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To not take my toddler to visit his grandparents?

(42 Posts)
pinktoe Tue 04-Nov-14 21:25:50

My 2yo adores his grandparents (in-laws) however, despite living only a 5 minute drive away, they NEVER visit us. That's fine, we've got used to it over the years. My problem is whenever we visit them (usually at least once a week) FIL sits in the lounge playing his Xbox. The games he plays are very violent, usually very graphic shooting games with lots of bad language. He will sit and play these games whilst we are all in the same room and expects my son to just play with his toys whilst he plays his computer and occasionally interacts with us.

Whenever I have broached this subject my MIL has just shrugged it off by saying that he will be into guns himself before I know it. DH is of the opinion that there's not much more we can do as we can't dictate what FIL does in his own home and so he will support me if I decide that I do not want DS to visit whilst this is going to be happening.

But I feel sad for my DS that he will be missing out on a relationship with his grandparents. He dotes on FIL. They won't visit us, they just won't do that despite the fact that I know they love spending time with him.

So WIBU to stop taking DS to visit knowing that his contact with his grandparents will be drastically reduced?

littlehayleyc Tue 04-Nov-14 21:45:44

YANBU. Why don't they visit you? Make it clear that they are welcome to visit you, or they will have to switch the games off while your DS is around. Surely FIL can switch off for a couple of hours while you visit?! Now your DS is 2 he will be picking up the language etc very easily, and any normal person would understand that. Aside from the fact it's quite rude to sit playing computer games when you have visitors unless it's something you can all play together.

Marylou2 Tue 04-Nov-14 21:49:06

Do you have any idea why they won't visit you? Have you asked them over for tea? Would they not visit for a birthday or christmas.The mere idea of anyone playing violent video games with bad language infront of a child makes me shudder.

Inboxer Tue 04-Nov-14 21:52:13

I would strongly advise against keeping your son away from them. Grandparents aren't around forever and sounds like your son cherishes his relationship with them already so it would be wrong to remove a positive relationship from his life. He won't thank you for it. My granddad swore like a trooper and was very politically incorrect so probably not the best influence but he made me laugh and adored me. I would have been broken hearted not to see him.

That said, I think fil is being rather selfish and inappropriate with his behaviour and you are quite right to be annoyed about it. Perhaps you could invite them round to yours or better still invite them out with you somewhere local where they can enjoy quality time with their grandchild and fil can get his bum away from the Xbox. For example garden centres, car boot sales, parks, farms etc.

I think they're stuck in a rut that's all but I think if you take charge you can resolve it without upsetting them or most importantly, your son.

Good luck!

needtomanup Tue 04-Nov-14 21:57:38

Does your mil interact with your son well? Maybe cut your visits short for the next couple of times saying "better leave you to it so,we don't want to disturb fil gaming time" or similar. Maybe they'll get the hint?

pinktoe Tue 04-Nov-14 23:46:00

They don't visit anyone. MIL seems to think it's our duty to visit her and that she would be imposing if she were to come here. We used to ask then out for meals etc but got sick of being the only ones instigating it so we gave up.

This sounds like they don't want to spend time with us and that we should just get the hint but it's really not that, MIL just has her funny ways and is hard work at times but she dotes on DS, will do anything for him and will have him any time we ask.

It is bloody rude of FIL to play his games regardless of the content but he's always done it so I rarely notice anymore. I've caught DS watching the screen a few times recently and have made a point of taking him away and saying out loud that he's not to watch that which was when MIL made the comment about me not being able to stop him playing with guns... hmm

I'm really torn. I don't want my son to miss out on time with his grandparents but I can't and won't subject him to those awful games. I think I will stop taking him round for a whole and if they ask why I will get DH to tell them why. They think I'm being precious as my niece has always been around it with no fuss.

WerewolfBarMitzvah Tue 04-Nov-14 23:53:11

What a bizarre set up. I feel sorry for you. They sound irritating as fuck.
I personally agree with you - don't go round for a while.
If they get pissy, tell them DS repeated some unsavoury language/actions from the game and you don't want him exposed to it anymore.

CocktailQueen Tue 04-Nov-14 23:55:08

This is unbelievable. What age is fil if he is still playing stupid war games on the PC/x box??

Your DS should definitely not be around such games. Either ask mil to come to you, or say there must be no games on tv when you visit them - and if there are, turn around and leave right way.

SundaeGirl Tue 04-Nov-14 23:55:56

God, that Xbox stuff would be a big no from me. YANBU.

SolidGoldBrass Wed 05-Nov-14 00:00:22

Actually, I think you are being precious. The occasional brief interlude of being in a room with someone playing a video game will not actually turn your 2-year-old into a sweary mini-assassin and you can mitigate the bad influences by whatever you do at home. As your DS grows up, he is going to encounter a range of people who do things that you, personally, don't much care for, and if you are unreasonably restrictive about who he can spend time with, you wil do him no favours.

FixItUpChappie Wed 05-Nov-14 00:01:27

I wouldn't beat around the bush but state outright that you cannot support your child being exposed to such material. period. invite them over and on outings unless they unequivocally agree the Xbox will be off when he's over. balls in their court after that.

FixItUpChappie Wed 05-Nov-14 00:03:39

FWIW I don't think your being "precious" at all. It's fine to expect people to be appropriate. I wouldn't tolerate it myself.

BackforGood Wed 05-Nov-14 00:11:00

He's not really getting any sort of quality time with his grandparents though, is, he, if they don't interact with him when you get there.

