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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
and I have a question<br><br>
How much damage will she cause me....now keep in mind she is a loving, devoted grandma who just doesn't know what I am trying to do here and I notice sometimes she watches me when I am talking to my 3 year old and "gently disciplining her"<br><br>
So far she's "good jobbing all over the place"<br><br>
reminding her of her manners at every chance...this one irks me most...Sophia has a very genuine way of expressing gratitude and such and I love it way more than the automatic thank you but her "wow, this is great grandma, I LOVE it" isn't enough, we get "say thankyou" which my dd will but it's like..."are those words actually important" can't you tell she's grateful?<br><br>
My 16 year old was watching a tv show and she turned off the tv because it was dinner time...my daughter got upset and left the room in a huff...I turned the tv on again...it was 20 minutes from dinner time, it was 7th Heaven which I am grateful my dd watches because the crap on tv for teens these days has me<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: and it's a show she watches every evening.<br><br>
The baby is saying "no, no, no" with a disapproving shake of her head...she learned that the day after grandma got here and started saying it to her after she touched anything.<br><br>
They are here to help us move so maybe 3 weeks...do you think she will do a lot of damage.<br><br>
and this is the one that bugs me the most. Sharing...she is right in there encouraging the sharing and she's making Sophia mad. Yesterday was Martina's bday and she had a cabbage patch doll...Sophia(3) wanted to play with it...Martina wanted her doll...so she did sort of a "it's her doll, you are a big girl, you ahve to share with your sister, it's just mean" kind of thing and Sophia started to cry. I crabbed Sophia's cp doll and said "Sophia here is your doll, jennifer, would you like to play with her?" and she said "no, I want to play with my neice"(her sister's baby) and I said "martina, you want this dolly?" baby drops the new doll and takes Sophia's...no problem...they played with each others doll. MIL says "well it's her Birthday present, I thought she should let Martina play with her doll" and I said "she's only three, Martina doesn't mind, Martina has played with Sophia's doll for several months and Sophia has let her...this works for everybody"<br><br><br>
I do stand up to her but I don't want to argue if they are not "biggies" kwim. If I continue on my merry gd way and she does her occasional "say thankyou" will she undo anything.<br><br>
BTW, she thinks the kids are "spoiled" because I don't do anything really about their behaviour...only she has a problem with her opinion..they are really really well behaved kids...lol.<br><br>
So I guess my question is...should I let it go...will it matter in the long run? She does some good things too..she gets the kids to help her pick up and put toys away and they sing a song, she rocks the baby etc.<br><br>
BTW..there won't be arguing..she's a quiet person..she won't argue and bicker. She will defer to me.
 

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Let it go. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> The kids will realize it's just how G'ma is - and that she is that way cuz she adores them! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> No harm!<br><br>
ETA- If it's a "big issue" though, more than just praising, etc. DON'T be afraid to be assertive, you are the mama! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>rmzbm</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6379804"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Let it go. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> The kids will realize it's just how G'ma is - and that she is that way cuz she adores them! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> No harm!</div>
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That's what I've been doing with dd's g-ma, though like you I have the fears of grandma "ruining everything", lol. I have to figure that in the long run three weeks (or whatever short stay) is such a small fraction of their lives that grandma's influence won't be enough to counteract MOMMY!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pianojazzgirl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6380007"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That's what I've been doing with dd's g-ma, though like you I have the fears of grandma "ruining everything", lol. I have to figure that in the long run three weeks (or whatever short stay) is such a small fraction of their lives that grandma's influence won't be enough to counteract MOMMY!</div>
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I agree. Just let the stuff go...grandparents can be annoying but as mine have gotten so much older, I appreciate the time I get with them and do my best to tune out the other stuff. My DS is 9 now so we can talk about stuff later or beforehand. I just let him know: you know how it is with gma - they think this way and I'm not going to argue - it is a short period of time. She will definitely not UNDO anything.
 

