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to be a little miffed at MIL's attitude towards ds's reluctance to sleep at her house on Friday night?

(104 Posts)
DrNortherner Tue 12-Jul-11 21:59:15

Ds is 9 and a bit of a home boy. Dh and I go out together rarely, if we do he prefers a sitter to come to our house. He is not a kid who enjoys sleeping over at other peoples houses. On Fri dh and I are off to the theatre and I called MIL to ask if she would babysit. She said yes, but she prefers him to go to hers so he can sleep there and she can go to bed at her usual time of 9.30pm.

Anyway, MIl had him for 1 hour today whilst I went to running club and when I got back she told me he had agreed to sleep at hers. Ds piped up 'Wel I think I will, I might change my mind, I'm not sure' MIL sent him out of the room and told me that I should not allow him to change his mind and this reluctance is ridiculous and that I should put my foot down. She said 'I am his Grandmother not some random stranger'

Now I know she is right, she is not a stranger, but, it doesn't sit right with me forcing him to sleep somewhere if he doesn't want/need to.


TheSecondComing Tue 12-Jul-11 22:00:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FabbyChic Tue 12-Jul-11 22:00:59

Some children cannot sleep in a different bed, and to be honest why would you subject him to something he does not want to do?

If she has to go to bed at 9.30 I assume the poor child has to be asleep before that? He is 9 he is not a toddler who you can leave to sleep somewhere.

I'd get a sitter so he can be comfortable in his own home. I never foistered my children off on grandparents so I could socialise.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 12-Jul-11 22:01:02

Can MIL sleep at yours?

skybluepearl Tue 12-Jul-11 22:03:28

shes doing you a favour, it should be on her terms really

AgentZigzag Tue 12-Jul-11 22:03:30

If it were my DC I would veer towards what your MIL said (but perhaps not happy with her thinking she could tell me how to parent my DC wink).

You don't have to force him to sleep there, but rather encourage him strongly that this is what he's going to do because of XYZ positive reasons.

He sounds a bit unsure, so you need to make him secure in thinking its fine to be a bit worried about being away from home, but he doesn't need to be.

DrNortherner Tue 12-Jul-11 22:03:48

MIL can sleep here yes, we have offered, but she prefers to be in her own bed.

PumpkinBones Tue 12-Jul-11 22:04:07

Hmn. Not sure...DS1 is 5 and reluctant to stay at his gran's house, but I have insisted in the past (by insisted, I do of course mean bribed) and he has enjoyed himself. I think there is a fine line between respecting a child's reluctance to do things they find a bit daunting, and allowing that quite natural reluctance to be accomodated too much...and therefore reinforcing it in their mind, so they think of themselves as being the sort of person who doesn't enjoy certain DS1's case, he often says he is nervous about going to parties, and doesn't want to go, and I do "force" him and he does enjoy it - I think there can be a way of forcing them that builds their confidence and a way of doing it that would damage it...if that makes sense!

AgentZigzag Tue 12-Jul-11 22:04:48

Some grandparents don't need their GC 'foisted' on them fabby, and there's nothing wrong with the OP wanting to go out and socialise.

ChristinedePizan Tue 12-Jul-11 22:04:55

Well I think she overreacted hugely by sending him out of the room and I would be really annoyed with her for telling you how to raise him.

Having said that, I also think it's a bit much to expect your MIL to stay up much later than she normally would because your DS won't stay at her house.

Perhaps you should suggest that it's best that you get a babysitter? Might be the best solution all round.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 12-Jul-11 22:05:04

'Well I think I will, I might change my mind, I'm not sure' - I think that's quite rude actually - once on board I wouldn't be allowing a change.

I wouldn't be giving a 9 year old the choice about where to stay anyway (barring special needs or serious aversion).

