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To not want to see or speak to my Dad again?

(88 Posts)
WonderBarbara Fri 26-Jul-13 19:06:19

Once again, as per usual, a visit to my parents house has ended up in a huge row, my kids upset and me fuming beyond belief.
All had been going ok until lunchtime, when my complete insensitive cock of a dad, served up sausage and mash, to my Dcs, with complete knowledge that they do not eat pork, since DH is Muslim and we are bringing our children up (loosely) in the faith. Naturally this pissed me off, but I just took the sausages from their plate and calmly reminded my parents they don't eat pork. My Dad then started going on that there was nothing else and he wasn't going to cook them anything else. I said, that's absolutely fine, it won't do them any harm to have just mash and beans, they don't need meat. Dad went on that mash and beans wasn't a proper meal and they needed a meat. I told him that was rubbish, and they would be fine.
Cue then the age old arguement that practically ensues every time we go around (and the reason why we don't visit very often) right in front of the Dcs. Of course I can't write all down here, but to summarise, dad trumped his favourite line about how it's not fair that they can't eat pork because of DH, and it's not fair that we haven't let them choose for themselves, and that my dc are deprived of a normal life because I am letting DH rule over us and its not fair that "his side" always gets priority.
I told him that when the do are old enough to choses for themselves then that's fine, but for now out of respect to DH we are a pork free family and I would appreciate if he did not speak that way in front of the Dcs, while they were eating.
Dad then took some sausage and said to dd1 (7) "you want to try some don't you, you want to see whats it like?" To which dd replied no. He then started having a go at dd1 saying do you know why you can't eat it? You don't even understand why you can't eat normally do you? it's just sausage silly girl it won't kill you. Just taste it" and tried to force it to her mouth. She looked petrified.
At this point I lost it. i said to my mum are you gonna let him torment my daughter like that? As per usual my mum said she wasn't getting involved (she never does) and I told my Dad to get the hell away from my Dcs. He went on about the dc have to Learn when in Rome to live like the Romans and at our house they will eat what they are given. I told him that won't be a problem because we won't be back. We then left. When I got in the car, dd1 told me that when I was looking for ds's shoes, my Dad had given dd2(2) some of the sausage in her mouth.

I actually feel sick, i want to just burst into tears but I hate the DC seeing me upset. Me and Dad have never had a great relationship tbh since my teens. he has never really supported my marriage, always makes a huge effort with and clearly favours my Dsis's DH, and always makes snide comments about our parenting. He spent the first two years of DD1s life calling her by her middle name because he couldn't accept that we had given her an Arabic first name.

The only good thing I can say about him is that he is usually very good to my DCs, and he was good to us when we were young.

Anyway, I now have just been comforting DD1, who was went into her bedroom and cried as soon as we got in because "we are never going to see gran and grampy again", and she has asked me why we are always arguing, I don't know how to explain it to her.

I know it's probably extreme to ban the Dcs from seeing their grandparents, but I actually can't face speaking to my Dad again, until he gives a damn good apology, but I have never heard him apologise in his life.

So, for those of you who have had the perseverance to read to the end, AIBU?

Doingfine Sun 28-Jul-13 09:14:36

It's not about pork. The ops father is not showing respect. That must feel hurtful.

ilovesooty Sun 28-Jul-13 09:40:52

The OP did not expect to be fed then take issue with what was on offer. She was happy for her children to eat the offered meal minus sausage. All this stuff about her father's lost culture and finding middle ground is claptrap. His behaviour has been that of s disrespectful controlling bully and forcing the sausage on one of the children is so far out of order it's off the scale. I would say that refusing to visit them again is totally understandable and entertaining them at your house is the only way to ensure they respect your family's beliefs and boundaries.

Tubemole1 Sun 28-Jul-13 09:41:09

I am going to be controversial here and say in one way, children are entitled to discover their world on their terms and decide for themselves what lifestyle to lead. We are humanist, but if dd decides to be Muslim or Buddhist or whatever its her choice.

That said...

Force feeding? No. The old when in Rome argument? NO! Trampling all over a family's personal lifestyle choice? Nooooo. I agree with other posters OP, your old man thinks he's lost control and can't cope with your parenting style. If this is typical behaviour, don't go round there again. Say, Dad, if you want to see the kids, then come to my house.

PS sounds like he also needs educating about Islam. He seems frightened of it. Ridiculous.

motherinferior Sun 28-Jul-13 12:25:10

It is 2013. Mixed families are hardly unusual in the UK, dammit. These attitudes were understandable (if unacceptable) in the days when my parents and DP's parents met. These days half the kids in our road have mixed backgrounds. He really is vein appalling.

Sheshelob Sun 28-Jul-13 12:37:23

So let me get this straight. He accuses you of forcing your children into a way of life, then tries to physically force your child to eat a sausage?

It would be funny if it weren't so awful.

He sounds like an unpleasant narcissist. It isn't about a cultural clash - it is about him not getting his own way. There is no middle ground with people like this. He must win.

There is no point asking your mum to step in. She's too busy enabling his crappy behaviour.

I think you should be true to how you are feeling and cut ties. You will have lots of resistance to it, but if that is how you are feeling, go for it.

AnnabelleLee Sun 28-Jul-13 12:48:12

allowed to discover the world on their own terms? What rot, as parents we make the decisions about the terms, we tell them when to sleep, what to eat, what school to go to, WE define the parameters of their lives until they are old enough to do so for themselves.
Saying your child isn't allowed pork is no different than saying they can't eat coco pops for dinner every night.

Tubemole1 Sun 28-Jul-13 23:09:17

IMHO I cannot I doctrinate a religion into my child. Its for her to decide. I discipline her but only to ask, is her choice of action the right one if she thought it through? I support OP, so please don't call my approach to my child's moral wellbeing, "rot". angry

AnnabelleLee Sun 28-Jul-13 23:24:00

U-huh. Do you ask a two year old whether brushing their teeth is the right action and let her choose whether she does or not? Do you let a five year old choose to eat only chocolate? Do you let a 12 year old have boys to sleep in her room?
We all make decisions on behalf of our children, every single day. Pretending we don't is utter rot.

cjel Sun 28-Jul-13 23:33:17

annabelle, there is a style of parenting that does exactly that and they will not dictate anything to their children believing its not right for an adult to have that much control.

I have met a few of these children and its really hard to mix with them. eg at a toddlers they won't be asked not to hurt your child because they really think their child has the right to not be controlled, even above the right of your child to be safe and not hurt. They will home school although education is done if the child wants to! They tend not to have many friends!!

AnnabelleLee Sun 28-Jul-13 23:38:08

I know there is one where they pretend to do so, but I don't beleive they actually do it all the time, just on the bits that suit them. Toddlers can't really reason for themselves whether to play with knives or not, which is why we make that call for them!

cjel Sun 28-Jul-13 23:39:55

from what i've seen they really do.confused

pizzachickenhotforyou Mon 29-Jul-13 20:32:07


How horrible for your children to have their heritage disrespected by their own family.

Unfortunately they will most probably face ignorant comments etc about being Arabic / Muslim in their lifetime. From their own Grandfather at such a young age is really sad.

Good for you for sticking up for them.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 29-Jul-13 21:52:50

YANBU and I bet it is because he has a problem with Muslims. Too much Daily Mail, probably.

I wonder if he would have had such a problem if your DH was a practising Christian and wanted your children to not eat sweets for Lent? I bet he'd have gone along with that alright.

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