etc. then they took him to the store and got him m&ms and RED gatorade! Why on earth would you give a kid red gatorade? On top of that, they don't bother to dilute anything, so he's getting fully leaded sugar water with candy coated choc. Talk about a high! He was literally bouncing off walls and furniture. I had to practically peel him off the ceiling to try and get him to bed. I kept telling FIL NO chocolate, NO gatorade bc Nathan is sensitive to both.

So this morning FIL goes to the store with DH and returns, proudly, with purple gatorade and says: "here, no red." I think smoke may have been coming out of my ears while I looked at DH and said: "HE DOESN'T NEED ANY COLOR OF GATORADE. Besides, how do you think they make purple gatorade????" They seriously had not thought about it. WTH???

At any rate, now my FIL wants to see a scientific study that proves that food dye is not good for the body. I want to overload him with info. Please, please, please overload me with websites and links to articles about nutrition, food additives, preservatives, dyes, etc. I want to overload him emailbox with info! Let me have it! I Have to go and finish throwing away the junk they've put in my pantry. aye aye aye!!!
 

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Honestly, if it were me, and it was so bad that I couldn't trust my in-laws to respect our family's wishes, I would not let my Dc stay with them. If your child has issues with certain foods, for the sake of that child's health (at the very least!) they need to respect you. It is a respect issue; respect for you, your husband, your family. They need to heed the boundaries of your family, regardless of whether or not they agree with you (I'm assuming here that what you are doing isn't gross neglect or abuse). They are the grandparents, and their relationship is a privilege, not a right.

I would have a discussion with Dh about this. They are his parents, he needs to draw the line and defend it. But, seriously, if they won't respect me, they don't get to see their grandkids. Period.
 

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www.Feingold.org has a lot of good information about food dyes affecting behavior.

Honestly, if my in-laws acted this way I wouldn't leave them with my kids unsupervised. They'd be welcome to visit and eat food that I've purchased/prepared, but they wouldn't be alone with my kids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have wrestled with the whole thing of leaving them alone with him. It's very rare that I do, but they actually have the audacity to do these things while I'm there! DH and I have talked and talked about how to handle it. It's just so hard to know how to handle them. They are so thick-headed they don't get a clue no matter how blunt I am. It's truly bizarre!

my favorite example is right after I had DS2 they came to visit--the entire thing was awful, but I won't ramble to give the details---I completely lost it with MIL one day when she said: "Do you like fried shrimp?" and I said:"No, I don't eat fried foods. I don't even want food fried in my house bc I hate the smell, besides, it's completely unhealthy." I don't even know if it registered bc she just said:" Ok then, I guess I'll make it for George (DH)" WTH? What part didn't she understand? And then she had the gall to actually do it!! I was so upset, I took my 2 week old son and fled the house in tears (DS2 was asleep so I didn't wake him). DH got home right after she had put the shrimp in the grease, about the same time I was grabbing my keys. I called him from the car and cried about how upset i was that she had absolutely no respect for me and I couldn't stand it. Told him i couldn't stomach going back to the smell so I spent the night at a friend's house and returned in the morning. DH cried with me, devastated bc he wasn't sure how to handle the situation and that I was so hurt. He told them that they couldn't come back to see us for a while, not until I was ready. The phone calls and emails asking to come back started no too long after. I felt guilty for keeping them from their grandkids, esp since Nathan really does enjoy playing with them.

It's just so hard to know what is best.... Now they always say:" well, we can stay at a hotel." And then I feel terrible like the wicked witch of the west or the beastly b. I don't want to be the ungrateful DIL or mean mommy who won't let the kids see their grandparents.

So sorry to ramble...they are here until tomorrow so it's still weighing heavily on my heart.
 

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This is about so much more than just feeding him junk food... it is about RESPECT. Your inlaws don't respect you & dh and they don't respect your boundaries. I think it is difficult for parents to learn how change their relationship when their children become adults. Both my parents & my mil have trouble with this at times. We have had to talk with both of them (me w/ my parents, dh with his) about respect and boundaries. They will make sure we know they disagree with our parenting choices, but they do still respect us and our wishes.

I really think your dh needs to step up to the plate here. I know it is difficult to stand up to his parents, but that shouldn't be up to you. I would sit down and talk with him, maybe do some role playing before he talks with them.

I would have my dh ask them to stay at a hotel the next few times they visit, only allow them to come over when your husband is home and don't leave them alone with your children. Tell them they will be asked to leave if they do not respect your boundaries. I would continue this until you feel comfortable that they are respecting your boundaries. Do only what you & dh are comfortable with doing... this is YOUR house and YOUR family.

I hope this all works out. I know it is a delicate situation, but better to deal with it now and get things worked out than wait until things get worse!
 

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I wouldn't defend my choices. Just let them know you've thoroughly researched it and this is what you're doing. Just keep saying that when they want to argue or question it.