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Since you mentioned that she thinks your kids are spoiled, is there any chance that she's trying to "fix" that? If that's what it is, as opposed to just that's the way she knows to interact with kids, then I'd personally say something.<br><br>
If it's just generally how she deals with kids, I'd say, it depends on how you think she'd take it.<br>
My grandma overpraises to high heavens, and does some other minorly manipulative things, and gives misinformation ("we can't go on the train today. It's not open." When it is indeed open, we just can't make it there today. I do usually correct the misinformation to ds. I have an obsession with honesty)<br>
The praise issue, I gave her information. I told her that I feel that praise implies that a child's social acts were unexpected. And that he has a right to decide what HE feels is a "good job" without someone else's judgement.<br>
So...she listened. She even tried- instead of "good job throwing away the trash" she'd say "Good show. I KNEW you'd help me throw away the trash" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br>
But she still praises him.<br><br>
Point being, lol, I didn't feel that it would have any negative effects to share my opinion and thoughts on praise (in a non confrontational way, of course). But I didn't want push it either. (and I knew my grandma would do as she wanted, regardless. lol)<br><br>
In the end, I do see a difference in him sometimes in how he relates to praise and how he relates to non-praise. But its not anything that lasts beyond the visit. kwim?
 

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It sounds like grandma isn't doing anything particularly harmful, and if I were in your situation I'd just let it go. Especially since she'll defer to your authority when you do step in, I don't think there's any harm in how she interacts with them. The girls will learn that different grownups have different personalities and parenting styles and they'll be enriched by it.
 

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Another let it go. Your kids have their own personalities, the adults in their lives had their own personalities. You're always going to be the "normal" one, they'll find Grandma's differences odd and fascinating, with no harm done.
 

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The one place there were I would draw the line is with calling the child "mean" if she did that. Name calling is a nonnegotiable no no. The rest I think you really need to let go.
 

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I would not "let it go" all the way. It is hard to find a middle ground and decipher what is "worth" a battle and what is not.<br><br>
But, your kids want to know that just because someone visits (even if it's Grandma), that someone can not act disrespecfully towards them. I would percieve turning off the TV and calling Sophia "mean" as desrespectful.<br><br>
The "good jobbing" and such I would let go.
 

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For me, it would depend on how long the visit was going to be and how frequently after it my child would see these people. I know that I am really profoundly annoyed listening to manipulative and degrading treatment of Simon (my parents can treat him in condenscending ways that totally grate my nerves). If they are down for a few days, I can cope with that though I might say something now and then. My MIL might move out here. I have no intention of tolerating her using these techniques on a frequent basis with Simon. It's just not o.k. in my books. If she sees him often, we'll ask that she avoid the "good boy" comments and the excessive use of praise, that she stop offering him nonvegan junkfood, and so on. Life will be A LOT less stressful for everyone that way. I want things to be such that we want her to be around, not that we are crawling in our skin, profoundly annoyed with her, and worrying about whether she's harming our son. We'll (or dh will) kindly tell her what we're doing and why and in as non-offensive and respectful a way as we can muster, but I think it's fair that she avoid things that we find are potentially harmful to Simon -- if she wants to be a big part of his life. If she's happy to see him irregularly, then my standards go down since her involvement and influence on him would be minimal. Even then though, children really do take to some people. If he adores her, which we hope to be the case, her influence could go up significantly even if he doesn't see her very often -- at least this is how it seems to me -- and could of course be reinforced whenever she does see him or talk with him, or when he's around similar people.
 

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You are calling her grandma, so I don't know if she is YOUR grandmother, or if she is your mother. If she is your grandmother, I'd let it go, b/c it's going to be hard to change her way of interacting. But if she's your mom, why NOT have a talk with her? If someday you are doing things that one of your children doesn't like, do you want your child to just grin and bear it, or to come to you as an adult and talk with you? I know which one I'd choose! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I can't convince my DH that "good job" is bad, and actually after reading, and disagreeing, with half of the Alfie Kohn article about it, I started thinking "maybe I won't say it but I won't stop DH from doing it", but I will admit, once DS started "good job"ing me, and recently "great job", it got more annoying. So once you start hearing the little ones copying her, it might get under your skin even more...<br><br>
But anyway, I think she deserves to be part of a conversation with you...
 

