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FIL lost it with the kids.. Perspective needed

(221 Posts)
mousemole Sun 28-Apr-13 08:17:42

My head's in a muddle with this one and I'm bloomin angry.
Yesterday we were at the in laws for a family get together. Nice day but FIL gets stressed by our boys aged 7,5 and 2 going within 5 metres a glass/ tea cup/ ornament. He's quite a shouty man and has very limited patience. Anyway, we were about to leave when the two youngest started bickering over a toy. I got up to go and pack our stuff up, left husband sat with the boys, FIL and other family members. I came back into the room 2 minutes later to find FIL dragging the youngest 2 boys by their wrists across the room. They were hysterical and clearly in pain. Apparently he had flipped at their bickering and told them to get out the room. He is a big, strong 6ft 4 man, they are 2 and 4. I shouted 'what the hell is going on ?' at FIL and DH ( who did nothing but that's another story), grabbed the boys and went to the car with them where it took 5 mins to calm them down from their hysteria.
I agree it's their house and their rules but I am livid that he manhandled the kids. AIBU ?

Ingles2 Sun 28-Apr-13 08:23:51

Jeez.. I would be livid with your dh for not stepping in and there's no way on earth the dc would spending any time with the fil either. They're babies, the thought of this scene truly horrifies me

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Sun 28-Apr-13 08:24:20

I cannot imagine my father or FIL doing that in a month of Sundays. I cannot imagine why anyone would need to react in that way to a 2 and YO bickering. 2 and 4, FFS!

I would probably limit visits to them on the basis that they are clearly too stressful and unenjoyable for FIL, and you don't want to create a situation that is the cause of that.

Instead, they can visit you if they want to see their grandchildren. And then it's your house; your rules, and your rules categorically include no manhandling of children.

HollyBerryBush Sun 28-Apr-13 08:25:10

What did your DH think?

IvanaCake Sun 28-Apr-13 08:26:01

No Yanbu at all. If fil can't handle having the kids in his house then you dont take them there.

My mum is the same in her house. The list of things my dc aren't allowed to touch is thicker than war and peace (only a slight exaggeration.) It's simpler all round if we just don't go.

Toadinthehole Sun 28-Apr-13 08:28:26

I think YANBU.

What was your DH doing? Couldn't he have prevented this happening?

Have there been problems when your children have been round their house before?

mercibucket Sun 28-Apr-13 08:28:44

Why didn't your dh step in? I'd be cross with dh. He should have removed the kids from the room himself if they were that bad, or stopped fil from dragging them by the wrist. You/someone needs to tell fil about the risk of shoulder dislocation in young kids. They could have been picked up one by one and taken out of the room instead if they needed time out. Was their behaviour that bad?

mercibucket Sun 28-Apr-13 08:28:44

Why didn't your dh step in? I'd be cross with dh. He should have removed the kids from the room himself if they were that bad, or stopped fil from dragging them by the wrist. You/someone needs to tell fil about the risk of shoulder dislocation in young kids. They could have been picked up one by one and taken out of the room instead if they needed time out. Was their behaviour that bad?

DontmindifIdo Sun 28-Apr-13 08:29:47

You need to talk to your DH and find out a) why he didn't step in and stop his dad doing that and b) when will he be calling his dad to read him the riot act and say you won't be coming over until you're certain FIL can act in a civilised manner and not manhandle his DCs/leave parenting up to DH and you (also why wasn't DH stepping in to stop the DCs bickering? does he leave that sort of stuff to you?)

I personally would just say no to any further invites until you've had an apology that sounds genunine.

mousemole Sun 28-Apr-13 08:31:05

The fact that DH did feck all is a huge issue in itself, tied up in a childhood of command and control from said FIL and the fact that he is scared of his father sad
My anger is mostly directed at FIL. I would be happy never to see him again.

NumTumDeDum Sun 28-Apr-13 08:31:38

Why didn't dh step in? I agree perhaps visits at your house in future. My dad lives in a show home. Even I get nervous with a cup of tea. Everything is cream or pale yellow and the coffee table black glass and shows every finger mark. I have kittens every time I take my very accident prone dd there. My mum says I was a very nervous and therefore clumsy child because dad would give me a drink and then bark at me 'don 't spill it' and scare the crap out of me so I inevitably spilled. (They're divorced now). If your FIL cannot relax then agree best not to go there.