Let them know how nice it is that ds likes playing with them and that you want to have them involved in your lives. Then explain that you need them to abide by the rules of your home. If they can't do that then maybe they do need to stay in a hotel. It is their choice....respect you or stay at the hotel. You are not being mean. They need to learn to respect your wishes....it is your home and your kids. I find it easier to send this message by email.

Hope it gets better. I know in my experience setting firm boundaries is hard for everyone at first but after a few months or sometimes a year everyone adjusts and it goes fairly smooth. Kind of like kids....once they test a boundary for awhile and it is firmly established they abide by it for the most part.
 

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Lonestarmommy, I hear you....
I'm in the same situation except for the fact that my DH is also against my way of parenting. So I'm all alone. MIL live down the street so we have to see them every weekend and needless to say there is always a problem with food. They also live on junk food, nothing natural, and they feed my 3-yo artificial ice-cream, jelly beans, trans-fat loaded cookies, hot dogs and everything imaginable. When I'm there I can somewhat contol what goes in her mouth and make sure she takes digestive enzymes to break down the sugars and the junk. But as soon as I'm out of the house, they don't care what I said, they'll feed her the worst kind of junk. I know they think I'm crazy and mean for not letting this poor child eat normally and for putting her on a stupid diet that I looked up on a website. Oh by the way, I'm trying to heal eczema and yeast issues by following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and Nourishing Traditions.
So I haven't figured out a way to deal with this other than the enzymes. Since DH is not supportive and will feed DD junk if it's available, I can't count on him, and MIL clearly don't respect my wishes to keep junk away from my kids. I can't just say we're not coming over any more. DH makes the ultimate decisions and now I'm not allowed to go grocery shopping any more.
I don't mind being on a water diet but my what am I supposed to feed my 3-yo and 1-yo?
 

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How disrespectful to you! They are completely undermining your parenting, on purpose.
:

Have a serious talk with dh and make sure he knows how important this is to you. He should be the one talking to his parents.

I have to agree that if my parents or IL's were so disrespectful they would not get the pleasure of any visits other than short and completely supervised.

The issue is not food dye, it's your IL's complete disregard for you as a parent. That's how I would approach the issue. It's not about the food, it's about their respect - lack thereof - for you.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EBG
DH makes the ultimate decisions and now I'm not allowed to go grocery shopping any more.
I don't mind being on a water diet but my what am I supposed to feed my 3-yo and 1-yo?
You're "not allowed" to go grocery shopping????

He's certainly not treating you in a respectful manner, and is potentially being emotionally abusive. There are much deeper issues here than what you feed your children.
 

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It's not as bad as I made it sound... sorry if I gave the wrong impression of DH. He's not controlling or anything.
OK, so we don't have any money and having trouble paying credit cards. So we're trying to not use them.
Also DH doesn't like
a, the amount I spend on groceries and supplements which he doesn't believe is necessary
b, the places I shop at: Trader joes, Whole Foods, HFS
c, the kind os food I get: whole foods and lots of meat, eggs and veggies- he was raised on rice and beans and sugar laiden processed foods
d, the fact that I don't want to cook the same old foods like spaghetti, fried foods etc with no nutritional value and harmful to one's health

So actually I'm allowed to go to the store IF we have cash, which we don't. I'm just not allowed to use the credit card, which is understandable since we can't pay them, but so hard!

we do have these old junk foods (canned stuff-full of sugar, soy and trans fat, and a ton of pasta). He considers them normal food and doesn't see why we need to buy groceries as long as we have food in the house. Well I guess my stubborness, I'd rather starve than put those things in my mouth.

I love DH but I'm having a hard time submitting concerning certain issues- well that's something I have to pray about.

MIL are nice people and they want the best for their grandkids and they honestly believe there's nothing wrong with the food they eat and serve although one of them is 400 lbs and diabetic, the other one is crippled with arthiritis and legally blind etc..no comment. So they think it's cruel to deprive the children of "normal" food. From their perspective I'm the one who's doing harm. You know older people don't read articles on the internet and don't do any research. they take the doctor's word and what is pouring out of the media. So anything I research and learn is "quackery" because I read it on some website and the doctor says the opposite.
 

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Is it possible to buy alternative products for him and let the ILs know where they're kept and if they'd like to offer him a treat to offer him those??

Like Organic Soda (there are some REALLY yummy ones, that your ILs wouldn't even know were more natural), organic dark chocolate etc. Would they go for that?
 

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If they are anything like my in-laws, they won't care that there are "healthy" junk food options available. They want to eat *their* junk food, and they want to share it with *my* Dc.

It really isn't an issue of how can I convince them that my food is better, your food is junk. It is an issue of respect. They need to respect your choices for your family. Set the boundary now, because it won't get any easier, and it spreads to other areas. If they can't respect you (I mean a collective you: your husband, your children, and yourself), they have no right to be around your children.
 

