fuming with fil, telling dd to be a big girl, when she was crying about her brother dying.

(14 Posts)
whiteandyelloworchid Sun 17-Feb-13 10:28:49

Dd started crying the other day at the inlaws, we were close to going home time, been there for a meal.
I hugged as she said I'm so sad about ds name.

Then father in law pick her up, she's five, put heron his lap and said come on dds name, you have to be a big girl

So I said quickly right time to go home

We are supposed to be seeing them today, again another meal and I'm dreading it.

ajandjjmum Sun 17-Feb-13 11:27:56

Clearly terribly distressing for all of you. I'm sure your FIL was trying to be helpful. Perhaps you could speak to him and explain that you would rather she felt able to express openly how she felt, and ask him to support you in that, although it's possibly not what he (his generation?) might be used to.

So sorry for your loss.

staverton Sun 17-Feb-13 12:47:47

I have no experience but just wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss.

whiteandyelloworchid Sun 17-Feb-13 17:01:06

thanks for your replies, i had a chat with dd after he said this and explained even big girls get upset when sad things happen, and that i'ma grown up and i get sad, and its ok to be sad
tried to explain to dd she can talk to me and dh anytime
and that its better to not bottle things up but to talk about them

guess i just have to think fil doesnt really have much influence over dd, she doesnt see him that often, perhaps once a fortnight or less with us there, so i suppose he won't damage her too much

i think next time of he says that again, i will say poppycock, even big girl cry when they are upset and its ok and its normal to be uspet, and say to fil, i dont want dd pressuried to feel she can't open up about how she feels

unforunatley he and mil are emotionally stunted

i just need to be able to keep calm and explain next time

Would it be easier to discuss it over the phone or in an email? I think you held it together well, given the circumstances, and it sounds like you explained things well to your DD afterwards.

everlong Wed 20-Feb-13 15:04:15

You are right. It's a good thing for your dd to express her sadness.
Like you say some people are emotionally stunted especially surrounding the subject of child loss.

I like miasmummys suggestion of an email or phone call. Sometimes these conversations can be hard face to face, especially if he gets defensive and then you might be left feeling even worse.

I just wish people would think sometimes.

Goldmandra Wed 20-Feb-13 20:18:30

I wonder if he felt the need to stop her expressing her emotion because it made it harder for him to suppress his own. It is easier not to get upset of those around you have a stiff upper lip.

Clearly this, quite rightly, isn't the right approach for you or your DD and it's not OK to tell her not to cry. My worry would be that if you challenge him at a time of high emotion the response might not be the best thought out it could be. For that reason it may be better to phone or email him so he has time to absorb what you are saying and work out how to manage his own emotions better the next time this happens.

ajandjjmum Wed 20-Feb-13 22:28:49

Only you know your FIL OP, but I would think Goldmantra might well be right. The older generation were taught to hide their emotions, but the fact that he picked her up onto his lap shows that he was concerned and wanted to comfort her, I would have thought.

Maybe a face to face conversation, but not when your DD is around?

whiteandyelloworchid Fri 22-Feb-13 12:44:01

hi thanks for your advice, ive spoken to mil, about dd, ive said we want her to be able to feel open to talk about her feeling and her fears

i didnt actually say, dont you two dare tell her to either not cry or be a big girl.

so do you think thats ok?
i shall be keeping a very very close eye on their interactions for the forseeable

Levantine Fri 22-Feb-13 12:49:25

Of course that's okay. Did you feel that she understood what you were saying, that she really got it?

whiteandyelloworchid Fri 22-Feb-13 12:52:20

i think, i got across, that we want our dd to be able to talk about how she feels, and that we will be nothing other than fully open with her.
and it s important for dd to share her fears with us, so that we are able to help her as much as we can, for example she often worries about me dying and will say, mummy you won't die will you

and if we don't know what she worrying about we can reassure her.

i think she got it, but im not sure

i really hope she did

Goldmandra Fri 22-Feb-13 15:16:47

I think you've taken a really good approach.

If your FIL does try to make her suppress her feelings again he will at least have been forewarned about your wishes and won't be shocked if you feel the need to challenge him.

This really can't be easy when your own emotions must be overwhelming. I hope you're right that she got it and will pass it on to your FIL loud and clear.

Levantine Fri 22-Feb-13 16:36:20

I don't know what else you can do, but I wonder if you may have to brace yourself to reinforce it with them. I am sure my parents would do exactly the same thing even though they would understand why it wasn't a good idea, the training that generation had in childhood is deeply entrenched ime.

So very sorry about your ds xx

whiteandyelloworchid Fri 22-Feb-13 19:44:52

thanks so much for advising me, its great to get advice on how to handle this because its just such a worry so thankyou

yes i think your right, i need to be prepared to reinforce it with them as i do think there instict would be to say come on, don't cry

i also think you many have a good point, they find it harder to hold a stiff upper lip, if shes crying

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