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To get so tired of MIL and the way she treats my nephew?

(45 Posts)
user1477282676 Fri 03-Feb-17 22:45:28

DNephew is coming up to three years old. MIL DOTES on him. She was the same with my DD now 12 so it's not that I feel jealous or anything I just feel MIL's level of obsession is unhealthy.

It's not really that but it's the way she panders to him. She comes to visit us about once a week or so, always bringing Dnepehew as she looks after him while SIL works.

She parks the car and then stands outside WAITING till my nephew is "ready to come out"

This can take up to half an hour. Half a fucking hour of MIL standing by the car whilst my nephew ignores her and says "NO!" or whatever and laughs.

MIL asks my DD's to come and coax him out. Which they do...they're 12 and 8...why can't she just say "Out you come now!" firmly....? Like I would with my children at that age?

She will say "Do you need a nappy change?" to him later on and he will refuse and so we have an hour of MIL chasing, coaxing and asking.

He will kick her and she will whine "Please don't kick me".

On and on I could go. She's bloody ruining him! AIBU? There are loads of instances like this.

I had to squash her saying things like "Oh look at him...he's MANAGING her!" as he tried to boss my DD about and shout at her.

"Oh...he's a little BOSS!"

hmm I had to say "No, it's not a positive thing MIL, he needs tellling not to do that."

And to be fair, MIL listened. But this endless waiting till he's frigging ready is so annoying!

user1477282676 Fri 03-Feb-17 22:46:44

Meant to add, she has him three days a week so her way of "parenting" is really having an affect on him and I don't think it's right but what can I do? Nothing. He's not my child.

WorraLiberty Fri 03-Feb-17 22:50:20

Nothing you can do.

I feel your pain though. I have absolutely zero time for anyone who spends half an hour coaxing a toddler to do anything that needs to be done.

Just get him out of the car/change his nappy. If he throws a tantrum, then he throws a tantrum.

It's what most toddlers are best at.

Finola1step Fri 03-Feb-17 22:51:11

She waits for a 2 year old to be ready to get out of the car? For up to 30 mins? I'm sorry, but the mental image of that made me giggle. It's bonkers.

What does your dh/dp think?

BrickInTheWall Fri 03-Feb-17 22:55:13

Oooh I have a friend who is a coaxer. Her 3.5 year old is ruined from it. Its obvious watching from the outside that he has learnt that if he whines and cries enough he gets what he wants. He screams if she stops to talk to anyone in the playground so she is forever saying that she has to go as darling little DS is a little fractitous this morning.
I tried having a friendly word (we used to be good friends) about being firmer and he will learn she is in charge but she just prefers to pander to him. We have drifted apart and Im quietly glad because I could not spend a long afternoon with that child anymore! blush

Catrina1234 Fri 03-Feb-17 22:57:58

But he's her grandson and I'm afraid spoiling goes with the territory. I suspect you are annoyed that he gets more attention than your girls and I assume she is the maternal grandmother, so I'm sure SIL is very happy with her parenting. Why are you worried about her parenting of this child - you don't have to stand outside waiting for him to get out of the car and if you feel so strongly don't let your girls go and coax him out.

SO "no he's not your child" and this is between your SIL and her mother. It doesn't sound like you like the little boy very much - maybe weekly visits are too much and you could curtail them to a less frequent pattern.

user1477282676 Fri 03-Feb-17 22:58:27

Finola it does his head in too! He has said something in the past but she gets very annoyed. VERY annoyed. He once said "Just get him out Mum...really, he's a toddler! He doesn't know what's best: and she said "He's FINE! I"m not in a rusj!" and frowned.

user1477282676 Fri 03-Feb-17 23:00:28

Catrina No. I pointed out that she was the same with my DD...they get plenty of attention from her thank you. It really doesn't bother me. She makes an effort to have them over for sleepovers and spends some time alone with them in addition to visiting.

It's more that my nephew is becoming obviously spoiled and I think it will impact him when he begins Kindergarten. We're not in UK so he has a year yet.