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I walk the fine line with my MIL, too. Some things I let go, some things I bring up later with dd, and some things I try to tactfully step in and fix, while offering an explanation to my MIL. She really loves my kids, and she helps us a lot with them, and they love her, so I definitely don't want to be right in the middle of their relationship. I also leave them alone with her a lot, which doesn't worry me, but I want to be able to show them what I think about some of the things she says when I am available.<br><br>
For example, whenever ds hurts himself, she always says, "Oh, you're okay!" in this very dismissive tone. I think she thinks that if she "baby's" him by comforting him, he'll turn into a little sissy or something. I, of course, just ignore that and comfort him as I usually would.<br><br>
She tried to make dd share her new trike, which she does not have to share, and which she adores, and I just said, talking directly to ds, "I'm sorry, honey, Ramona's not ready to share her trike yet. She loves it so much. You can ride the Winnie the Pooh trike, though."<br><br>
Another time, dd had stayed the night at her house and when she got home she had a huge meltdown. She hadn't really gotten a nap and was probably kind of worn out from being on her best behavior and getting so much attention. So I was just letting her mellow out in our hammock, but MIL insisted on telling her goodbye. Dd couldn't calm down and didn't want to say goodbye and was just ignoring MIL and crying, and MIL said, "If you keep acting like this when I bring you home, I'm not going to let you come over again. You're making everyone sad!" Dd was totally taken aback and just cried harder, good for her! Anyway, I said, "Oh!" in this very sad sympathetic voice and held her hand. I think MIL was a little embarrassed, she left right after that and then I explained to dd she wasn't responsible for anyone else's feelings and that I didn't think she meant it when she said she couldn't come again.<br><br>
Anyway, I guess my conclusion here is that I don't think she'll do any lasting damage to your children. It may do a little damage to their relationship, as they will probably eventually become a little annoyed with her (sounds like your teenager already is!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Molly..she's my MIL<br><br>
and she's driving me<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
She is trying to "train" them to behave as far as I can tell. Doesn't mean any harm but still.<br><br>
She does this constant thing where everytime dd(3) asks for something she says "what else?" hinting for please and "magic word?" meaning say thankyou...seemingly harmless enough but I am already noticing a reduction in the spontaneous use of these words. I thought I was overreacting but DH mentioned it last night. He hasn't been around as much(we are moving so he's outside packing up our 2000sq ft garage) and we are inside all the time...but he still noticed it. I will probably say something now since I know it's not just me. If she says "I am just trying to teach her manners" I will say "well it's not your job" I have no problem saying that.<br><br>
yesterday I set her straight regarding my oldest dd...who she tries to boss around...she said "while grandma is here I want you to put your plate in the dishwasher" fine thing to say to a rebellious 16 year old....<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I said"you are not going to reform her in 2 weeks while you are staying here, leave her alone, stop picking on her" and she says "well she wouldn't do so and so when I asked her" and I said "well don't ask her to do things, I just want to get things moved out and I don't care if she puts her plate in the dishwasher and not only that, it's not YOUR place to tell her to" and DH said "leave her alone mother" and FIL said "Yeah"<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> So she got mad at FIL..lol..but he's used to it...she didn't speak to him all day.<br><br>
That said...she's been helpful too, she doesn't have an agenda other than making sure her grandkids are "well brought up" I am sure and I can take it. and dish it out as required.<br><br>
I am not pregnant or postpartum so I am able to deal with her on a less emotional level.<br><br>
Thanks for all your help
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>allgirls</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6401113"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">FIL said "Yeah"<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> So she got mad at FIL..lol..but he's used to it...she didn't speak to him all day.<br></div>
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I don't understand the celebration here. I think that most of us would be hurt by this and most of us would rally behind a mom here who was hurt by her partner criticizing her in front of others, especially her children.<br><br>
I also find it interesting when adults insist that child "share" everything. It makes me want to grab their car keys and say, "You're sharing your car with me today. I'll be back in a hour. And that PDA? I like it too, hand it over."<br><br>
I wonder how many deep down believe what a grandmother once told me: kids aren't really people. After I got past my shock and anger, I was grateful that she'd let me know what I was really dealing with and it was easier to discount anything else that she had to say on the subject.
 

