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To keep my children safe when visiting in-laws abroad.

(78 Posts)
desertrosefirefly Mon 02-Sep-13 01:35:26

My in-laws live over seas. They have 4 dogs that live outside which I think can be unsafe taking our 3 children aged 5 years to 14 months, since my in-laws disagree with my rules and even ridicule me. They disagree with me about my children not being left without monitoring the behaviour of the dogs or what my children could do to upset the dogs. My 5 year old had 3 of the dogs go for him when he was just about to turn 2 years old and since being here this time my 5 year old has had his bottom nipped by one of the dogs when they got over excited and one of my 14 month olds has been growled at. If my son acts fearful to the dogs he is told off and told to be brave. I had a huge arguement with my father-in-law only last night because he thinks I am hilarious how I go to watch my children when they are close to the dogs and that I would prefer that my babies were not anywhere near the dogs, since even the loveliest of animals will react if they are hurt or surprised.
My in-laws also have a balcony which after many arguements they have now put a net up since the babies could fit through the gaps, but the twins move furniture on the balcony and one infant in particular loves to climb. My rule is that they are not allowed on the balcony alone. The doors are left wide open to the balcony during the day.
My in-laws also have issues with me wanting to use UV suits and cake my children in sun block here. I am always told by my mother-in law that they will be fine if it is after 3pm (or it is cloudy today) even though it is the Caribbean (and I am also told this when she comes to visit the UK when we have sunny weather) where they live you can imagine the effect that the sun could have.
They also have a very relaxed attitude to my children around water. Since I was a lifeguard when I was younger I try to prevent things rather than having to deal with situations. I am now a primary school teacher and so very annoyed when they question every rule I have when it comes to the safety of my children.
I was told that I deserved a slap last night by my mother-in-law (twice in fact) and that children need to have accidents to learn. When I said that they are my children so my rules go, she told me that they are her children and my father-in-laws too and they do not agree with me so they will bring them up their own way.
I would prefer not to take my children out anymore but now my husband has made it clear that the children will be going out no matter if I agree or not. My husband says he agrees with me on the safety of our children but does not speak up when I am made a joke of or ignored by his parents and if left alone with his mother or father will ignore my rules all together. Any advice please.

noobieteacher Fri 06-Sep-13 14:07:41

Oh dear Friday.

So your solution is to make sure OPs children never see their GPs again. No negotiation, no second chances? I think it is highly irresponsible to suggest something so drastic, that could result in a family breakup. The real world we live in is not inhabited by perfect people with perfect behaviour.

desertrosefirefly Sat 14-Sep-13 22:55:22

All of you have cheered me up no end with your chat. I haven't got back on here until now as youngest son has had either a bacterial or viral infection and been quite poorly with it. Husband and I talked when we got back. I told him that there was no point being supportive once we got home, because it would only prove to me that I cannot trust him to be supportive when away and he needed to be supportive whilst there. He did step up slightly when his father decided to throw our son underwater on last day, to teach him a lesson for splashing him when told not to and terrifying our son so much that he cried for 20 minutes. I must point out that I am assertive but that would not be any help with MI since she is well known for having things her way and not listening to others.
Lucky in a way, we had a terrible flight back with the children, which I think was enough to put DH off taking kids back in a hurry. He is going out in February by himself. I have told him I am not going out again unless we stay in a hotel, I have gone out too many times, making myself miserable because every time it is not a holiday for me and I don't enjoy myself. I was trying to put the kids first but now safety is an issue I feel that I would no longer be doing it for the children. He is still saying that we cannot stay in a hotel, but this is my compromise and I am never knowingly putting myself in such a bad position again or the children. I do not want children to lose contact with their grandparents and I can handle situations when they occur here because if they don't listen to me they know I would deal with it. The advantage is only taken when I am stuck. Both IL's travel to the UK regularly, so they will not miss out on seeing their grandchildren but it will be in more controlled circumstances. I am not sure what to do about the great grandmother because I actually do really like her and I think it keeps her going looking forward to seeing everyone, but the ball is in my DH's court with that one, so I am not going to sweat it. DH said he will write an e-mail to his parents before we go next time, outlining what the rules are and what needs to be kept to (his words) I suppose this is the only way he can communicate his wishes to his mother (he wouldn't have talked to her while we were there, I am sure it was her friend, who knows that she can be very controlling) but I am not comfortable with this for many reasons, including their is no guarantee after what has been demonstrated that this would be kept to. I also don't know if DH if challenged by his mother, may suddenly say the list was my idea and he did not agree.

noobieteacher Sun 15-Sep-13 11:50:34

It seems that you are both compromising a little and that's got to be a good thing. This is what being parents is all about.

He may need to read up about narcissistic mothers as well though. He sounds quite trapped.

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