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Help! I've had a massive row with my family and I need to know if IABU

(96 Posts)
noodlesareyummy Sun 14-Feb-16 20:30:51

I need help here. My cousin and I are very close, he's like a brother to me. Lets call his wife my CiL, we also generally get on incredibly well and are very close (Xmas, birthdays together etc) she says we're sisters - that sort of close. Anyway I have a DD 2 and a DS 4m. C & CiL were there for us so much when DD was born and little and are really close to her too, she adores them. Since they had a DD of their own (just 10mths old) I noticed something about my CiL- she shouts and snaps at her own DD constantly. And I mean shouts loudly. The kid is as good as gold, never makes a peep, not grabby or anything, CiL has just always seemed really impatient with her. Then she started on my DD. Don't get me wrong I'm not a picture of patience 100% of the time but I do try to practice gentle parenting. DD is very clever and very spirited, not violent or nasty just on the go all day every day, knows what she wants, thinks she's 22...that kind of spirited. She's exactly like me and I was shouted at and smacked regularly as a child. It didn't work and simply resulted in an 18 year power struggle between my mum and I until I left for uni with a sigh of relief and some quite negative feelings about my parents. I don't want that for my daughter and I. So CiL comes round with C the other day to stay the weekend. My DD is wandering round, playing with her toys and CiL is on her case immediately, "DD be careful of My DD!" "DD SHARE that" "DD, play NICELY please" "DD say thank you to my DD". I was so over it that I took DD to another room to play as she couldn't do anything without getting barked at. CiL came in to the room we were in and carried on at my DD in the same manner "be CAREFUL my DD is just a baby!" (Walking past her not even close to her) "don't climb on that!" (A beanbag) Etc etc. Again I took DD away, I was really angry by this point but not saying anything. Then my C came in and says that CiL had told him I was being moody and rude and that they were leaving. A row erupted where I basically said "stop disciplining her when she's not doing anything" and they stormed out. They haven't spoken to me since. I sent them a long message explaining about gentle parenting and what I was thinking when I was appearing moody. Nothing. Won't answer my calls either.
Please help! Am I in the wrong here? I'm bewildered!

TestingTestingWonTooFree Sun 14-Feb-16 20:35:47

If their baby is their pfb they probably think that your dd is dangerous to their dd. I'd leave it be for now and let the dust settle. It doesn't sound like ywbu.

AliceInUnderpants Sun 14-Feb-16 20:40:39

I sent them a long message explaining about gentle parenting You sound patronising as fuck.

CooPie10 Sun 14-Feb-16 20:41:03

I don't think Yabu about her shouting at her dd. However your version of 'spirited' may make her feel nervous around her baby.

RudeElf Sun 14-Feb-16 20:45:33

Your mistake was letting it go on for so long! Why did you not speak up the first time she shouted at your child?

LavenderDoll Sun 14-Feb-16 20:45:55

Yabu and sound extremely patronising - an email explaining gentle parenting hmm

HumphreyCobblers Sun 14-Feb-16 20:50:22

I don't think you were unreasonable. I would hate to see my child told off for doing normal things.

It is always a mistake to use the phrase 'spirited' on mumsnet as people take it as code for 'out of control, child who is grossly indulged by parents'. But sometimes people use it as a synonym for lively, which I sense you are doing OP.

WorraLiberty Sun 14-Feb-16 20:50:49

Oh god I'm cringing at the 'spirited' 2 yr old who 'thinks she's 22' and about the 'gentle parenting' email.

Look, this sort of thing happens all the time when people have children who are fairly close in age.

I've seen it tear families and friendships apart forever. It's just so silly though.

In a few years time all this will be a distant memory, so if you can just grit your teeth and understand that all parents are different.

If her child is only a 10 month old baby, then she probably does see a 'spirited' 2yr old as a bit of a danger.

She has no right to raise her voice though, but I'm sure she'll learn eventually to calm down the Pfb behaviour.

Hopefully you'll learn to calm it down too and not send any more emails.

HumphreyCobblers Sun 14-Feb-16 20:52:00

I probably wouldn't have sent an email either. But I think shouting at a child is a more annoying thing to do that send an email afterwards.

MidniteScribbler Sun 14-Feb-16 20:53:04

Yeah, the email would send me over the edge. Patronising, much?

And I'm guessing your 'spirited' little darling is probably not quite as charming to others as she is to you.

