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how would you deal with this fil issue?

(89 Posts)
flanjabelle Tue 21-Jul-15 10:11:41

Fil Loves dd to pieces, which is great and I know she is lucky to have a doting grandfather. However, he is doing something that makes me feel really uncomfortable. He has always Been very over the top with her, too excited and in her face when she was a tiny baby (examples: repeatedly shouting her name in her face, clapping loudly at her, constantly trying to get her to look at him, not letting any of the other family members hold 'his' baby etc etc). Its got much better as she got older as that level of excitement comes into its own with a toddler I think. Dd now quite enjoys time with him as he plays with her constantly. When she was younger dp and I did have to tell him to calm it down quite a lot as she would become upset and he didn't seem to understand that he was the cause.

There is just the issue of kisses. I just posted this on another thread and realised how much it is bugging me and could do with some advice.

Fil insists on kisses when we arrive and when we leave, whether dd wants them or not. he will not allow her to refuse one and will grab her and kiss her repeatedly on the lips. It makes dd really uncomfortable and she very obviously doesn't like it As she tries to get away and says no. He ignores her response and does it anyway, every time.

He also often will offer her something, such as food, but will only give it to her when she gives him a kiss and repeatedly says please. I don't like this at all, something about it makes me feel really uncomfortable. Its like she has to kiss him and beg before she is allowed the thing he just offered to her. Horrible.

He loves her, and means well, and I don't want to hurt his feelings but it needs to stop. How would you go about this diplomatically? I want dd to know that she has autonomy over her own body, and this is giving the opposite message.

Any help is much appreciated. Thank you.

flanjabelle Tue 21-Jul-15 10:13:48

Sorry my aibu is am I right to feel like this? Or should I just suck it up because he really loves her?

FenellaFellorick Tue 21-Jul-15 10:15:35

Maybe it's ok to not prioritise his feelings. I know it's difficult but it's ok to say stop it, she doesn't like it, you need to stop doing this. We are teaching her that she doesn't have to touch or be touched if she doesn't want it and we need your support on this.

He may well be hurt and that's sad of course, but it's ok. He's a grown up. He can deal with it. He is thinking only of himself and what he wants and if he loves her as much as you say, once you point out that she's an actual person who isn't wanting to be kissed all the time, he will surely want to ensure that he isn't making her uncomfortable or unhappy?

StillStayingClassySanDiego Tue 21-Jul-15 10:17:06

No you don't have to tolerate this and more importantly neither does your dd.

Your dh needs to tell his Dad that dd is uncomfortable being kissed like that.

I don't think there is a diplomatic way of saying it, he'll get the hump however you phrase it.

PistolAnnie Tue 21-Jul-15 10:23:26

We had this to a lesser extent with hugs; my PILs/BILs would get very stroppy if my boys didn't hug and kiss on arrival at every meet up and again when leaving.

I never broached it directly but said several times to my sons in and out of their earshot that they didn't have to kiss and hug if they didn't feel like it, and if my in-laws moaned about 'a kiss for granny etc' I'd point out that they just weren't in the mood at the moment and just sort of gloss over it.

With the whole 'please' thing, could you step in and say that she's said please and now stop teasing grandad! In a joking way?

flanjabelle Tue 21-Jul-15 10:26:15

He has such a weird way about him in general. I had to step in a few weeks ago as I was there alone with dd while dp was at work. He was growling in dds face, with a horrible stern look on his face. She tried to run away and climbed on to her nanas lap. he followed her getting closer and closer to her face. she was terrified, clinging on to her nana. I told him to stop and he ignored me, I told him she really didn't like it, he ignored me. I then raised my voice and said 'stop that, she can't understand that you are joking and you are frightening her'. He went to do it again, then decided not to and was off with me for the rest of the time we were there.

It's like he can't read her signals Or chooses to ignore them. I don't know if he knows she doesn't like something, but does it anyway, or if he honestly can't tell.

flanjabelle Tue 21-Jul-15 10:28:43

I will speak to dp about it and see what he says. He has no problem with telling his dad something isn't ok, I just worry that he will be really hurt. I don't know how you can say to someone you cant kiss your granddaughter.

The thing is, if he didn't do this all the time, she would probably kiss him anyway. She is a very affectionate child, happy to give hugs and kisses on her terms.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Tue 21-Jul-15 10:30:14

Why the fuck would he think growling in her face is fun? Didn't Nan tell him to stop being a dickhead?

Tell him outright that his actions are upsetting dd and irritating the hell out of you and you want it to stop.

steppedonlego Tue 21-Jul-15 10:31:46

You need to be completely blunt with him. If I were you I would just say "at some point there will be a man in her life who tells her that she has no choice but to kiss them or more, and she needs to know that she can say no. I don't want her taught that she must be physically affectionate when she's unhappy with it."

Cantturnleft Tue 21-Jul-15 10:33:56

Hi flan, I think your reaction is absolutely understandable. I have a relative who was a bit like this with the grandkids and it took a few conversations to make him realise how inappropriate it was to force/blackmail a child for affection. In his case, it wasn't sinister but totally misguided. He now asks for a high five or wave and if the kids offer a kiss/hug he is delighted and knows it's coming from them.

As an aside, I work with children who have experienced sexual abuse and one of the first things we emphasise is that they have autonomy over their bodies. It really made me realise that my parents' wish for cuddles/affection shouldn't override my child's need to decide what he is comfortable with. It is a difficult situation but I think definitely follow your gut reaction!