Of course you can go out and socialise, children need to learn how to fit in to family life too - you can't run everything round them. It has to be balanced.

piprabbit Tue 12-Jul-11 22:05:11

I don't think you should force your DS, it might make him dig his heels in and fight any future suggestions for sleepovers.
However, he is 9yo and will perhaps face an increasing number of situations where he is asked to sleep away from home. I'm thinking of things like residential trips at school, sleepovers for birthday parties, cubs or other activities. Perhaps now would be a good time to address whatever issues are holding him back.

DrNortherner Tue 12-Jul-11 22:05:16

I know it is easier for her if he sleeps at hers, I will encourage that of course. Think it was her attitude towards me that riled me somewhat.

mumblechum2 Tue 12-Jul-11 22:05:25

I'd say either pay a babysitter or accept MIL on her own terms.

What happens when he gets invited to sleepovers/cub camp/whatever?

reelingintheyears Tue 12-Jul-11 22:06:49

Bit harsh in tone Fabby....

OP isn't foistering her DC onto his Granny and she isn't a random stranger either.

Maybe she feels a bit hurt that he doesn't want to stay with her.

I don't have the answers but my two older DC often went to stay with their Granny for up to a week which they all loved but DS2 never wanted to even though he loves his Granny just as much as the others do.

DrNortherner Tue 12-Jul-11 22:07:42

He is not in cubs and has never had a sleepover at a friends house. Only his Grandmothers, Dh's bro & wifes and a very good friend of mine who he has known all his life. He is not in cubs, sleepovers at mates never arisen.

Nagini Tue 12-Jul-11 22:08:34


You want to go out, she's doing you a favour, so you fit with what she wants.

If that doesn't sit well, then don't go.

Your DS would prefer his own bed, she would prefer her own bed. Why should his preference be more important than hers?

She's putting herself out for you, so make your DS fit in with her.

JumpOnIt Tue 12-Jul-11 22:08:53

I can see why you have said what you have. I can understand why you would want MiL to accomodate your DS, however she is doing you a favour so I think YAB a bit U. I would talk to him about it and if he doesn't think he will want to stay there, then get a sitter. Make it clear to him that he can't change his mind at the last minute if he decides he will sleep there.

I think some of what was said above is a bit harsh. You have said that you and your DH go out rarely. You are perfectly entitled to some time to socialise. Happy couples makes happy parents and all that!

Hope it gets sorted and you enjoy the theatre.

DrNortherner Tue 12-Jul-11 22:08:54

MN is great for the 'Grandparents owe you nothing' line grin

AuntiePickleBottom Tue 12-Jul-11 22:10:36

do you ever go on hoilday

FabbyChic Tue 12-Jul-11 22:10:48

What about what your son wants? Does that not count or is your evening to the theatre more important than your son? Did you just have him so you could leave him with sitters a lot?

MollyMurphy Tue 12-Jul-11 22:10:53

Your MIL sounds inflexible at best - she can't put herself out just a little for one night to help out? I would be inclined to skip the drama and get someone else to babysit. That said, if she is nicer than she sounds then I would encourage your DS to go for the experience and for the sake of getting used to sleepovers which can be a lot of fun.

DrNortherner Tue 12-Jul-11 22:11:04

I know I would have told ds he was sleeping there anyway, eve if she hadn't stuck her oar in. As I said, her attitude riled me, that's all.

I conclude I am being unreasonable, and am grateful to her looking after him so we can go out.

Firawla Tue 12-Jul-11 22:11:58

I do think its rude how your ds has said it, and once he agreed he would sleep over I would be expecting him to stick to it. It's only 1 night and he is 9 not a very young child so should be able to understand the situation? I think its reasonable of his granny to prefer sleeping in her house, and she is the one doing the favour, so I would explain to ds and if he has agreed to stay then he stays, imo.. so yabu a bit

DrNortherner Tue 12-Jul-11 22:12:05

Oh Fabby take a hike love. How can you come to the conclusion I leave him with sitters alot? Bored are we?

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