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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Your MIL had your son for 24 hours and fed him a hotdog, safeway brand hotdog.<br>
She is very different than us and has always criticized our beliefs: cosleeping, little tv, gentle discipline, no vaxes, and being vegetarians.<br>
She generally makes great veggie dishes, but his cousin was there and only eats disgusting processed meat.<br>
She didn't call to ask, and didn't tell me. But he came right home and said three things:<br>
1. I watched 3 movies.<br>
2. I played video games and shot bad guys (leapfrog)<br>
3. I ate meat, loved it and will do it again.<br>
AHHHH, my dh is also vegetarian says there is no way she would do that. So do I just let it go, do I ask her and gently explain how I feel?<br>
Background is they are very conservative and mormon, and we are liberal agnostics. They know what it is to believe in something so strong that you abstain from things....when they were here a few days before my sil told my son that turkey is "very very yummy" just after dh and I calmly explained that we dont eat meat<br>
what would you do?
 

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Well... after I was done FUMING <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"> and had calmed down, I would try to have a very serious conversation with your MIL - depending on the dynamics maybe dh if you think he'd be assertive yet calm enough? Giving the analogy of what they believe could be very effective. Explain that you feel VIOLATED (if that's what you feel, I know I would) My dh is vegetarian and I mostly am, we tolerate MIL giving her more sugar then we would like - this has become more of an issue now that she lives a mile a way (vs. 10 hours for the first 6 years of dd life) But hot dogs clearly cross the line - check and make sure they weren't veggie dogs??? Even if that's something unacceptable to you (processed crap) at least she didn't violate the meat issue.<br><br>
This shows a total lack of respect and I don't know how much you rely on her for help, but if I could manage it, and I felt like my beliefs were not going to be honored, then I would not leave my child alone with her - harsh I know - but she needs (IMO) to know you are serious and WILL NOT TOLERATE an undermining of your values. Good Luck
 

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oh man would i have been pissed!!! i completely agree with pp. we are very serious in our beliefs & i have even gotten irritated at my dad for giving ds juice (and letting him watch popeye), even though it was fresh-squeezed juice at their house we only let ds have juice on SPECIAL occasions like b-day parties, etc. we want to let ds have treats, but WE want to be in control of it, which to me is fair. all we want is that people ask BEFORE giving him things; maybe we'll say yes & maybe we'll say no but it's our choice.<br>
what it comes down to is, as parents everybody deserves respect of their parenting choices, people who are parents themselves should especially understand that as far as i'm concerned.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bonamarq</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15479482"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well... after I was done FUMING <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"> and had calmed down, I would try to have a very serious conversation with your MIL - depending on the dynamics maybe dh if you think he'd be assertive yet calm enough? Giving the analogy of what they believe could be very effective. Explain that you feel VIOLATED (if that's what you feel, I know I would) My dh is vegetarian and I mostly am, we tolerate MIL giving her more sugar then we would like - this has become more of an issue now that she lives a mile a way (vs. 10 hours for the first 6 years of dd life) But hot dogs clearly cross the line - check and make sure they weren't veggie dogs??? Even if that's something unacceptable to you (processed crap) at least she didn't violate the meat issue.<br><br>
This shows a total lack of respect and I don't know how much you rely on her for help, but if I could manage it, and I felt like my beliefs were not going to be honored, then I would not leave my child alone with her - harsh I know - but she needs (IMO) to know you are serious and WILL NOT TOLERATE an undermining of your values. Good Luck</div>
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^ This, exactly. After verifying for certain that it was meat, you need to be very clear and severe with her. If you let it slide now she will only disrespect you further in the future (and this is all about respect, or lack thereof). Make it clear that her being alone with him is contingent on her following your parenting guidelines. Period.<br><br>
Man. I would be so pissed. Not only is that rude and manipulative, but it's downright dangerous.
 

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Totally agree w/pp. You have a long life ahead of you w/family. Set your ground rules now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">
 

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I'd be feeling <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"> about the evening overall, but <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/Cuss.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="cuss"> about the hotdog. Movies, video games imo can be redeemed by your not doing that stuff, by what you say and teach your ds all the rest of the time - the hotdog <i>and</i> comment about meat I find way more offensive and disrespectful.<br><br>
After verifying whether it was meat or a veg hotdog, I'd push her to find out why she thought it was okay to give him when she knows your family is vegetarian, make it know that the situation will result in the lack of trust of her with your ds, and that you're totally p.o.'ed and she probably won't be around him without either of you again until she's able to respect your parenting choices. Remind her that it is a BIG DEAL not to respect the parents of a child, and being a grandmother doesn't make her exempt from that.<br><br>
And <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> about such a situation. I personally kind of agonize about what I'll do when/if this comes up for us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
update:<br>
dh called mil and she said yes he had a bite. His cousin was eating it and teasing him, " You don't eat meat? It is soooo good. you should eat meat" So he demanded some hotdog. He does get intense and when he decides he wants something he gets rather intense about it.<br>
dh kept saying, "it isn't the end of the world. it is no big deal." which of course I disagree with, it is a big deal. but he also said, "we would never allow him to eat a hotdog in a million years, especially one from a place like safeway.<br>
He also said, next time we send him there and his cousin is there we will send veggie hotdogs.<br>
He also said that one day we want Charlie (3) to make this big decision for himself, but he is not old enough to get to decide what he eats.<br>
I feel a little bit better. But the situation in general could have been avoided, or handled better. Knowing the kids are impressionable it seems like they could have chosen something other than hotdogs for lunch. And they should have stepped in when his cousin started teasing him/<br>
lesson learned on my part, trust my instincts. I didn't want to send him at all because of the way his cousin is and is parented. Lots of timeouts, yelling, meanness.<br>
ahhhh thanks for your responses.<br>
I wonder how they would feel if I offered their child a sip of beer or coffee, not that i ever would but...
 

