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to be upset with my mother?

(21 Posts)
onemiddlefinger Mon 08-Dec-14 16:55:19

The argument is about how to raise my DS, my DM thinks I'm wrong in not using any physical punishment and thinks I'm basically a bad mother and doing a major disadvantage to DS, which will later on result in need of professional help.
DS is 2 and is having tantrums (which to my horror seem to happen more frequently when DM is around, maybe he can sense my tension?) up to now I have considered it normal behaviour, even though not pleasant.
I try to be firm and not give in to what he wants when tantruming but when in a public place I can't really ignore him and usually I either try to reason with him to a point and then tell him to stop/wait for him to calm down a bit.
However my mum is so relentless and so sure that she is right and I am wrong that I'm actually starting to feel inadequate and doubt myself...
Just to clarify my mum is not some monster that wants me to beat my DS, she loves him, but when me and my siblings were young things were very different and physical punishment was the norm. Also we hardly ever went anywhere when we were that young so she didn't really get into situations where she would be out in public with a toddler that is getting tired and then has a meltdown over something trivial. She also recognises this and thinks that nowadays people expose their kids to too much too soon and should just stay home.
She recently compared me with DS to a situation where a person would be mistreating their dog and that she would normally try to avoid people like that... I found it very hurtful, we didn't speak for a bit but then it just sort of got brushed to the side and we are at the moment "all good" as long as DS doesn't have any tantrums in from of her or I don't mention anything at all that could lead the conversation this way (and it is a very wide margin).
Sorry that this turned out so long and perhaps confusing, but I really feel down by this, upset, but unable to sort this out with my DM as she refuses to accept a "agree to disagree and leave it at that" option.
What should I do? OR what am I doing wrong with my DS? with my DM?

LaurieFairyCake Mon 08-Dec-14 16:57:27

Obviously you're not doing IT wrong

In fact the only thing you're doing wrong is allowing her to make you question it.

Twattish children is never going to be right, no matter how you dress it up.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 08-Dec-14 16:57:52

twatting not twattish

themartian Mon 08-Dec-14 17:07:12

Ignore your mum and raise your child as you choose to.

WiggleGinger Mon 08-Dec-14 17:13:43

She's wrong isn't she?
Think about it.....
She's asking / telling you to hit your child !!
Would you let anyone else go that?

She's right that back in her day kids didn't go out, but so what? I know as a child we hardly ever went out and about & by gosh that was DULL!!!

Your child is learning and will develop knowledge of how to behave outside of the home soon. It just takes time.
Believe in yourself you are right not to smack your child!!!!!!

TheBatteriesHaveRunOut Mon 08-Dec-14 17:18:40

Spend less time with your mum.

Nanny0gg Mon 08-Dec-14 17:21:15

*She's right that back in her day kids didn't go out, but so what?

That wasn't my experience either as a child or a parent. Bit of a generalisation.

I am possibly of your mum's generation OP, and I smacked my children. I do not expect my grandchildren to be smacked. Times have changed. Do what you feel is right as a parent.

hesterton Mon 08-Dec-14 17:23:11

This is not her child. This is your child. Stand firm and remind her of this as often as necessary. You're right and she is wrong here.

MonstrousRatbag Mon 08-Dec-14 17:31:51

I was smacked, like most kids of my generation, I expect. It may have been accepted, but it was wrong. It did me no good and I look back on it with quite powerful feelings of anger and shame. Umpteen years later, it is still wrong, and not acceptable either. I simply do not understand what helpful messages a 2 year old is expected to learn from being hit by his mother, either: it's ok to lash out at people if you're fed up enough?

she refuses to accept a "agree to disagree and leave it at that" option

That's a cheek, really. And not a good sign for you as time goes by. Is your mother going to badger you about lots of other areas of parenting? Where will that leave your authority with your DS in years to come?

And wanting you to smack your child may be motivated by a belief that this is the correct way to deal with it, but it may just as easily be (unconsciously) motivated by embarrassment and frustration and a desire for your DS to be quiet.

I'm very tempted to say 'avoid your mother/ but I think you have to impress on her very firmly that you won't be doing it and she is not to keep on about it. Can your DH back you up and make clear this is a joint decision not up for debate?

ChasedByBees Mon 08-Dec-14 17:36:43

What batteries said.

DoJo Mon 08-Dec-14 18:05:38

She likened not hitting your children to mistreating a pet, and you are still entertaining her ideas about childcare? shock

Honestly, if she finds it uncomfortable to watch you dealing with your son in the way that you think is best, then you need to limit her exposure to it by not spending time with her. Your son will pick up on the conflict and it WILL make him play up more, you will feel judged at a time when maintaining consistency and firmness is more important than anything, and you will resent your mum for making your life more difficult completely needlessly. If she is not prepared to have a reasoned discussion about it an acknowledge your right to do what you think is best, then she cannot be as big a part of your son's life as she (and you) might like.

