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AIBU to be upset at MIL offer?

(107 Posts)
LittleReindeerwithcloggson Tue 28-Jun-16 12:13:28

I have a 7 year old DD (who I will call Lily here) and an 8 year old niece (who I will call Daisy)
Lily is very sporty. Plays county level at tennis, is above average for her age swimmer and is on the club gymnastics squad. Daisy hates sports but is very musical. Plays violin and clarinet at grade 5 level and plays in the school orchestra.
MIL does not say much about Lily's achievements but is constantly praising Daisy. She has now offered to pay all fees for Daisy to go to an expensive private school so she can concentrate more on music. She has 8 other grandchildren (including Daisy and Lily's own siblings) but is only offering to pay for her. Am I BU to be upset about this?

GloGirl Tue 28-Jun-16 12:15:46

Is there a sports school you want Lily to go to? If it's the North West school I'm thinking of, Yabu.

NoFuchsGiven Tue 28-Jun-16 12:17:13

Yanbu to fell upset but ywbvu to say anything.

LittleReindeerwithcloggson Tue 28-Jun-16 12:18:40

I don't necessary want her to go to a particular sports school but she would get a lot more opportunities to play sport in a private school. At the moment her school offer nothing other than basic PE and everything she and her sibling does we pay for and take them to. I just felt the offer was a bit unfair on the others. Maybe I'm just jealous/envious.

Purplepicnic Tue 28-Jun-16 12:18:41

Perfectly reasonable to be upset and if I were Daisy's mother, I'd say no thanks to the MIL. But that would be based on the unfairness to my other children than to my nieces/nephews.

Pinkheart5915 Tue 28-Jun-16 12:18:52

You can be upset if you wish but it's the mil money to spend as she wishes.

LemonBreeland Tue 28-Jun-16 12:22:55

YANBU to be upset. I would not accept if I was Daisy's parents either. From a sibling point of view as well as cousin issues.

ChicRock Tue 28-Jun-16 12:28:39

I dunno, I understand music grades but I don't understand sports levels.

So to me, an 8 y/o playing an instrument at grade 5 is very impressive.

I don't understand how impressive playing tennis at county level is - compared to others of the same age, iykwim?

Could it be that?

SestraClone Tue 28-Jun-16 12:28:50

Is Daisy the daughter if MIL's own daughter? It sometimes seems to me that the daughters children are favoured over the sons.

TheNotoriousPMT Tue 28-Jun-16 12:34:11

Did MIL spend years wishing she was a musician?

I agree, it isn't fair to treat her grandkids differently.

Otoh, it sounds like both girls would be eligible for hefty bursaries at private schools.

claraschu Tue 28-Jun-16 12:37:04

It is natural for people to care about things which interest them. When one of my sons was doing very well at rugby, I wasn't as excited to go to his games as I was to go to his cello recital. I am a musician and I detest rugby, (and the mentality of organised sport in general).

I often notice that lots of people like sports and very few are interested in classical music. Maybe MIL loves music and is trying to redress this balance.

Is MIL a music lover?

BertrandRussell Tue 28-Jun-16 12:38:06

Grade 5 in two instruments at 7 is potentially real talent.

Is the sportswoman really stand-out?

WellErrr Tue 28-Jun-16 12:38:30

Yes it's unfair. You are perfectly within your rights to decline it citing fairness as the reason.

arethereanyleftatall Tue 28-Jun-16 12:40:37

Yanbu to be upset, but it's her money to spend as she wishes.

I would also say, as an independent observer, that the music achievements are really high, but the sport ones aren't really. Anyone who's had swimming lessons will be better than the average for their age, and I only know of one 7 year old child who plays tennis, she's also in the county team as is everyone who plays. This isn't to say your dd isn't good at sport, she might be, or she might just have had the right lessons.

MunchCrunch01 Tue 28-Jun-16 12:41:29

I'd be a bit naffed off Op, but I'd keep my thoughts to myself (we have a lot of favouritism in our family where our DCs consistently lose out): you can afford to subsidize your DD, and your niece is clearly very good at music - I think you have to take it on the chin, the right result isn't a beggar my neighbour policy where none of the GC are supported.

Arfarfanarf Tue 28-Jun-16 12:47:04

It sounds like she values musical talent but perhaps sees sport as play iyswim.

Of course it would be unreasonable to say anything or expect her to spend her money any way other than she chooses but certainly not unreasonable to feel hurt that she doesnt seem to value your daughter's achievements.

Perhaps your husband could have a word with his mum NOT about money but about how hurtful it is to heap praise on one grandchild while ignoring the achievements of others.

sue51 Tue 28-Jun-16 12:47:13

You can't dictate where your mil spends her money though it can't stop you feeling it's unfair. Maybe there is some degree of mil living vicariously through her musical grandchild.

arethereanyleftatall Tue 28-Jun-16 12:48:02

Or maybe she plans to offer it to lily in one year when she's 8?

LittleReindeerwithcloggson Tue 28-Jun-16 12:48:45

Thanks everyone. Yes, MIL is a big opera fan and my niece is her daughters child. 2 viewpoints that never actually occurs to me before!

LittleReindeerwithcloggson Tue 28-Jun-16 12:48:59

Occurred that is

BeautyGoesToBenidorm Tue 28-Jun-16 12:50:48

I understand music grading better than sports grading too, as a musician, and it does sound as though Daisy has some very real talent that can be nurtured and built upon with the right education. You don't mention any such merits for Lily, only that she participates in certain sports and that she's good at them - that's quite different to recognised achievements that would get you selected for national events etc.

Of course YANBU to be upset, it's completely understandable, but it looks like the MIL wants to invest her money in the child who displays serious, recognised potential. I'm not belittling Lily's achievements, and favouritism is crap, but I do understand on some level where she's coming from.

myownprivateidaho Tue 28-Jun-16 12:52:46

Sorry, I know it's not what you want to hear, but it does sound like daisy has something special, whereas your daughter has not yet proved herself to be anything more than a sporty little girl. Also, I think that sports can be enjoyed at any level, whereas music is more and more rewarding if you go deeper. And a musical talent is so rare, and does require intensive training to reach it's potential. I think that if there is a talent in the family it's ok to give resources to nurturing that, so long as the rest of the family is not actually neglected.

On a practical level, have you asked mil for help with coaching or whatever it is you want for lily? Perhaps Daisy's parents simply made the case for this school. And can you just remind mil that lily would appreciate having her own achievements recognised? She might not realise she's being so uneven.

RaeSkywalker Tue 28-Jun-16 12:55:15

YANBU. I think I'd refuse if my child was offered this- but like a pp, it would be because I wouldn't want to upset my other children.

It's her money, there's nothing you can do. Of course you're rightly upset though. Is this part of a wider pattern of favouritism?

BertrandRussell Tue 28-Jun-16 12:57:32

How talented is your dd?

RiverTam Tue 28-Jun-16 12:57:47

Well, it's unfair but your last post explains it, it ties into MIL's own interests and it's her daughter's child. Is there a history of her favouring your SIL over your DH? SIL is in a tricky position (if she hasn't outright asked for this) as of course she'll want the best for her DD but it can't help but cause family ructions, especially if there are other DC who would benefit from such a gift (I agree that indies can often have stellar sports facilities and opportunities).

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