Ask them for tea once a week (or whatever suits you) and if they choose not to come, well that's up to them.
You can always say you're off to the park - did they want to come with you, every now and then.... you know, something where they might actually interact with them.

pinktoe Wed 05-Nov-14 10:39:38

I could see your point about being precious if he was older but he's only just 2? I know that I can't prevent him from hearing bad language as he grows up but I can at least teach him that we don't use those words. It's the graphic content that bothers me most. I don't want him to have those images in his little mind, it makes me feel really sad to think he will start to take that in, if he hasn't already.

FIL is approaching 50, a successful man with his own business. The gaming is his 'downtime'.

Failedspinster Wed 05-Nov-14 10:56:44

I think you need to address this now - he may not notice it much now but if the situation doesn't change now then it will become a problem as he gets older. And while some posters have suggested that you might be being precious while your son is a toddler, people generally seem to agree that an older child in this situation might be more problematic. Well, he's only going to get I'd say to sort it out now!

I guess I would have a chat with MIL to explain your difficulty, and make the point that, while he may get interested in guns later, there is a huge difference between running round pretending a stick is a gun, and replicating the violent, gratuitous content of an age-inappropriate video game. Can't FIL put down the game for the brief time your son is there, to spend time interacting with his grandson? If MIL doesn't back you up, I'd go down the route of inviting them to your house or out. It may cause you hassle, but, if it's a big deal to you, then I think you need to stake out your position - polite, friendly and keen to maintain a good relationship with your in laws, but not at the expense of your son's welfare.

skylark2 Wed 05-Nov-14 11:05:56

Could you take DS round to see MIL while FIL is at work? If all FIL is doing when you are there is playing on the Xbox, it's not like he's missing out.

I'm with you - I think 2 is a particularly poor age for him to be absorbing adult video game violence and language.

Davsmum Wed 05-Nov-14 11:24:05

I think your FiL is out of order with his behaviour but you should really ask him not to play those games when your DS is visiting. Surely your DH could say something?
However, people are different and also can be difficult- Not everyone behaves the way we think is appropriate but you have to remember that your child IS related to his grandparents and will have a relationship with them.
My parents were not the sort of grand parents that I would have ideally wanted for my children - but my children adored them nevertheless!

WhereYouLeftIt Wed 05-Nov-14 12:12:51

You are NOT being precious. Your PIL, on the other hand, are incredibly rude.

Tell your MIL outright. A loud game in the background is a distraction, and you don't want your son to learn that it's OK to ignore visitors. You'll be happy to see them at your house, when would they like to come round?

Sorry, but they need to grow the fuck up. He needs to put his XBox down when they have visitors, and she needs to stop shrugging her shoulders over it. If they love spending time with your DS, they will get off their arses. If they don't, it is their loss. It's really not that good for your DS to 'dote' on someone who will pretty much ignore him in favour of a video game. So don't feel sad about this - think of it as protecting your DS from people who don't consider him enough.

PercyHorse Wed 05-Nov-14 12:21:03

I wouldn't want a 2 year old in the room when someone was playing those games. It's a step up from 18 films being on in the room because as well as the on screen content they'll also be watching the person playing getting angry/excited by the violence.

Thebodynowchillingsothere Wed 05-Nov-14 12:29:52

Good grief how bloody rude.

My teenagers wouldn't dream of playing any game in the living room while we have guests unless the guests wanted to have a go and it was age appropriate. Think dm playing Mario cart with teen dds. grin

He sounds incredibly childish and your dmil is treating him like a child.

Personally I tell them both straight that the games are inappropriate infront of your child and they are welcome to visit you. Give them a specific invitation and time. If they don't come that's their look out.

AbbieHoffmansAfro Wed 05-Nov-14 12:37:06

I don't think it is at all precious not to want your 2 year old to see violent gaming. I really wouldn't either. I think you should stop going and get your DH to say why. I suppose you could make an effort to get MIL to visit or meet you without FIL, if he's the problem.

Presumably, they don't visit you because FIL would not be able to impose his will as in his own house or manage without gaming for the duration?

handcream Wed 05-Nov-14 12:46:59

I think like others that you invite them round, if they dont come its their decision.

My FIL used to continue watching TV whenever anyone visited and just turned it up if people were talking too loudly. Its blooming rude (what about watching a 18 porn film whilst you are there) these games are as bad as that IMHO.

Greydog Wed 05-Nov-14 12:47:16

We always used to visit our sons nan. Always. When he was 4 he asked why she never came to see us? Told him I didn't know (and I really didn't - think she just couldn't be bothered) He decided that he didn't want to go and see her until she came to see him. After that we only saw her at Christmas when we dropped a present off.

diddl Wed 05-Nov-14 12:50:35

When FIL is playing xbox, is it for the whole visit & is there another room you could go into?

I'd probably not bother to go there any more if he's on it for the whole or most of the time.

if that's not the case, leave everytime he goes on it.

Offer to fetch MIL sometimes?

pinktoe Wed 05-Nov-14 15:16:49

He pretty much plays it for the duration of our visit, chatting to us during the breaks and will also play with DS during his game if he goes up to him. I sometimes go down to the kitchen with MIL but DS then wants to go and see his grandad.

I asked MIL if she wanted to come out with us today and she did, we had a great time. So I think that's the way forward. Still baffles me how anyone can think it's appropriate to be so rude and unaware of how inappropriate it is to expose a toddler to that kind of game though.

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