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To not understand why in laws insist on have dd alone?

(74 Posts)
Kab13 Thu 06-Nov-14 11:15:04

For various reasons I don't feel comfortable leaving my dd alone with my pil. She has only just started spending time alone with my own mum and even them it's for small periods of time or in the evening when dd is asleep and my mum is just listening out for her.
My mum has never nagged to take dd on her own and I'm having a hard time understanding why my in laws insist on it.
I understand why they want to see their granddaughter, we see them as regularly as possible. But they keep outright asking why they can't have her alone.
Why? Wouldn't they rather see their son along with their granddaughter?
I can't help but feel it's a weird control thing (very likely) and it makes me feel uneasy.
I'm not sure what to tell them, but I don't trust them.
They don't have any respect for us as parents or even us as adults, they are nasty to their own son and mil is always making comments about how she wished she had more children (she only had the one) and it worries me she's using my dd to fill that void.
I don't want to fall out with them, I just wish they'd see is weekly as a family then insist on taking her overnight/for days on end.
They haven't been about in her life, they moved away shortly after dd was born, she's a very challenging child who is in the process of being diagnosed with asd, she hates being left and they just don't back down.
Rant , sorry .
Any other grandmas out there that want their gc alone? Maybe it's not unusual at all smile

Fudgalisious Thu 06-Nov-14 11:21:51

Had this with my Bil, turned out with him it was a control thing-proven by him undermining me with the children, undermining me to my partner about the children everytime he visited and after, outright lying about things Id said/done with the children in his presence which apparently 'upset him and made him uncomfortable' which then prompted him to insist I wasn't present anymore when he visited. He could handle my partner being there as he would happily undermine and argue with my partner in front of the kids but because I didn't accept it he didn't like it. I also have a child with ASD and he had no clue about her needs either.
Haven't got any advice about what you can do, I ended up telling him straight to wind his neck in and stop trying to undermine me and split up my children's family otherwise he wasn't welcome around me or the children....a hell of a lot happened before we got to that point though. Good luck.

professornangnang Thu 06-Nov-14 11:22:07

Hi, hope I can help. In my experience, what you are describing is really unusual. My MIL only sees our DD when we're there too. I'm sure that she'd be happy to see her alone if we were going away and leaving her with her for example, but she certainly doesn't demand to see her alone. Your PIL sound weird. It should be all on your terms; after all, it's your baby.

Redistilled Thu 06-Nov-14 11:23:42

I am not the same way, because I enjoy seeing DD when I see DGC - but her in-laws have been, from very early on.
They are actually lovely people and as a family we are all quite close, but their attitude has always been "you must be soooo exciyted to have him to yourself" "we can't wait to have him to ourselves"

Have discussed it a lot with DD (who felt uncomfortable about it) and we eventually came to the conclusion that they felt 'supervised' when all together, as though their behaviour with DGC was being judged. Also that they did not feel comfortable being idiotic with DGC in front of other adults unlike me, who rolls on the floor with total disregard for dignity

I would talk it over with your own mother,just to see if she has any input, but best suggestion is to rely on your gut feeling ...... my DD never felt that there was a highly negative aspect to her ILs pushing, she just thought it was weird. If your maternal instinct feels there is ulterior motive at the root, then listen to it!!

motherofmonkey Thu 06-Nov-14 11:26:18

I'm currently nc with mil due to her terrible behaviour. Dd is 6mo and will not be seeing her without me as I do not trust her to respect my parenting choices or to ensure my child's safety. 'No' is a complete sentence!

ChippingInAutumnLover Thu 06-Nov-14 11:27:27

If you don't trust them, then don't leave her with them.

However, it is not at all unusual for a family member to want to spend time with just the grandchild or niece/nephew etc. You form a much closer bond with them when you are looking after them and doing things together. They want to spend time playing/talking/doing stuff without feeling silly in front of others or being judged. Looking after a child is very different to watching a child play with others around.

Not at all odd for family to want to do this.

Showy Thu 06-Nov-14 11:30:51

Not odd or unusual. My parents and PILs love having their dgc alone. It has helped form close, loving bonds 7yo DD goes away overnight with mil. They love it.

