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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My sainted, adored MIL is a dream MIL in almost every possible way. She has been there for me and the girls since the day they were born, she comes over every day to help me with them and the house, she cooks and shops for us, when they were little she spent hours holding and rocking whoever I wasn't nursing at the time, etc etc etc etc. She's a gem and should be widely cloned. :LOL<br><br>
I would like some ideas on how to use, say, GD strategies with her on a couple of issues now that the girls are getting older. For example, she tells them when they cry and she can't soothe them easily, "No need to cry!" or "Big girls don't cry!". Also she is quite concerned about them falling and has taught them to walk around saying "careful" a lot (that's actually kind of cute when they are running pell mell shouting "careful").<br><br>
How do I address her with all the respect and love I have for her but let her know I prefer the girls cry as much as they need to and perhaps not be as hovered-over in some situations.<br><br>
A small issue to be sure, but one that I'm thinking about these days...
 

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Hm, this is such a tough one... when someone is so wonderful in just about every way imaginable, but they're doing/saying that one or two things that you feel could be damaging in some way. I'm sure its of particular concern that she is a daily influence on them. My sis (also should be cloned) is amazing with DS, but we only see her once a month or so. Last time we were together, DS became really upset and she (because she cares so much and can't stand to see him cry), said those fated words, "Big boys don't cry." And because I was already upset about something else (unrelated), I got testy with her. We talked, I apologized, she apologized, all was good. When it happened, I said to her in front of DS this: "everyone cries, and its totally ok." Because sis doesn't have kids of her own and hasn't had the time I've had to read and think about such things, she just didn't realize what she was saying. Once I explained to her how important it is NOT to say those kinds of things to kids and why, she TOTALLY understood. Our family is not the most mentally healthy and she respects my parenting and how I've taken measures to do better with DS.<br><br>
As to what to do? Tell her. In the most gentle way possible. Preface it with all the wonderful things you mentioned in your post, let her know just how very much you appreciate everything she does, what a good friend and support she's been and then... tell her how you feel. If she loves and respects you, she'll understand. Its a difficult thing, confrontations. Its particularly difficult when the person is such a help to you because it can make you feel rather indebted and that perhaps its unreasonable to make what might seem like a "trivial" demand. But your instincts are right on here and advocating for your children always has to come first, even if its at the expense of anothers feelings/possible embarrassment. To leave it would probably cause cringing and resentment on your part, that could be prevented by a heart to heart discussion with MIL. And as I said before, if she respects you and your parenting and is willing to listen, she'll understand and probably feel darned great that her grandchildren has such a caring and smart mom!<br><br>
Aside from that, set an example as best you can. If one of your DD's crying, get to her first and say before MIL can chime in: "Bonking your head can really hurt! OUCH! Sometimes it helps to cry and get it all out. Go ahead and let it all out." Something like that anyway.<br><br>
As to the "Careful" question, I might leave that one alone. I can't imagine why it would be too damaging (the visual is a cute one! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">) and by addressing the one thing that could really cause a problem, and leaving the other to let lie, might be less overwhelming for MIL and perhaps help her not to feel micromanaged. The long range damage of uncried tears seem much more monumental to me. I could be wrong though. Perhaps someone has another more enlightened opinion on the "careful" thing?<br><br>
The best to you!<br><br>
Em
 

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ita with embee that a great way is to "model"... so next time child cries get in there and let MIL see how you handle it. my mom has really been amazingat following our lead and i've never had to have any "talks" with her (and no it is not the same as how she did it with us, lol).
 

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I think I would try to find a way to start a conversation about crying.... not from the standpoint of making her change, but out of geniune curiosity. Does she really believe that big girl's shouldn't cry? I would want to get to the root of that idea in her own thinking, if she is open to conversing about it. Maybe she hasn't thought carefully about what she is communication, and an analytical conversation could help her?<br><br>
I'd probably "cushion" the topic though, by empathizing with how painful it is to hear that a child we love is sad or suffering. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> How much we wish we could just make it stop, and make it better.
 

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I think (just mho) that a lot of these little sayings are said because of a lack of anything else to say!<br><br>
I think that it is very painful when your little one gets hurt, and your first instinct is to "make it all better". So...first step is stop crying! I had to change my thinking about that too when I started to think about it....I always wanted to say "it's ok sweetie, I'm here...you can stop crying"!!! But I think it just takes knowing what to say instead, something that really helps!<br><br>
But my point is....just give her something to say instead, by modeling, or just saying "you know, I would prefer he hears this when hes crying, it seems to work better" or something <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I honestly can't see her being offended by that.<br><br>
good luck <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks so much mamas! I am pretty sure I can find ways to do all of the things you suggested - modeling (I'm already doing this, yeah me! :LOL ); discussing alternate ways of responding to crying; discussing beliefs.<br><br>
I appreciate your approaches, thanks! <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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I would lead by example. If she is so wonderful you don't want to tell her she is doing something wrong and hurt her feelings. I bet she will pick up on what you are doing. For example, when the girls cry and she tells them big girls don't cry, maybe you hug them and say that it is ok to cry, mommy thinks it is ok. This is what we've done with my mil and it has worked great. She is noticing our gd ways and talking to us about it. It took 27 mos but things are starting to change for the better!
 
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