TeWiSavesTheDay Sun 28-Apr-13 08:32:15

I'd be cross with your DH too. He needs to be the one ringing your FIL to explain why you (as in you and DH) weren't happy and what you (you, DH and FIL) can do next time to resolve whinging together.

Isityouorme Sun 28-Apr-13 08:33:23

My anger would be at your DH for not protecting your children. You can avoid your FIL who was out of order but you can't avoid your DH.

HollyBerryBush Sun 28-Apr-13 08:34:49

Presumably, Dh was brought up with that style of parenting, so he won't see anything wrong with it.

Squabbling childen of that age would frazzle my synapses too I'm afraid. Have three, similarly spaced to the OP, who fought constantly, you learn to not take them where they will piss people off. Fifteen years of constantly pulling them apart. Nip it in the bud now Op, or your children will the ones no one wants round their house en'masse.

DontmindifIdo Sun 28-Apr-13 08:34:58

Mousemole - then you need to talk to your DH - he has to see this is a line being crossed, that you won't have your DCs exposed to that sort of behaviour. so there are two ways to do that, either DH decides it's time to stand up to his dad and calls him to say how angry you both are at the way he treated the DCs (you are both angry, he's not to say just you are) and that it can't happen again, or you just cut your FIL out. It's his choice, but allowing your DCs to be exposed to that sort of treatment is not going to happen one way or another, his choice which he'll find easier.

HappySeven Sun 28-Apr-13 08:35:02

I'm going against the grain here but I think you overreacted. You weren't there when the original bickering was happening and taking a child by the wrist isn't really that bad. It only looks like they're being dragged if they refuse to walk. I also feel it probably took 5 mins to calm them down because of the way you reacted.

What does your DH say about the incident?

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sun 28-Apr-13 08:35:13

Don't see him again then. You cannot trust him with your children. Otherwise see them in a neutral environment.

SanityClause Sun 28-Apr-13 08:35:17

Yes, have you spoken to DH about why he hadn't dealt with the bickering before FIL had a chance to get so angry about it?

He really does need to learn to stand up to his father over the children, though. Your eldest is 7. It's not like there hasn't been time for him to get used to that idea.

NumTumDeDum Sun 28-Apr-13 08:36:22

Ah x post. Fil sounds like my father. I admit I find him difficult to stand up to as well for the same reasons. I have though, like when he insisted I dose up my 2 and a half year old (who had d&v) with immodium to go to a funeral with him involving a 6 hour drive. Fell out big time over that. Obvs I refused. I would have thought dh could stand up to him where his dc are concerned. The fact that he didn't is a problem and perhaps it is time he addresses his issues with counselling.

Shinigami Sun 28-Apr-13 08:36:36

That is awful! Your poor DC. He sounds like a nasty bully and if it were me I wouldn't take them round there again. I think your DH is scared of his F.

mousemole Sun 28-Apr-13 08:36:37

They really werent being that badly behaved. They'd been great all day in the boring, formal environment of their home. The 2 yr old was exhausted and winding his brother up. But it was clear I had recognised this as I'd said 'right, time to go' and gone to gather all our stuff up. So it wasn't like we were all sat there ignoring their bad behaviour. And it just didn't go on that long ! He clearly has big anger issues, just can't believe he lost it with the little ones.

WeAreEternal Sun 28-Apr-13 08:37:33

What an awful man.

I would make it clear to DH that you and the DCs are never setting foot in his house again. If he wants to visit you that fine, but you are never putting your children in that situation again.

I would probably have given the bastard a piece of my mind too, how dare he treat small children like that

mousemole Sun 28-Apr-13 08:40:19

NumTum I feel your pain smile
I'm sad at the huge grenade that has now just exploded into family relations. But he ruined it for himself didn't he.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 28-Apr-13 08:47:32

Well, I think actually that your DH is largely to blame here. Why hadn't he stopped the bickering before FIL reached the point where he felt he had to deal with it?

I definitely understand you being upset, I would be furious with my FIL for doing something like this BUT he is an unpleasant man and I dislike him. If I came across my own father doing this to my boys then I would think 'bloody hell what have they done to get him so riled up'.
What I'm saying is that your dislike for your FIL is clearly colouring your view here.

Just to be clear, I wouldn't expect to find either my FIL or my Dad doing this to my children. One, because they wouldn't do it, but two because DH and I keep our children under control in someone else's house.

OHforDUCKScake Sun 28-Apr-13 08:49:06

What does your DH say?

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