Kab13 Thu 06-Nov-14 11:32:11

Thanks everyone. I do find it all a bit odd. I'm glad to hear not everyone has this desire to take their grandchildren alone.
I totally get they want to see her, and when we go there I let grandma do everything because she's absolutely desperate to! Hey if she wants to change a shitty nappy why would I argue? I don't think it's that they feel "watched" or that they can't mess about because they both play with her and act like total idiots to get a smile out of her.
When she was smaller and actually a lot easier I let them take her, just if we went over to theirs me and dp would go out for coffee and they'd take dd out or whatever but since they moved away (coming back soon) their behaviour has been pretty appalling (to me and dp). They aren't very nice to dp and I don't trust them not to use dd as a weapon in the future. Mil uses emotional blackmail all the time to et her way, not a trait I want dd subjected to confused
Still , don't know how many excuses I have for not letting them take her !

Kab13 Thu 06-Nov-14 11:36:21

Just seen the posts saying it's normal.
I think maybe id think it's normal too of they were "normal" people, but they aren't. In many many ways.
And I have nephews and nieces all of which I've never had the desire to have alone, I love seeing my sister and them! I used to go round and look after my nephew whilst my sister got things done in the house and if she needed some time is take him to the park but never remember demanding unsupervised access. Never felt the need, we have a fantastic relationship.
Maybe it's different for grandchildren though , I'm a whole off that!

TeenAndTween Thu 06-Nov-14 11:36:43

You don't need lots of excuses, just one reason "I don't think she is ready".
Especially as you don't let your DM have her either!

ChippingInAutumnLover Thu 06-Nov-14 11:37:04

Just say NO. She's your DD, no excuses necessary, simply NO. They don't sound very nice, I'd say no as well.

However, you need to accept that it's NOT 'weird' that normal Grandparents want to do this, because it's not.

BarbarianMum Thu 06-Nov-14 11:38:23

I suspect both my parents and my in-laws enjoyed having the dc to themselves when they were little. Partly to not feel 'supervised' as Red mentions and partly because when I was in the room their (the children's) focus tended to be me. Certainly they would not be comforted by anyone other than me if I was available, and my lap was preferred to all others.

My mother also liked to take advantage of my absence by shoving the children in another layer of clothing (because I apparently never dressed them warmly enough).

My way of getting round this was to be around (in the garden, upstairs) for at least part of each visit - I'd occasionally pop out to the shops, or to get my haircut, too.

But I wasn't comfortable with the children going and staying at theirs without a parent present, and didn't even like them taking them out without me til they were a lot older so it didn't happen.

Now they are 6 and 8 its a different story - I've relaxed basically. But I've always trusted them, it was just about my paranoia. And they never pushed me for sole contact.

Ludways Thu 06-Nov-14 11:43:04

I understand why you wouldn't want to have them seeing dd alone. However, I'm in the camp that thinks this is perfectly normal, my parents and PIL have my dc's alone, it forms a closer bond as gp's do the caring alone and their way (within reason obviously), the GC's rely on them for care and nurturing. My dc's adore their gp's and visa versa, I have no qualms about leaving them alone.

ShadowKat Thu 06-Nov-14 11:47:22

I don't think it's odd for a grandparent to like spending time alone with their grandchildren.

But I do think it's odd to be pushy and insistent upon it, particularly if you're talking about overnight or days on end.

My parents and PILs both like seeing my DC, but they've never pushed to have them without me and DH. Babysitting aside, they've had the DC to themselves from time to time - during the day, no overnight visits yet - but they've never nagged about it or made a fuss if we've said it's not convenient.

DixieNormas Thu 06-Nov-14 11:49:02

Its now weird for them to want to, its weird to keep pushing it and demand it happens though

DixieNormas Thu 06-Nov-14 11:49:47

Its not weird even!

WhereAmIGoing Thu 06-Nov-14 11:59:31

Kab only talking about myself and my family but I've always considered it normal to leave young children to their grandparents alone. I've actually actively encouraged it brith my MIL and dc1 because it allowed them to build a renationalises that was much stronger than if I had been around. Simple thing is, if you are with a child and their mum, it's the mum that will still be in charge, not the other adult. It means ime that you stay at a more supervision level. You don't the opportunity to reassure, cuddle etc when the child is upset. You don't get to have special
Moments just the two of you because it's shared with mum. And mum will always be more important.
Seriously I only wish my MIL had been able to do that with dc2 too (health issues prevented her to do that).
Having said that, in your particular situation, there are other issues going on. Having a child with ASD is chAlkenging and the child till need a different type of approach. If said family member us happy to listen and take notice if advise, then why not as long as the child is comfortable enough (again issue with change due to ASD. I imagine you will need some build up). But if that person refuses the listen, then fair enough to say NO.
Also fair enough to say NO of you don't trust them, they aren't nice to you, your partner, your family.

DayLillie Thu 06-Nov-14 12:00:03

How much do they understand about children with ASD?

