Help me deal with a tricky FIL please!(12 Posts)
I'd like a bit of advice on things me and DH can say to my FIL and his partner. Posting in Parenting rather than AIBU to avoid bunfights on in-laws! I've got an 11 month old DS, FIL's first grandchild.
Since DS was born FIL's taken it personally and got a bit huffy that DS 'doesn't like him' because DS is a bit wary and sometimes cries and wriggles away from him.
When they do have a cuddle and DS eventually gets fed up and starts crying in his arms, FIL won't pass him back to me to be soothed, which is frustrating as DS is clearly leaning towards me with his arms outstretched to me, crying. They say crossly 'Don't be so silly, you DON'T need your Mummy' etc to him and I'm like just pass him back please he wants me!
So we saw them today and the topic of DS getting upset when I'm out at work came up and how he was tricky when DH was looking after him the other day. We got a breezy 'Oh what you don't know won't hurt you' from FIL's partner which caught me a bit because wouldn't most parents want to know if their child's been upset when they've left them?
They are advocates of the controlled crying they did in their day with their kids and make comments insinuating that we're overprotective parents and that babies are manipulative little things that can be easily spoiled. DS has a great relationship with other family members on both sides so I don't think it's particularly us and DS is happy to go to lots of people.
I'd like an assertive but nice way of basically saying that we're doing things differently with DS to how they parented and we're not likely to leave him with them if they won't respect that. How do I say that without having an argument? At the moment I'm just biting my tongue at these comments and getting frustrated.
Just don't leave him with them until he's old enough to report back to you
Whatever you say to them, even if you showed them all your points in a reasonable way via PowerPoint presentation and gave them homework on it, THEY WOULD NOT LISTEN.
It's hard it there's nowt you can do with people like this. They'll always know better.
Ooh following as I know my MIL/aunties and nana in law will all be like this in a few months.
I would sit them down and have a talk about how he is your son and you have a way of doing things that you would appreciate if they tried when DS is upset. There are times to relax the rules at grandparents houses but your son is probably confused as to why they leave him when everyone else picks up him to soothe him when he gets upset.
This is your DHs issue to manage his father, get him to have a word.
Or failing that a 'how we raise DS is really none of your concern' when they mention parenting ideas, followed with your DH reaffirming this to his father. The answer to the holding issue is easy, go and physically take him back - I did this on q couple of occasions when mil was convince she could settle DD, followed by a silly grandma comment about not knowing routine (ie feeding time or nappy time). They'll soon get the picture.
Being tough now leads to an easier life later.
Yeah I think that's true, we need to nip it in the bud now before it carries on and we all get more cross about it. Need something cheery but firm to say to put a stop to the comments. It's all so passive though, I'm sure they'll act like we're over-reacting by calling them on it.
Hopeful bump for any more wise words.
you know what, I would just ignore. You can't expect everyone in the world to share your point of view - andi doesn't matter. Do you really need to nip it in the bud? Couldnt you just take a deep breath and accept that family can be annoyhing sometimes?
'what you dont know wont hurt you' is probably an insensitive breezy comment - you are giving it too much weight. IT really doesnt matter what they think - you are the mum now!
I think I gave too much weight to this sort of thing when my son was a baby - because I hadn't yet grown the responsibility inside myself that I am in charge - so who gives a fuck about these type of comments.
By the time my second came along I knew it didn't matter because I make the decisions.
Also - you are taking it as a big serious statement about your parenting - but it's not, they aren't thinking about it like you are.
and also - it's annoying I agree when people wont hand an upset baby back but seriously its not the end of the world - the FIL just wants to look like he knows how to soothe his own grandchild.
I'd just ignore the comment but I don't like the idea of someone insisting on holding onto a squirming, upset child reaching for it's mother.
11 months is a classic age for being a bit clingy as they learn that their parents may leave the room/house etc and not be there 100% of the time.
I also think babies and children can sense when someone is not confident or comfortable with them and tend to not settle with those people. I suspect that would be made worse where the person then refuses to let them go.
Your FIL needs to relax and enjoy his tiny GS rather than get worked up about how the baby relates to him.
PS I would physcially remove your DS from FIL if this happens again and FIL refuses to give him back.
I'd ignore that comment in particular but just reiterate your preferred style on dealing with a crying baby, I.e you don't want him to be left to cry it out as he gets really distressed and it will make it difficult for everyone to deal with in the long run.
I too hate it when a baby is clearly upset, somebody can't settle them, they tried all sorts, walking round, singing, playing and it doesn't work they STILL keep the baby. It is very irritating. People do love to try and sooth a baby but people need to remember that babies are people, not toys or little dollies. If they are clearly upset and their attempt to sooth hasn't worked then the baby should be passed back to the parents in my eyes. If the baby is flinging their arms out for the parent during what is a small window of sepetation anxiety or upset, then again the baby needs to be passed back! Why keep hold of a baby screaming, it's distressing for them and they will be looking at you to say why aren't you helping me!? It also makes you feel useless. But it also sounds like they are trying to prove a bit of a point as well. My mum used to do this and it bugged the hell outta me.
As it's not your parents, id get dp on board to have a word or start the conversation off so to speak about the controlled crying. I don't think any time is a great one to raise something to someone or people who clearly think that they are doing no harm, and they are right. My advice would to be just go ahead and say it next time you see them. If you don't they will think their behaviour is being accepted and they'll carry on and it'll make you angrier and angrier. I don't think there is a light hearted way of getting your point across. If it comes across as a joke or banter they'll dismiss it and carry on. Don't be cocky but just state your point. As I said get dp to start the conversation, 'mum dad me and xxx just want to address one or two things'. At the end of the day people in the world won't see eye to eye, people parent differently, teach differently etc.
Regarding the keeping hold of baby when he's upset, just let them try, if after a few minutes it's getting worse, don't bat an eyelid, just get up and take baby. Simple as that.
I think you have two options - spell it out to them, or else say nothing but do what you think is best regardless of their comments. So instead of saying " please pass him back, he wants me", just go over and get him. Don't seek their agreement, you are in charge. Act with quiet authority accordingly.
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