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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
X-posted in Gentle Discipline.<br><br>
DH and I were both raised in very mainstream, very authoritarian-style families. We are both working very hard to create a gentle, trust-based, CL-type environment in our own family for our children. Now that DD is two and testing her limits every which way, we want to allow her to explore her world in as unhindered a way as possible (so long as she isn't hurting herself or others, of course). So we try to avoid telling her no, we try to redirect, we try to avoid setting arbitrary "because we said so" type rules, etc.<br><br>
Our families just don't get it. With my parents, the first time it came up I sidestepped the problem by explaining very clearly that it is inappropriate for the grandparents to try to discipline my child. DH and I take care of that, and so I expect the grandparents to stay out of it. It has not been a problem since.<br><br>
My ILs are a whole different story. They seem to think I just don't know what I'm doing. We have spent about 6 days total so far with ILs since DD entered her current intense limit-testing phase and I have noticed that ILs are increasingly riding DDs case. Although DD seems to enjoy spending time with her grandparents, she does seem to get confused by all this and I feel ILs actions are very disrespectful to her and to us as her parents. Just a few examples: They make up these arbitrary rules that are modeled after NOTHING that DH or I have done with DD, like last night they repeatedly told DD, who was sitting on the floor gently petting our (very happy) dog, to leave the dog alone. Anything I ask DD to do, they both start repeating at her over and over in stereo until she does it. They barrage her with "no" while giving her no other direction. The other night we went out to eat and DD was taking her time looking around the restaurant while going to the table, and MIL told her to hurry up, took her by the hand, and pulled her to the table.<br><br>
I have pointed this out to DH and he agrees it is unacceptable. I am trying to let DH handle this, but he's just not doing it. He rarely says anything at the moment that it happens, and actually doesn't even seem to notice. So, I asked him to just take them aside and tell them the same thing I told my parents, but either DH hasn't done it or ILs have decided to ignore him and do whatever they feel like doing (which is common). I have told them myself a few times to back off when they've gotten totally off base, and they stop for that situation, but then the next situation presents itself and they just start over again.<br><br>
So, what do I do? I realize that the biggest problem may be DH, who is desperate to avoid conflict with them in general. On the other hand, DH really doesn't want me to handle it either and I don't blame him. His parents and I have an awkward relationship at best and he's probably afraid I'll blow my top and it will end with long-lasting bad feelings on both sides. But the situation cannot continue as it is. I would never allow any of our friends, or anyone in my family, to treat DD like this. Or am I blowing this out of proportion - is it a problem I am projecting, but not a problem for DD? Any advice?<br><br>
Thanks for your patience with my long post!
 

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I just wouldn't visit the In-laws and when they ask why tell them the truth.<br>
Tell them they are not respecting you as parents. It is YOUR daughter and you decide how she is disciplined. If my husband wasn't standing up for me and our daughter I would tell him why till he understood.<br>
Good Luck.<br>
I have problems with my in-laws too, my daughter is only 7 months so this hasn't come up.. YET.[I know it will]
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I wish this was happening during our visits to the ILs, so I could use your suggestion, MadameXCupcake! However, we, for the most part, don't visit the ILs as it is. Luckily, they live across the country, but they visit us 2-4 times a year. So even more upsetting, they are doing this in my own house (12 hours a day, 4 days straight at a time)!<br><br>
I have suggested (with regards to this and other difficult situations with them) to DH that we end the visit when they start being difficult (like if we've asked them to lay off DD and they don't) and DH flat out refuses to do it. I've told DH over and over through the years about problems with the ILs as they crop up (and there have been plenty) - and I am successful in getting through to him eventually, but it's a long, slow process. I don't think waiting 7 years for DH to finally get it will work for this situation.
 

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We had a situation recently where we had to say something to our son based on something he was doing. She made comments that were contrary to what we wanted and said that he can come to grandma's because there are no rules. (Of course, we are trying to figure out who this lady is because there were definitely rules when dh was young) Anyway, she said some not so nice things about what we were doing in the presence of our son.<br><br>
We didn't see or speak to her for a month. Then we told her that in no uncertain terms that when we are around, we will take care of any issues that arise. She may not like the way we handle it, but it is our job as parents to be the primary guides. When she has ds in her care, she can do as she feels appropriate.<br><br>
We also made sure we are in agreement with discipline issues. We know we don't always agree on some issues, but on this one particular issue, we are in total agreement. I think that is the important thing. Whatever the situation, your Dh needs to back you up and vice versa.
 

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Set firm boundaries. Your ILs don't need to share your parenting philosophy, but they must not discipline you children harshly. I would limit contact with them and when you see them doing something that crosses the line of gentle parenting, just politely tell them that you'll handle it and act to your DC as you see fit. I know this is hard because I've kinda btdt with my mom, but she usually reprimand my DS verbally in a way I don't approve of, but she's been so cruet that I've had to step in and I'm also of the opinion that my DS needs to see his grandma for what she is -- a strict older lady. I can't change her, but I can encourage her to be more polite if need be.
 

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Just negate whatever they are saying. "Oh sweetie, it's fine if you pet the dog, she loves it" "wow, there's lots of stuff to look at here!" "oh, WE let her do that (whatever)" "she's allowed to do that". Over and over and over.<br><br>
My inlaws (all of them) love to play jr. parent. We just lather, rinse, repeat that we make the rules and if we see something that isn't ok, WE will tell the kids.<br><br>
Another approach is that to tell them you don't want them to have to be "bad cop" so they should let you do the discplining and they can be the fun people.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the replies and advice.<br><br>
I have good news! DH did finally talk to his parents about this very issue, unbeknownst to me, after they visited with us last night, and they were much better today. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy">: Apparently he also saw that their behavior was completely unacceptable yesterday and could not continue. Also, tomorrow the ILs are going back home. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy">:<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy">:<br><br>
The next time we are scheduled to see them will be after the next baby is born this winter. So I get a breather, but as they tend to "forget" things between visits I will undoubtedly be referring back to these suggestions in a few months. DH and I will, as always, have to discuss ground rules for dealing with their difficult behavior before their visit, but I'm thinking next time I will insist on DH and I coming to some kind of agreement for time limits for resolving problems with them and steps to take when that time limit isn't met. Thank you so much, everyone!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamalisa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12376625"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Just negate whatever they are saying. "Oh sweetie, it's fine if you pet the dog, she loves it" "wow, there's lots of stuff to look at here!" "oh, WE let her do that (whatever)" "she's allowed to do that". Over and over and over.<br><br>
My inlaws (all of them) love to play jr. parent. We just lather, rinse, repeat that we make the rules and if we see something that isn't ok, WE will tell the kids.<br><br>
Another approach is that to tell them you don't want them to have to be "bad cop" so they should let you do the discplining and they can be the fun people.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"></div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Yes! This is perfect. I love what you're saying about repeating over and over that she's allowed to pet the dog. I also like the idea of telling them that you don't want them to be the "bad cop."<br><br>
**I don't understand people who have rules for kids that just don't make sense. It's like they take pleasure in telling children, "no, no, no" about things that don't make any difference. Urgh.
 
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