MooPointCowsOpinion Sun 14-Feb-16 20:53:25

YANBU to be annoyed, your cousin-in-law was telling off your child in your house, with you right there. Totally unreasonable of her. She is free to parent how she chooses. But she is not free to inflict her parenting style on your child.

Now whether she needed to know you practise gentle parenting or not, I'm not sure. A simple 'don't tell my child off thank you, that's my job' might have been clearer.

GideonSoames Sun 14-Feb-16 20:54:21

Cousin like a brother, all bets are off when people have kids.

I don't think YABU, people go all sorts of weird over these things.

I think your own kids are more important anyway, just leave it where it is and see what happens.

Hobbes8 Sun 14-Feb-16 20:54:26

I'm not sure huffing off to several different rooms (how many rooms do you have?), then having a big row and sending a "long" email is how I would have reacted, but YANBU to not want your child shouted at in her own home for not doing anything wrong.

JellyTotCat Sun 14-Feb-16 20:57:27

I'm glad someone who constantly shouts loudly and snaps at their ten month old was sent an email about gentle parenting. I hope she takes note.

Naughty1205 Sun 14-Feb-16 20:58:35

Agree with jellytot above.

Paintedhandprints Sun 14-Feb-16 21:00:03

Its six of one and half a dozen of the other. I would have been a bit more cautious with any toddler around my less mobile 10mo at her stage. You're email on gentle parenting will have come across as very patronising, however well intentioned. Understand it was annoying for her to be over anxious and shouty with your dd. You should have spoken up sooner, reassure dd would never hurt dn, instead of creating a tense atmosphere. I think it best to phone or meet and try to clear the air because text or email will come across wrong.

Zariyah Sun 14-Feb-16 21:00:45

I'm willing to bet good money that your "spirited" toddler is naughtier than you are willing to admit and that cousins are PFB. You are both BU.

ElderlyKoreanLady Sun 14-Feb-16 21:02:18

YANBU to be annoyed by it but the way you dealt with it was quite terrible. Huffing off into different rooms? Sending messages about gentle parenting?

All you needed to do was say "she's not doing anything wrong" and elaborate on that if she carried on.

NeedsAsockamnesty Sun 14-Feb-16 21:02:20

I would possibly wonder if someone who actively used the term gentle parenting was perhaps misjudging the tone and volume of the comments the other parent was making

And also what they mean by sprited

TheWitTank Sun 14-Feb-16 21:02:44

Also cringed at the email and 'gentle parenting' comments -comes across as incredibly patronising. Also always found anyone who describes their child as 'spirited' can't see when their child is being naughty or needs to calm down. My cousins child is allowed to climb over all furniture with shoes on in anyone's house and woe betide anyone who might comment on this "free energy" hmm. Perhaps give it a week or two to calm down, then make contact and try to resolve things.

TrashPanda Sun 14-Feb-16 21:02:52

CIL should not have been like that with your DD but I think it's bizarre that after the first one or two times you didn't say something. All it needed was a gentle 'Don't worry she's fine, only playing. I'm watching and will deal with it if anything happens'.

You were rude and passive aggressive in leaving the room without saying anything and your email will come accross as patronising and superior. Everyone parents differently and you may think your way is better but CIL obviously has her own way.

nocabbageinmyeye Sun 14-Feb-16 21:07:14

In my experience when someone describes their child as spirited the rest of the world would describe them as a brat (or similar). Your problem was letting it stew to the point you got moody, you should have addressed it earlier

NeverNic Sun 14-Feb-16 21:07:31

YANBU. Your house, your daughter, your rules. I agree that perhaps you should have mentioned something sooner, but I suspect that she probably would have taken it badly and they would have left anyway. I would just leave it for now and let the dust settle. I actually disagree that you sound patronising, because I think you were trying to explain yourself and justify your feelings (which I don't think you needed to have done). I do think this is a case where she was being particularly precious as a mobile child at 10 mths (either crawling or walking) is fairly robust and very capable of injuring themselves without anyone's help. But then again I do have boys, who are probably too clumsy and brave for their own good..

ElderlyKoreanLady Sun 14-Feb-16 21:07:52

Also OP, you're not very forthcoming here with what was said during the argument. You've made it clear here that you don't agree with her style of parenting...did you make that clear to her. Criticising someone's parenting then sending them a message about how you believe it should be done really wouldn't be on.

NeverNic Sun 14-Feb-16 21:09:37

I'm assuming her 10mth old is mobile

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