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So why didn't she step in and stop the taunting that the cousin was doing? Or intervene and let your son know that mom and dad don't think it's healthy for you to eat something like that hot dog? I mean, I'm glad it's not AS bad as what it seemed like at first, but she definitely could have take some action to prevent the hot dog eating. I'd definitely be unhappy about it and would maybe consider not having sleepovers with the cousin around until DS is a little older and able to stand up for himself, KWIM?
 

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honestly, I think your son is old enough for a serious conversation about family rules and priorities. My DD is 29 mo and we've already talked with her several times about how different families have different rules.<br><br>
In our family, we do not eat food that came from an animal that was not treated lovingly when it was alive and my dd understands that. We also avoid food that was not grown in a way that respects the earth and the farmer, and we have used this multiple times as an explanation for why we wouldn't give dd something she wanted. She has internalize these priorities and can now explain to me why we don't buy some things.<br><br>
I would sit your ds down and tell him that piggies and cows suffered a sad life and died to make that hot dog, and that in your family you don't believe in eating things that are made that way. You can explain that there are different choices (like veggie dogs in this case) that didn't cause animals to be killed and that you'd be happy to make him some next time he would like them. I really think it is time to give him the power to stand up for his family's value system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for all of your understanding. I am still upset about it and may avoid overnights for quite some time. I definitely think she should have stopped the teasing. In most situations my son can say, "we don't eat meat, we are vegetarians. Meat isn't good for your body. We don't eat meat because we don't kill animals." But what about when he says, "I want to eat meat."<br>
At some point he will make that choice, but I know at almost 4 he is not ready to.<br>
I may still say something when the moment comes up. We haven't talked to her since we asked her about it last Thursday.<br>
And we did have a big family talk that went well.<br>
I think it all comes down to the fact that he was peer pressured. He was teased and like before no one stepped in to stop it. That part makes me very mad.<br>
Live and learn.
 

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I think, like you said, MIL should have stopped the teasing & not allowed him to have hot dogs (bites or whole ones or whatever), just like she wouldn't allow him to have a sip of wine or something just because he wanted it.<br><br>
This frankly is a big fear of mine, that our vegan lifestyle will not be respected, and that is one of the reasons (among many) that DS will not be staying with anyone for quite a while (he's only 16mos). So far everyone has to be constantly reminded of the limits ("Can't he have the cookie?" umm NO, he can eat what I eat and you know I won't eat the cookies!!) and until I can see them understanding the 'rules' in my presence they won't be allowed to watch DS outside of my presence. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I sound so strict. Oh well. Anyway, I think maybe you could ask MIL to let you know ahead of time what types of things she plans on serving the cousin, so that you can be sure to provide suitable alternatives. Maybe also bring over a bag of veg 'treats' so she will always have something special on hand for those kinds of situations ("No, you can't have hot dogs, stop teasing your cousin, here's a veggie ____ just for you.")
 

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Sorry you have to deal with this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Both DH and I come from Mormon families, and we tell them that being vegetarian/vegan is as important to us as their religion is to them. On top of that, their word of wisdom says to only eat meat in times of famine- I would remind them of that (this is something I have to remind my parents and family from time to time).<br><br>
We have been having dietary issues with my MIL, and I've told her very bluntly that if I find out she feeds him animal products she will not be able to see her grandchildren. It wouldn't matter that his cousin was teasing him with a hotdog- she is the adult and should have intervened.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MoreThanApplesauce</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15486562"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">In our family, we do not eat food that came from an animal that was not treated lovingly when it was alive and my dd understands that. We also avoid food that was not grown in a way that respects the earth and the farmer, and we have used this multiple times as an explanation for why we wouldn't give dd something she wanted.</div>
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This is not my thread, but I wanted to thank you for your kind and helpful response. I take from your post that your family is not vegetarian and I appreciate your compassion for the OP's choices and understanding how they correlate with your own dietary and lifestyle choices <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>seamama11</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But what about when he says, "I want to eat meat."<br>
At some point he will make that choice, but I know at almost 4 he is not ready to.</div>
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This may not be right for you, but I did give my girls a choice at that age. I didn't want it to be a power struggle nor did I want them to feel like they were on a deprivation diet. Our household is mixed in that I am vegan and dh is an omni who eats a lot of junk. Dh does, admitedly, think that I have brainwashed the kids, but I see it more as being upfront with them.<br><br>
We visited farms when they were young and met cows, chickens, pigs, etc. They petted them and saw them as similar to their pets at home (granted on a much larger scale). There is an old farm in my town that is essentially there for kiddie visits and horseback riding now, so they were seeing a small scale farm as well as a farm sanctuary that used to be local. We didn't go to feed lots or factory farms although they have seen some films more recently on factory farming. They are 11.5 and 9.5 now.<br><br>
I was upfront with them and told them that a steak was the body of a dead cow. When they wanted to know if it died of natural causes, I told them that no, it had been killed by people so that other people could eat it. Being sensitive little souls, they didn't want any part in that so, if we were telling them that it was up to them, they weren't interested. They remain very strict vegetarians moving more toward vegan.
 
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