ShipShapeAhoy Tue 21-Jul-15 10:36:50

Yanbu that sounds horrible. No one would expect someone to have to beg and give kisses in return for something in any other context.

flanjabelle Tue 21-Jul-15 10:37:42

It's a very strange family dynamic. Mil will not go against him. She has weakly tried a couple of times to stop him being so over the top and he puts her in her place. Sorry there is a lot of backstory, but when I have asked about these things in the past I have been told dd is lucky to have a grandfather who loves her so much And to make the best of it.

He can be a bit of a bully, but at the same time seems very sensitive and will be upset about things for a long time.

At the moment we are having another battle because they don't have dd on their own. This is because mil can be very unpredictable, one minute lovely, the next minute flying off the handle over something rediculous, and of course fil is not great at responding to dds needs/signals. They are angry because my mum is having dd when dp takes me away for my birthday.

Sorry it's a great big mess really.

flanjabelle Tue 21-Jul-15 10:41:19

I think he sees dd giving him a kiss as a sign that they are really close. If there is a family occasion he has to go out of his way to show everyone what a great grandad he is and how close they are. this is often at the expense of dd not being able to play with the other children because he wants to carry her around Everywhere. Dp or I spend the whole time trying to keep him under control!

Hmm. Should I have started more than one thread?

ShipShapeAhoy Tue 21-Jul-15 10:44:14

That stuff with mil makes him sound even more odd. Stick to your instincts on this one!

ShipShapeAhoy Tue 21-Jul-15 10:44:59

Does he have other grandchildren or just your dd?

TinklyLittleLaugh Tue 21-Jul-15 10:45:12

He sounds exactly like my FIL; not really any malice in him but pretty much thinks he can do as he pleases. Goes on at great length how much he loves the DCs but pretty much sees them as being primarily there for his own gratification and amusement.

Over the years I have has to pull him on so many tedious little things, from sweets and sun cream, to what time I should serve Xmas lunch in my own home. He genuinely seemed to think his wishes should overrule what was best for the DCs.

We have a relationship where we are civil and fake but deep down dislike each other.

LineRunner Tue 21-Jul-15 10:45:34

I'm going to be blunt.

He sounds fucking horrible and I would advise you to toughen up with your DH, FIL and MIL and tell them that it stops. Now.

Pick your DD up and remove her from the situation, every time, saying 'I have told you that that behaviour stops.' Don't negotiate. Just do it.

Marcipex Tue 21-Jul-15 10:45:48

Actually he sounds awful.

So he won't be told, and sulks for a long time if he doesn't get his own way.

And dominates his wife.

And makes your daughter beg repeatedly.

And insists on kissing, always and repeatedly on the lips.

What is nice about him?

flanjabelle Tue 21-Jul-15 10:46:06

Stopped that is a very clear and concise way of putting it. Thank you, I will show that to dp.

We have already spoken between us about stopping tickling when she says no, and only starting again when she says more, so we are on the same page re body autonomy.

IKnowRight Tue 21-Jul-15 10:46:23

He sounds awful OP. You're quite right not to leave your dd with them. SOunds like he bullies MIL and I would say he's bullying your dd too. Did your DP have problems with him growing up?

Tell him, or get your DP to tell him, and let him sulk. So what if he's hurt? Establish the boundaries now. As your dd gets bigger she will be less likely to put up with the behaviour, what will he do when she gets older and she tries to fight back?

tiktok Tue 21-Jul-15 10:47:25

One of my children really, really did not like being kissed and cuddled by relatives, and I had to explain to my mother (who was and is an enthusiastic kisser and cuddler!) not to insist - it's horrible for anyone to be kissed and squeezed when they don't want it, and the way your FIL is doing it is particularly unpleasant. My mum was fine about it - I just said ' X doesn't want to be kissed and cuddled, by the way - just kiss the air above his head!' and made light of it. But she's not a bully!

If your FIL decides to go into a huff about it, then that is part of his bullying and controlling. You being worried he will do this is part of his bullying and controlling.

Nothing you say about him here makes him sound very nice, by the way - quite the opposite.

tiktok Tue 21-Jul-15 10:50:02

Being 'sensitive' and 'upset' about things when criticised is not nice at's what bullies do.


flanjabelle Tue 21-Jul-15 10:50:50

No other grandchildren.

What is nice about him, hmm. He clearly loves her, spends all the time rolling around on the floor with her, playing and trying to make her laugh. he will repeatedly do whatever silly thing she wants him to do. Will take her up and down the stairs a million times showing her how to do it safely etc etc. he puts in a lot of effort and she enjoys playing with him.

TTTatty Tue 21-Jul-15 10:51:08

TBH I don't think this sounds good at all. He is bullying your dd into giving kisses, carrying her around so she can't play with others? Putting a stop to mil saying anything? And what you see as being 'sensitive' by sulking when told is actually manipulative.
Big red flags I feel in this situation!

Also saying you should just be pleased he loves his granddaughter and is attentive to her means you should ignore him kissing her when she doesn't want to? Abusive imo- sorry op I don't think this is okay at all.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Tue 21-Jul-15 10:51:27

I certainly wouldn't let the InLaws look after her when you're away.

He sounds like a dominating bully, you and dh will have to be blunt and firm, if he sulks so be it.

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