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Edina-there are threads here under meal planning (I'll find a link and come back and put it in) about frugal cooking. Maybe if you did a little research you could show dh how you could eat healthy and cheap and maybe you could find healthier ways to eat food he is used to. Seems like people used to mainstream junk need to be transitioned slowly to healthy food. Since dh and I got married 8 yrs ago, we have slowly become healthier to where now we eat really healthy! It seems normal to us now.
Best wishes to you and I hope your finances get better soon! It sure is hard to be so stretched!


I just looked and saw that there is a frugality and finances forum under mindful home management...there have also been threads under meal planning that are titled pantry challenges with lots of frugal ideas. Hope some of those help.
 

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OMG!
I swear you're going through exactly what I am going through!

I feel your pain!
I havent read everyone's reply yet (in a hurry)... but I read your 2 posts and just had to write. My in laws are the same way. When my ds was born they came to visit the 2nd week (they are from indiana and we are in Georgia thank GOD) it was the most emotional time in my life and they wanted to go against everything I did. From Breastfeeding to cosleeping, they smoked around ds (newborn), they made me buy a pump so they could feed him because "it wasn't fair that I was breastfeeding him and no one else could bond with him." (He was only 2 wks old and we had not even learned how to latch properly.)
They were warming the ExpBreastmilk in the microwave!!! after I asked them not to. (microwave is harmful and it kills nutrients)
They were Making my baby cry for me while I had to pump for them to feed him!
Im crying thinking about it!
Telling me that breastfeeding is bad for my baby. Yelling at me while im BFing ds " HE DOESN'T WANT YOUR BREAST!"
"YOUR BREAST ISN'T SATISFYING HIM!" "YOU FEED HIM TOO MUCH!"
They also wouldn't let me wake him for a feeding. Everyone knows that a newborn will sleep past a feeding and longer if you let him. My ds was sleeping 8 hrs straight during the day and needed to be woken up to feed. They wouldn't let me touch my own baby to feed him! My DH was drinking alot when they were here. He was always against me and didn't want me to voice my opinion when they were here. Like I was offending them. But they can say whatever they want to offend me. Like make fun of the way I eat (healthy) but I can't say a word about the way they eat. As if their health status doesn't prove that they eat wrong.
DH is more understanding now and takes up for me.

I am dreading the next visit. Problem is.. I have several links on nutrition and dangers of dyes, processed foods, sugar, etc. But they won't read any of it.
How can I tell DH and inlaws... that I would rather stay at a hotel than their home?

My ds is 9 months now. We've been to indiana to see them a few times. They smoke around ds.. in their house! They wanted to make him sugar cookies when he was 3mo. They tried to give him a sugary popsicle when he was 5 mo. We always have to defend what we are doing and why. I honestly hate them. FIL told me he was going to take Ds from me and lock me in a loony bin so he could raise ds the way he should be raised.
That is plain psycotic.

All I want to do is give my ds the healthiest start. I swear I wouldn't get near as much confrontation from the mainstream if I was drinking and smoking and making bad health choices than I do making the right choices. Isn't that strange.

ANYWAY... I have a ton of links you can give them that will hopefully open their eyes to the dangerous effects of the junk they are giving to your kids.
Also, there is always a healthier alternative to any junk food.
Hopefully they will wise up and put a little more time and effort into their grandchildren. Before they instill bad health habits that will lead to bad health problems down the road. Ignorance isn't bliss.

Give me a little time to gather up all the websites.


Goodluck
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ruthla
Honestly, if my in-laws acted this way I wouldn't leave them with my kids unsupervised. They'd be welcome to visit and eat food that I've purchased/prepared, but they wouldn't be alone with my kids.
Yep, I agree.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EBG
....I know they think I'm crazy and mean for not letting this poor child eat normally and for putting her on a stupid diet that I looked up on a website.
Ummm...what part of junk food constitutes a "normal" diet?! Have people forgotten what "normal" food is?

Quote:

Originally Posted by EBG
...DH makes the ultimate decisions and now I'm not allowed to go grocery shopping any more.
Sounds like you guys have some issues...maybe DH needs a reminder that a) she's your daughter too, and mother really does know best, b) you're his wife and deserve more respect than that, and c) real food doesn't come in packages!!!
G-d (or your intelligent-designer-of-choice
: ) didn't say, "On the 8th day, let there be Ho-Ho's!"

Seriously, I feel you - my in-laws wouldn't know healthy food if they tripped over it, gave DS a McDonalds french fry to suck on at 3 months old! And when I freaked, gave him a taste of ice cream to wash it down!!
: Just gotta go with the flow sometimes...but not all the time...pick your battles wisely! hehe
 
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