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MIL safety issues

(46 Posts)
Milwoes Sun 29-May-16 09:50:40

Hi. I have 2 very small dc, and 1 helpful and friendly Mil. However, she is very lax about safety. In her garden she has a large pond at ground level, uncovered. She regularly looks after her other young grandson, and recently admitted to me that when he's in the garden she watches him from indoors to make sure he's safe. He hasn't been walking all that long.

I told dh I don't want the dc at hers without one of us being there, but I know he wants to have a day out without dc, and mil is only option for babysitting. He definitely thinks I'm over-reacting.

I know everyone will think I'm being unreasonable to say no to her having them at hers, especially as sil obviously doesn't have a problem with it.

What can I do?? AIBU to not let her have them? should I relax about it?

NothingMoreThanFelines Sun 29-May-16 09:52:30

Crikey, no - I wouldn't leave my toddler under those circumstances. Does your SiL know your MiL isn't with her DC in the garden? YANBU.

TeaBelle Sun 29-May-16 09:53:22

Could she watch them at your house if your house is safely set up?

SliceOfLime Sun 29-May-16 09:54:17

YANBU for her not to have them at hers - kids can drown in a pond very easily, she should be right next to them if they are in the garden, not indoors! I would not let her have them at hers. Could she look after them at yours? Would you feel they would be safe?

It's about what you're comfortable with for your kids, your SiL and her choices are irrelevant.

AlwaysDancing1234 Sun 29-May-16 09:55:42

YANBU at all, it's a major safety issue.
Would you be able to get a safe cover for the pond and offer to fit it or would she take offence at that?

Buggers Sun 29-May-16 09:56:48

Is there no gate to get to the pond?! Get her to Google the story about the poor twin boys that drowned in a pond a couple of months ago. Might get her to put a fence or something up.

Oliviaerinpope Sun 29-May-16 09:58:03

I won't leave my DC with my (lovely) MIL because she has medications all around her house, on tables, on shelves etc. I feel that it isn't acceptable for me to tell her to lock her medications away in her own house, therefore I don't allow her to babysit.

leeds84 Sun 29-May-16 09:58:41

Definitely NBU. How you're feeling is sensible, not neurotic. I think sometimes grandparents forget how 'on it' you have to be with small children. Suggestion of her looking after them at yours is a good one. Also long term is it worth / do you feel able to voice your concerns about the pond? Could you offer to pay to get a safety barrier or something similar?

Sukebind Sun 29-May-16 10:04:59

Several of my cousins and second cousins fell in my Nanna's pond at family events and that was when loads of people were around. You always think a tragic accident like that wouldn't happen to you but it's so easy. I remember my dd falling forward into an incredibly deep pool on a beach when trying to cross it to get to me. She was down and under in a second and couldn't get up because the sand was sloping down, her coat was drenched and heavy with water and her wellies filled with water, too. Luckily dh was able to reach her in no time but if we hadn't been paying attention it could have been awful. All ponds in gardens where children play need an adequate fence and locked gate.

Milwoes Sun 29-May-16 10:05:12

Thanks. I don't think they would agree to having a cover or similar. They don't like stuff like that's, just like they won't have a stairgate (other grandson fell from top to bottom of stairs once, still no gate hmm)

I also don't think she'd want to spend the whole day at our house, and given her thoughts around safety, no, I don't feel good leaving them with her. Guess I'm going to have to suck it up and be honest and stick to my guns.

I don't know if sil is aware, I have been struggling to decide if I mention it to her or not.

FishWithABicycle Sun 29-May-16 10:08:07

Yanbu and the safety of your children is too important for you to consider backing down on this.

leeds84 Sun 29-May-16 10:10:47

Oh it's so tricky. My parents are a little bit similar, love grandchildren so much and really helpful, but not always totally tuned into the safety issues. I think you're completely within your rights to lay down some ground rules. I'm massively conflict averse so would couch it in terms of it "putting my mind at rest / probably worrying unnecessarily" etc, but that's a bit pathetic and you should be able to just come out with saying what your preferences are when they babysit...or get DH to do it?