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Aha, I didn't see that mention of MIL.<br><br>
When I think of talking to my own MIL about such a thing, I want to hide under the covers and whimper. My MIL is a battleaxe. It's taken me 6 years of knowing her to even *think* about asking her to stop telling me how fat I am. Which only started because I needed to get her to stop scrutinizing what DS eats, b/c she's so scared he'll end up heavy as a child like my hubby was (part genetics, part terrible eating behaviours fostered by HER).<br><br>
But if I think about my mom, which is moot b/c she's been dead 6 years, but when I imagine her dealing with DS, and imagine if my husband had an issue with her, I imagine she would have appreciated him talking to her about it. She'd probably have liked that more than him talking to me and me talking to her...but she was pretty special, so...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
You could tell her about this cyber-friend you have whose son does spontaneous "thank you" and "you're welcome" and "excuse me", because he simply hears them at home. And that your cyber-friend says that he truly means them because they are coming from within, and that's just one illustration outside of your family of what you've been working on...that you're not alone in just wanting to show them the way to be polite, rather than MAKING them do certain things.<br><br>
Perhaps enlist her help to be exaggeratedly polite, with lots of thank yous, excuse mes, you're welcomes, and so on...that way she feels like she is being helpful and being part of Manners Bootcamp? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sparklefairy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6401520"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't understand the celebration here. I think that most of us would be hurt by this and most of us would rally behind a mom here who was hurt by her partner criticizing her in front of others, especially her children.</div>
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well I don't know that he was criticizing her, just agreeing that it wasn't her place to discipline my children. I really don't care...that's between them. He's the quietest, most unassuming man on earth so he had to have noticed it to and I was surprised at his quiet yeah.<br><br>
and for the record I was very firm but not rude when I said these things...I just feel I have to set these limits now. My kids are very excited about moving into our new home and I don't want it ruined for them because she thinks they should be doing xyz when they don't normally do it.<br><br>
Molly...my MIL hasn't gone into the fat issue but the other morning they were weighing on the scale(something I don't encourage with my 2 teenage daughters and don't cheer because my 12 year old lost a lb<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: ) and I said "I don't think I will weigh today, don't need that to think about" and MIL made about 6 references to that statement over the day...I was about to lose it...one more and I would have said "it is ALWAYS rude to make references to another persons weight" since she's always on the this is rude, that is rude bandwagon. yes I have extra weight on...whoopde frickin do...she stopped though.<br><br>
I am going to just tell her to stop, to use her own manners and the kids will copy...thing is she doesn't always say please and thank you herself so I think I will just start bugging her about it<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Thanks for the suggestions ladies...I mostly just need to rant.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:
 

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"Quote:<br>
Originally Posted by sparklefairy<br>
I don't understand the celebration here. I think that most of us would be hurt by this and most of us would rally behind a mom here who was hurt by her partner criticizing her in front of others, especially her children. "<br><br>
"well I don't know that he was criticizing her, just agreeing that it wasn't her place to discipline my children. I really don't care...that's between them. He's the quietest, most unassuming man on earth so he had to have noticed it to and I was surprised at his quiet yeah."<br><br>
I think I read a situation beyond what you typed, but I can still see how she may have felt a bit ganged up on and then betrayed.<br><br>
I really don't like it when grandparents discipline beyond reinforcing what the parents just said. The "good job" stuff gets annoying to me too; I try to see it as better than criticism ("you could have thrown it away without being asked/faster") and better than labeling the child ("good girl for throwing the wrapper in the trash!") When I'm working with the kids at school and they are anticipating feedback, I usually say, "You did it!" or "well done!" They don't seem to be little praise junkies and I make a point of recognizing that they accomplished something (rather than giving myself credit for teaching it well.)
 

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I am sure she felt a bit ganged up on...but she was out of line...and I agree that's exactly what she was doing...disciplining beyond what it was her place to do...telling my dd that "while she was here she wants her to rinse her plate and put it in the dishwasher" was not her place...and guess what, if I had asked my dd to please rinse her plate and put it in the dishwasher she would have most likely...but she resents grandma doing it..the 16 year old notices these things, heck she made the baby cry yesterday yelling "NO" at her for grabbing something she had left down...nothing that would hurt baby or the item.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
I cuddled weeping baby and said "grandma scared you, poor baby, and gave her another item to play with" she looked out at grandma from the corner of her eye and cuddled me all sad and sobby.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> Baby doesn't know these people and now they are hollering at her..she's never been yelled at in her life..gma said "well she knows what NO means" but she did seem to feel bad for making her cry.<br><br>
well must go<br>
cheers<br>
carolyn
 
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