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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.

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

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

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.

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.

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 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)

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?

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!

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

intitgrand Sun 03-Nov-13 23:10:54

i think as the arrangements for tomorrow haze been made it would be very rude to cancel at the last minute on the whim oe a four year old .just doo t make any more arrangements going forward

Fukeit Sun 03-Nov-13 23:08:40

nannyOgg sorry no, it's toddlers or babies nap times. He never knows if and when they're sleeping so he doesn't knock or make any noise so he doesn't wake them up.

Nanny0gg Sun 03-Nov-13 23:02:25

He comes in when you're asleep??

Fukeit Sun 03-Nov-13 22:58:08

steppemum that sounds very much like my dd and my mum. DD would potter with her for hours, but it is every couple of weeks with different short visits inbetween, a more informal arrangement, but harder to organise with the inlaws in my experience as they have a very ridgid weekly routine.

Agentzigzag har well he obviously has a set of keys to our house. He comes up between 1 and 3 times a week (on top of the day they have dd) for various reasons. Some are helping us out so I can't complain, but I do find he likes to be occupied so things that could wait he'll just let himself in and drop things off or pick things up. He finds it strange if I do things differently to them so he'll always quiz me on whatever I'm doing. They are big on energy saving too so he has pointed out when our emersion light has been on. Told dd to turn the hose off when she was playing with it that sort of thing. He has made me jump so many times as he lets himself in and just wanders round really quietly (to be fair he's trying not to wake anyone up) When we go on holiday he comes up and unplugs everything.

PomBearWithAnOFRS Sun 03-Nov-13 22:54:20

With my children, I always tried to give them the choice when I could. So things like doctors for innoculations, dentist, school, non-negotiable, and what I say goes, but going somewhere or doing something they didn't want to, then I wouldn't force them if there was an alternative.
So a day out, if I was just at home and there was no reason they had to be "minded" that day, would be up to them.
My DD has recently not wanted to go to MiLs when DH takes her brothers every saturday. When "gentle prodding" didn't work, and even saying "but you won't get the sweeties and pound Nanna gives the boys" didn't make her want to go, we accepted her choice.
I don't want to teach my children that they must go somewhere they don't want to go because "authority figure" says so - I want them to be able to refuse and have that accepted - just my opinion, and probably not totally relevant in a 4 year old, but as they get older, I think it takes on more significance, and especially for DD (I think anyway - I can't help feeling differently about DD than I do about her brothers, feminists nuke me now grin )

BerstieSpotts Sun 03-Nov-13 22:49:57

If it were me and there was no reason for her going other than that it was supposed to be fun for her, then I wouldn't make her go.

If there's another reason, like you doing something at that time which you need childcare for, then I would look at other options but ultimately consider trying to make this arrangement work.

But if it's purely for her and she's not enjoying it then it's totally defeating the point - surely?

steppemum Sun 03-Nov-13 22:45:24

and my dds slept at Grannys for 2 nights last week, (it was because I was working and dh is away and half term) they saw it as a sleepover and were really excited. But it is months since they last did it.

AgentZigzag Sun 03-Nov-13 22:43:33

You have to tell us now about your FILs visits now, MN rules say so grin

steppemum Sun 03-Nov-13 22:42:58

my dd goes through phases when she really only wants to stay at home. On the surface she is incredibly sociable, and loves everybody, but she is actually less confident than she appears and sometimes really needs time with me to just be with me.

I don't find the day thing odd, my dcs love spending time with their Gps and they would happily go over for the day. My mum will potter with them, play a game, make a cake, do some gardening, read stories, just hanging out. My dcs get to do all sorts of bits and pieces that they wouldn't do at home.
But those days are looked forward to because it isn't every week. I think going less often might actually rekindle her enthusiasm.

Nanny0gg Sun 03-Nov-13 22:37:26

As it's supposedly some form of 'treat' for DD as she is being taken out, I don't think it should be forced if she doesn't want to go.

Get your ILs to see your children at your house or go with them to their house for a little while.

This really shouldn't be a 'punishment' and that's what it looks like to your DD.

Fukeit Sun 03-Nov-13 22:23:27

It's so funny to hear other peoples opinions on this.

DH's family think this is totally normal. They think I'm odd that DD doesn't have sleep overs/ sees them every day. They are a very close family and have had a lot of input in their nephew and nieces childhoods. They would willingly take on a very sudo-parental role you'd all die if I started telling you about FIL and is numerous visits to our house

Rainbowshine Sun 03-Nov-13 22:19:22

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