Birdsgottafly Sun 29-May-16 10:11:45

""I don't know if sil is aware, I have been struggling to decide if I mention it to her or not.""

Best to do it before the child drowns, or is left brain damaged.

Water safety should be nonnegotiable.

NothingMoreThanFelines Sun 29-May-16 10:12:23

I'd definitely mention to SiL. She may not be aware and you'd feel terrible if anything happened.

NothingMoreThanFelines Sun 29-May-16 10:14:15

A toddler in my family drowned in a villa swimming pool on holiday. Each parent thought he was with the other. It can happen so quickly.

flumpybear Sun 29-May-16 10:15:38

Tell her straight ' don't leave my child in the garden unless you're out there as ponds are very dangerous for young children - if you want to go in then these my child in - don't take chances with my child or she won't be coming again'

hollyisalovelyname Sun 29-May-16 10:18:02

I know somebody who lost a child to drowning. She managed to get into a neighbour's garden and fell into their pond.
Ansolutely devastating.

Rainuntilseptember Sun 29-May-16 10:21:50

Why would you think everyone would say you are unreasonable? How many headlines about drowned children does anyone need to read before realising water holds danger? I would never rent a holiday cottage with a pond as id have to be alert and watching them all the time. Sounds like that doesn't apply to your mil if she isn't even in the garden with the child.
You need to make your dh aware of the danger or one day he might drop them off with her without you knowing.

HemlockStarglimmer Sun 29-May-16 10:22:49

My niece, when a toddler, headed for her grandmother's garden pond and even though granny and mother immediately leapt after her, by the time they reached her she was up to her waist. And they were right next to her. If they'd been stupid enough to have been in the house at the time...

A family I know of lost their first child when she drowned in a pond.

You are not being unreasonable.

carabos Sun 29-May-16 10:24:27

DM's cousin drowned in the garden pond - he was 5, so not a toddler. Ponds are very very dangerous. They are magnets for small children. Don't risk it, but do ask your MiL to get a cover, or at least a heron net.

3littlefrogs Sun 29-May-16 10:25:41

My MIL was very lax about safety and my DS was almost killed because of it. No amount of telling her made the slightest difference. It was a cultural thing and in her mind, as her DIL, I was inferior and not allowed to tell her what to do.

Do you think your MIL would listen to you and change her behaviour? If not, don't leave your child with her. I would warn your SIL asap too. there is every chance that she doesn't know her child is not being adequately supervised.

StarkyTheDirewolf Sun 29-May-16 10:30:44

I fell in our pond (which my dad had put a fence round to stop me falling in) while my DM was stood watching me. Maybe 3 feet away. It takes half a second. I was about 18 months old I think. I'm nearly 30 and she still goes "ooh that was awful" when she talks about it.

YANBU.

Dawndonnaagain Sun 29-May-16 10:31:56

An average of 5 under sixes drown in garden ponds every year.

blitheringbuzzards1234 Sun 29-May-16 10:33:31

YANBU, small children drown in ponds - and they don't have to be very deep. Always err on the side of safety and tell SIL about the situation. Many in-laws think they know it all because they've (mostly) brought up their own children and nothing awful happened. If your DC fell into the pond MIL is naturally around 20 years older now (her knees may be 'going') and doesn't realise that it would take her longer to run out to help.

blitheringbuzzards1234 Sun 29-May-16 10:33:33

YANBU, small children drown in ponds - and they don't have to be very deep. Always err on the side of safety and tell SIL about the situation. Many in-laws think they know it all because they've (mostly) brought up their own children and nothing awful happened. If your DC fell into the pond MIL is naturally around 20 years older now (her knees may be 'going') and doesn't realise that it would take her longer to run out to help.

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