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To make 4yo go out with grandparents

(63 Posts)
Fukeit Sun 03-Nov-13 20:28:00

Dd is 4 and is increasingly unhappy about spending the day with her grandparents. They are nice people and love her very much. FIL is a bit grumpy and sharp with mil which dd doesn't like.

They have always had her one day a week (at their insistence not through my need)

Tomorrow they want to take her to visit some relatives. Dd is insisting she doesn't want to go. Do I let her decide? Or Is this madness, she's 4 and should do as she's told? I honestly don't know which is the reasonable thing to do.

Dh has admitted he never liked these relatives as a child. There is no question of them hurting her. They are just a bit loud and not very child friendly.

BerstieSpotts Sun 03-Nov-13 23:13:28

Oh yes, I wouldn't cancel at the last minute either. But if it seems to be a general pattern that she doesn't want to go then I would definitely cut it down at the very least. Just say you have plans or sign her up for a class or something.

CrustaceanRelation Sun 03-Nov-13 23:14:25

I would listen to my dd, and support her in paying attention to her feelings. If she has to dread and then get through this day every week it is just going to become a bigger problem. She is clearly communicating her thoughts and feelings - you have to listen.

4 is very small, my dd is nearly 4 and no way would I feel comfortable forcing her to swallow down her feelings and manage without me for the day, just in case an adult was mildly upset if I didn't.

Fukeit Sun 03-Nov-13 23:20:13

Thank you all. I'd better go now.

My plan is to stick with tomorrow as it would be rude to cancel at last minute. (Unless DD is upset then I will cancel with huge apologies.)

Then suggest a change in our usual routine so they come here to play for a few hours instead.

JackNoneReacher Mon 04-Nov-13 10:50:24

I thought that sounded reasonable until I saw the extra info about your FIL...

I see that he doesn't have normal boundaries which would make it hard for me to trust his behaviour with a 4 year old and I'd be quite cautious about sending her.

What perhaps he sees as a 'close family' I see as an interfering busy body. Let us know how you get on today.

Spottybra Mon 04-Nov-13 10:56:57

Don't send her. She's young and wants her mummy. Nothing wrong with that. I hated going out with my grandma on a Saturday. As soon as I was old enough to volunteer to clean the house I used that as an excuse to stay home. Mum would have her morning off in town and come back to a cleaned house (housework wasn't and still isn't her priority. Garden is immaculate though). I loved my grandma, just hated her Saturday routine.

Fukeit Mon 04-Nov-13 11:32:57

jack I know it's not my ideal situation and when dd was a newborn it drove me bonkers and didn't help with my anxiety, but as I say he is often helping us out (dog walking/cutting grass) so he is doing us a huge favour it just involves visiting lots! They see it as an extension of their home as it's their ds's house and they are helping him out. I'm convincing myself as much as you cause it drives me mad and I feel rude if I do things like leave the key in the door so he can't let himself in.


Dd was unexpectedly ethusiastic about going (helped with wearin her party dress and promise of lemonade) then she got upset (no tears) just as they were leaving. Mil pulled out the jelly tots and this seemed to sort the problem out. I mentioned she was nervous and that relatives were a bit loud for her. Inlaws said they would be aware of this. although it will probably involve mil hollering across the table for everyone to stop shouting

babyboomersrock Mon 04-Nov-13 14:27:44

OP, I don't know how you put up with the lack of boundaries. It is not just their son's home; it's yours, and you're entitled to privacy. I would hate to feel someone could just appear in my home at any time.

What if you wanted to have a friend round? Or had a formal visit from someone (say health visitor)? Would he just barge in regardless?

It sounds to me as though they see your dd all the time anyway, so I'm not sure why they need extra time alone with her. Glad she was happier about it today - even if bribery was involved!

mojojomo Mon 04-Nov-13 14:43:52

It's up to you how you live your life. If you wouldn't leave your key in the door in case your FIL thought that making him knock was rude of you, that's your decision. Just seems a shame that you're teaching your daughter to ignore her feelings in favour of theirs too. Because if requiring him to knock before entering seems rude to you, what's the point of this thread really? You were always going to send her weren't you?

Fukeit Mon 04-Nov-13 17:37:01

mojo I get your point and will take it on board. I started this thread as I was considering not taking her and felt like I needed other people to tell me that it was a reasonable thing to do, which it has. It's given me the confidence to take my own feelings into consideration, and those of my children.

Tonight I even plucked up the courage to tell the inlaws that we wouldn't be at theirs this Christmas! Now that's progress.

I'm afraid I come from a long line of people pleasers (I'm looking at you dm and dg) and it's hard to break the habit when you've been brought up to put everyone else before yourself. (I get the irony that I'm now doing this with Dd)

campion Mon 04-Nov-13 18:42:46

It might be an idea to point out to your dh that he's married to you, not his parents, and that you wouldn't mind a bit of support. You're not obliged to do things to please them (esp at the expense of your and your dc's happiness) and doing things ' because that's what we've always done' is hardly a reason.

Hold back on pleasing them and doing things because you feel you ought to. I know - it's hard and I'm still trying to take my own advice. It's so easy to get into that pattern of behaviour and it often takes someone else to point it out.

Well done on the Christmas front and move on from there.

Fukeit Mon 04-Nov-13 19:04:23

Thanks campion Dh is very laid back so he doesn't really understand.

Anyway dd got back and has had a lovely day. She came in full of beans. Singing and dancing around wearing bright pink lipstick.

JackNoneReacher Mon 04-Nov-13 20:33:01

Its not really a 'huge favour' though if the way he does it makes you feel anxious and on edge in your own home.

I would leave the key in the door and consider telling him why - in a really nice way - "It makes me jump when I find you in the house unannounced so I'm going to leave the key in. Please just knock, or text, I'd rather the baby got woken up".

If he doesn't like this, then he's not really doing you a favour he's just having a nosey.

mojojomo Mon 04-Nov-13 21:48:45

If you want to make changes then the relationships board will be supportive and hopefully useful .

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