Also, where did you get "it doesn't sound like you like the child" from? confused I like him just fine. I just don't like what MIL is doing.

ConvincingLiar Fri 03-Feb-17 23:03:48

Catrina1234 I think you've read a different post to me. OP it sounds annoying. Bugger all you can do about it though.

WorraLiberty Fri 03-Feb-17 23:04:17

There's a big difference between spoiling your grandchildren and acting like you're scared of them throwing a tantrum.

My 'kids' are adult and teens now and most of their peers who had very patient 'coaxer' parents, haven't turned out particularly well.

Most of them went from brattish children to brattish teens and adults, who put their parents through absolute hell along the way.

ambereeree Fri 03-Feb-17 23:28:57

I think its hard for grandparents not to spoil the grandchildren. I leave my dd with my dm when I'm at work so know they get a little bit spoilt. At the end of the day she's grandma and not a parent or childminder. If your sil doesn't mind her why should you? The coaxing sounds like a game tbh...probably why your kids are called out as well.

user1477282676 Fri 03-Feb-17 23:40:28

amber my SIL does mind though. Of course GP spoil the DC a bit but they don't need to RUIN them.

JennyWoodentop Fri 03-Feb-17 23:40:59

Difficult, as you say he's not your child so it's not up to you to tell her how to deal with him. His parents may or may not be OK with it, it's up to them.

All you can do, if watching all the coaxing and pandering to him is bugging you and you don't want your own kids caught up in that dynamic, is not be around her when she's looking after him, then you don't have to witness it all. See her on days she's not with him, see him with his parents. Or if there's a bigger back story, disengage further.

PaintingOwls Fri 03-Feb-17 23:47:35

Does the boy's mother and father know that this goes on?

Perhaps next time she spends half an hour coaxing him out of the car you could record it on your phone and show SIL & BIL with some comment like "this is 31 minutes long, an official new record!"

user1477282676 Sat 04-Feb-17 00:16:46

Jenny I could tell the DD's not to go out to "help" couldn't I. Then MIL would be stuck there in her ridiculousness.

Owls yes. My nephew's Dad isn't in the picture and SIL gets very frustrated by MIL...but relies on her for support as she's a lone parent and has a part time job.

She does call her out on things but the whole dynamic is very unhealthy really. MIL does loads of parenting and SIL works or sits on her phone. I think she's depressed myself. We try to involve SIL more in our family by inviting her up and things or visiting her but she's so down that she doesn't like doing a lot.

Astro55 Sat 04-Feb-17 00:24:57

I agree - keep your girls out of it.
Keep her visits short - or tell her to visit on days she doesn't have DN

She's not a GP spoiling this child - she's a grown woman allowing a 3 year old to call the shots- he will be a nightmare in school.

Similar child in DD class expects all adults to pander to her every whim (didn't what white loo roll - MUST be pink and could i nip out and get some? Funnily enough she wasn't invited back

Yeah right!

ClemHFandango Sat 04-Feb-17 00:33:51

I work in a secondary school and there used to be a parent who would drive her child to school and wait in the car park, sometimes for quite a long time, for her to wake up. The child would wake up, get ready, get in the car and then fall asleep again on the way to school. The mum would wait until she was ready to wake up before getting her out of the car. The mum was a primary head teacher.

Atenco Sat 04-Feb-17 04:14:13

I do think that children need to know that you are in charge, for their own security.

But I say that a bit hypocrically as it is really not the same being gm. I could face anything down with my dd but find myself at a bit of a loss sometimes with my dgd, however I don't look after her regularly either.

ItsThisOneThing Sat 04-Feb-17 04:34:21

I couldn't bite my tongue OP! This sounds insane and his behaviour will just continue to get worse so you're right to be concerned. Could you just intervene when you see these instances or would it cause a fall out? If you're happy to be the strict aunt then that's what I'd do. You're not just a stranger observing this, you're his aunt (and a good aunt - sounds like you're worried because you care), and I think you're within your rights to step in and show him some boundaries. Maybe it'll rub off on MIL & she'll start to afapt her style with him. She's doing him no favours just now as he'll slowly be turning into a brat!

user1477282676 Sat 04-Feb-17 05:19:59

Atenco is that because you're afraid of upsetting your DGD?