I do sometimes wonder when children have problems like that, that there is an underlying blame on the parents for a weak style of parenting and that they feel (underneath, and not blatently) that somehow they could do the job better.

I am saying this, because I have a 23yr old son, who has undiagnosed ASD traits (it is certainly a very 'hidden' disablility) and have struggled all his life with him and with a very unhelpful mother. Looking back, I can now see there was definitely an undercurrent where she did think I was not doing things 'properly' which resulted in conflict. However, she could not do enough for my sister and her son who has an autism diagnosis.

From what I have experienced, I think your DH (and it has to come from their son, not you) needs to talk to his parents about the diagnosis experience and, if you get the chance to do workshops and courses, to share the experience with them and any insight and ways of working with your child. It will keep them on board, and as they learn they will become more useful. They may then come to realise that there is a lot more to it than they think.

For the same reason, I would be tempted to let them try having your daughter for a while, but if you do not believe she will be happy doing this, then do not do it.

DayLillie Thu 06-Nov-14 12:09:01

PS - I did let my parents take DS away for a weekend when he was 4. He ate chocolate pancakes and hot chocolate all weekend, because that was all he would eat from the cafe. They lost him briefly because they did not stick to my instructions about keeping him glued to them because they though it was me being PFB, then DM got mithered and someone nicked her purse out of her bag. Later they took him to a science museum and kept losing him. They gave up after that.

I don't think it gave them the 'close' relationship they expected, because that is not how he expresses things. But I think they put that down to me.

Kalinka16 Thu 06-Nov-14 12:09:39

Well, to buck the trend here, my DD loves having some alone time with my parents (and they love having her alone too). It doesn't happen regularly as we live abroad, but the odd snatched half day here and there when we're visiting is now a real treat for us to escape out as a couple for her. It gives the child their own individual relationship with grandparents, where they can be totally themselves and have their own "special" things they do together away from Mum & Dad.
Having said this, my child doesn't have any ASD or other traits and my parents (and PIL's too for that matter) are totally "normal", loving, caring and very considerate!

Kab13 Thu 06-Nov-14 12:11:53

Thanks everyone for your opinions. I'd say it's definitely the push ones that I don't understand. We honestly step right back and let them do everything for dd, we pop to the shops and leave her briefly (when we come back she's hysterical). Mil also won't tell me if dds been upset, I know this because she took her for the day along with other relatives. Mil told me dd had been an "angel" all day and "barely made a noise" and when I was speaking to the the other relatives they said "she's got a set of lungs on her and a rather big temper hasn't she?".
This is a big concern, my dd can't talk yet and I will have no idea whether or not she really enjoyed herself and I can't trust mil to be honest.
Mil tends to take her shopping (when she had her before they moved and on a couple of occasions they took her whilst we went to appointments) and dd hates it, she just wants to be a kid and mil wants to dress her up like a doll and take photos of her. Something dd hates.
I have in the past let them take her, but it was a spur of the moment, laid back thing rather than the constant nagging to have her alone. And I let them take her before I realised how nasty they were to their own son.
They have no idea about the asd diagnoses as it's not 100% yet and I know my mil thought my dp has asd as a child but never took him to the doctors because she didn't want him labeled. She wod be ashamed of having a granddaughter with asd, it would ruin the perfect act she puts on to everyone.
I'm dreading her finding out sad

BarbarianMum Thu 06-Nov-14 12:16:25

Tbh the more you post about your MiL the more alarm bells I can hear ringing and the more I think you should follow your own instincts and do what you think best for your daughter. I wish this were simply a case of enthusiastic grnny and worried mum but it doesn't sound like it sad

AMumInScotland Thu 06-Nov-14 12:16:37

As others have said, it's not odd in itself. But as part of a wider picture of people who are unpleasant to their son and DIL, it's not something that you should feel any need to go along with.

You don't need any excuse. I would tend to sweeten that a little by saying "Thanks but..." so "Thanks but it doesn't suit us" "Thanks but I'd rather not" which makes it harder for people to visibly take offence.

Of course, they may well just take offence anyway, and go off in a huff, but that's their loss not yours isn't it?

MrsAtticus Thu 06-Nov-14 12:16:56

YANBU at all, however, the one reason I can see that gps might like to see their dgcs alone is that a different relationship forms when the parents are not there. My parents only see my kids when I am there, they may take them somewhere for a couple of hours but not normally more, but they see my sisters kids alone every week and are closer to them because of it.

Losingmyreligion Thu 06-Nov-14 12:17:42

Keep on saying no. Say she's not ready. You will decide when she's ready and let them know. In the meantime they must stop asking all the time to have her on their own.

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