Also, is his father around, and if so, have you agreed that you don't wish to use physical punishments for your child? Would you really consider going against what are presumably your shared views on how to parent your child to appease your mother?

EhricJinglingHisBallsOnHigh Mon 08-Dec-14 18:15:55

Other adults don't get to dictate how you raise your child, if they are not the parent of that child. Not even your mum. This is none of her business and if you didn't ask for advice she shouldn't give you it. See less of her until his tantrum phase has passed forever

MonstrousRatbag Mon 08-Dec-14 18:18:38

Sorry, I referred to your 'DH'. Massive assumptions involved there. Apologies.

I agree with people saying spend less time with your mother.

MomOfTwoGirls2 Mon 08-Dec-14 19:21:00

That's what they did back in the day. But it's not back in the day anymore, is it?

It is not the done thing to do physical punishments any more. In fact it is quite frowned upon.

Can you have 'Its not going to happen' conversation?

Can you just let it in one ear and out the other, and not take any notice of her comments? As you KNOW you are right and she is wrong.

conquistador Mon 08-Dec-14 19:26:50

Of course YANBU.
My self esteem is shot to pieces even 30 years later after living with a mother who's first reaction to anything was to "smack me silly" as she would call it!

Vitalstatistix Mon 08-Dec-14 19:30:24

I think you're going to have to be firm. Forget agree to disagree and just tell her to back off. This is my child and I will discipline him as I see fit. I am not asking for your input. Please stop telling me what to do.

3littlebadgers Mon 08-Dec-14 19:38:21

Onemiddlefinger you are doing a brilliant job of raising your DC I am sure. I also parented in the way you describe and my DC are always receiving compliments over their behaviour and manners at 9,7 and 5. Hopefully it will stay that way. Just be firm and fair with lots of love and always make sure you are consistent. My parents also used physical punishments on us as children, normally the wooden spoon, and they have very different and pushy ideas about what is right and wrong now. I know what is right for my family as I am sure you do, stand your ground.

onemiddlefinger Mon 08-Dec-14 20:17:04

Thank you so much for your answers.
I wouldn't let anyone else make comments like this, but it's my mother and i love her and usually i respect her opinion, this is causing a lot of friction and i just feel a bit overwhelmed sometimes.
DH agrees on no physical punishment and the truth is that he doesn't know my mother's view - i have not told him as i feel that their relationship is a bit strained anyway and this will make it worse - i know if DH knew the comments she made he would very upset and possibly wouldn't want to see her again.

I'm not saying that it's right to keep it from DH but i feel like i need to deal with it and i want to keep peace.

I already don't see my mother that often as she lives in another country, but when we see her it's usually for a week or 2 at the time, so it can be quite intense.

Also the poster (sorry i'm on my phone, can't find the name atm) who said maybe my DM is saying this because she can't stand DS crying, could be onto something.
She does actually admit she doesn't have the patience to deal with crying kids...

QTPie Mon 08-Dec-14 20:17:19

Your child, your choice how to bring him up. There are millions of good ways to bring up children and there isn't just one right way.

Personally I would make this clear to your mum: she is very welcome not to agree with you, but could she please keep her opinions to herself.

Two things I will say - worth thinking about - though:
- if children (even young ones) realise that they can "get away" with more on public than they usually do, they probably will. Try and treat him the same wherever. Don't be worried what anyone thinks - parent the way you usually do.
- I agree that kids do tend to go out a lot more than they used to. This isn't always a bad thing, but it is good to try to get a balance, for everyone's sanity. If certain things/times are "flashpoints", then might be worth scheduling around them as much as possible.

It is always good to learn from other's parenting, but you need to have faith in yourself and not be pushed around smile

Good luck.

Pelicangiraffe Mon 08-Dec-14 20:23:58

Ask her to stop commenting on your parenting and she will just have to accept that you parent differently. Repeat this every time she discusses your parenting style

I find that parents who smack and hit are setting a bad example to their children. They are demonstrating that hurting someone forcefully is the way to resolve disagreements. Over powering another person gets you your own way. Children who have been hit by parents are often the children who hit other children. It's like a boundary has been crossed. Parenting without physical punishment requires good positive boundaries

BarbarianMum Mon 08-Dec-14 20:30:10

It is perfectly normal not to use physical punishment. Even if you were of the opinion that the odd smack is fine, smacking a tantruming toddler is just plain stupid and will only make the tantrum worse.

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