Thing yes and it HAS got worse too! I have tried to do some good natured "come on then DN! Out you come!" but MIL will get noticably distressed as though he's some kind of dictator who might just chop her head off if he doesn't get his way.

He also frowns deeply when he's upset and throws things. Normal three year old stuff but it's literally every time he's challenged. I DO worry about him because he is a genuinely lovelylittle boy. He has a real sense of justice for his age which is interesting...he stood up for my younger DD against her older sister when her older sister was being a bit mean....he said "X, that not kind!" in a concerned fashion....he's funny and charming and all the things 3 year olds are....but he is getting grabby and won't share because MIL won't say a thing when he for example takes the whole packet of biscuits and goes into another room with them.

MIL will say "He'll share. He'll bring them back" in this infuriatingly confident way.

Thats not the point is it! The point is that there are two other children who might want a biscuit!

AmeliaJack Sat 04-Feb-17 05:22:54

Astro a visiting g child demanded you change the loo roll because it wasn't the right colour? Wow. shock

OP there's probably little you can do about this but personally I would be facilitating this behaviour or allowing my DC to normalise it. The child is far more likely to come in if there's not a crowd of people begging him.

AmeliaJack Sat 04-Feb-17 05:24:37

user re the biscuits thing - your house, your rules, your biscuits. Go and bloody get them back!

If there's a tantrum <shrug>.

user1477282676 Sat 04-Feb-17 05:27:58

Amelia I will next time! I'll just retrieve them and say "They're for everyone, so we'd better keep them in here."

It's so bloody annoying because MIL means well she really does. She had a blind spot with my older DD too...not so much with my younger one as my younger one didn't ever want sleepovers when she was a toddler.

I remember looking through the door at MIL one day as I arrived to pick DD up when she was about 2 or 3 and MIL was lying in the bath covered in crap....not actual crap but various household things...DD was placing them on top of MIL. Cups, knickers, plates, towels, tea bags....all sorts of things. grin

My MIL the pushover! I said MIL you can't do this...it's bad for your back! (MIL struggles getting in and out of baths so uses shower) And she said "Anything DD wants I do"

Omg!

LostQueen Sat 04-Feb-17 05:43:01

Do you think she maybe overcompensating? She might have also picked up on SIL's low mood or feels bad about his dad not being around?

TheresABluebirdOnMyShoulder Sat 04-Feb-17 05:50:49

Ugh this would get right on my nerves. I think you just have to take charge a bit when he's at your house and make sure that he is behaving by your standards (tell him off if he is mean and bossy to your DD, don't allow him to wander off with the biscuits) and if MIL objects you just say "sorry MIL but that's not how we do things here. I don't want my DDs picking up bad habits and it's not fair if they have to behave but he doesn't". And don't let her use your DDs to do her job for her ("Sorry MIL, the girls are busy playing in their rooms. It's not fair to make them stop what they're doing to pander to DN's bad behaviour. You'll either have to just get him out of the car or wait for him yourself. We'll leave the door on the latch so you can come in when you're done").

I don't agree with the GPs spoiling GCs thing. Not when they are caring for the children for such a huge chunk of the week. It's irresponsible. If GPs can't commit to proper "parenting" then they need to back away from arrangements like this because it does the children no favours whatsoever. My aunty looks after her GCs every weekday (all day for the preschooler and then drop off and pick up for the older one). She spoils the little one rotten. Sweets and cakes are fine if you are seeing your GC once a week or so but not every day. That's not healthy at all. Likewise, letting them behave badly is one thing if it's for an hour every Sunday but if it's all day Monday to Friday then you are actually creating real behavioural problems which will stay with that child.

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