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To feel infuriated by my in laws

(182 Posts)
SofiaG123 Fri 14-Apr-17 09:41:34

Backstory is that my inlaws don't see eye to eye with me or how I parent. I operate a timeout system with DD(3) which is used calmly and I will tell her to go for a timeout for anything she does that she shouldn't have done. I try to make these a positive thing rather than a negative. A chance for her to think about the situation and what she's done, followed by a quick chat with me, a cuddle and then she carries on with her day.

When she was younger, there were countless tuts, rolls of the eyes etc from my inlaws when I told her to go for a timeout. They question my husband and I constantly. Said things like "you forget you were children once" etc etc. Low & behold we have a very well behaved 3 year old. Of course she has her moments but on the whole, she is really great. They tell us it's down to luck and not down to our parenting. I'm sure they are right to a degree but I'm sure that how we've raised her will have impacted this substantially.

We now have a nearly one year old also. She is different in nature to our first. A little more stubborn. Take something away from her and she'll get stroppy (perfectly normal at that age I'd have thought). The rest of the time, shes relaxed and chilled out.

According to MIL & FIL, she's going to be trouble. Our techniques won't work with her. They said their friend looked at a picture of her and said she's like the spawn of the devil (all said in jest). They are waiting for her to misbehave, almost desperate for her to misbehave just to prove their point that I'm not a good mother. That's how I feel. They think I'm hard on my daughter. I'm genuinely not hard on her at all, I never raise my voice at her. My approach is calm. I do not, however, allow the behaviours that my PIL would allow, that they deem "just kids being kids". For example, once at their house, she was lying on the floor, dragging herself along the wooden floor boards. They were in hysterics about this and thought I was unreasonable for asking her to stand up. Silly little things like that.

I just hate the way they are willing my youngest on to be disobedient. I feel frustrated that they're saying I won't be able to parent her effectively. Am I being out of order here. Not going to lie, my maternal instinct is making me feel majorly protective over my youngest here. She's 11 months old - give her a break and let her grow up without tarring her with this negative brush.

Sorry, needed to vent!

SofiaG123 Fri 14-Apr-17 09:49:57

Sorry, i should add that on the day she was dragging herself along the floor. We'd just got her dressed for a family meal into a white dress and we were about to leave, she was in a particularly silly mood and we were in a rush. Sorry, not the best example.

SecretNetter Fri 14-Apr-17 09:52:27

You do sound a little ott tbh. A three year old lying on the floor/pulling themselves along IS 'kids being kids' IMO and not something that needs immediate correction - unless of course they were dressed ready for a special occasion or something.

There's nothing wrong with calm discipline but there's also such a thing as trying to hen peck a toddler into perfect conformity which rarely ends well.

TittyGolightly Fri 14-Apr-17 09:54:19

I think YABU for using time out, for lots of reasons, especially for such a young child. It isn't "positive" in any way.

Kids aren't mini adults. They should be allowed to be kids.

(Mine is 6, so I remember 3 very well.)

SofiaG123 Fri 14-Apr-17 09:55:17

I totally let her be a kid. I don't mind silliness. I'm actually quite silly myself so I'm often right at the centre of it. I try to teach that there is a time and a place and would never "have a go" at her fir something like that. But if it's not an appropriate time, I'll say "would you mind getting up sweetheart, now's not the best time for that." She is on the whole, pretty happy with that as she knows she gets the chance to let her hair down plenty.

Ahickiefromkinickie Fri 14-Apr-17 09:55:54

They sound tiresome. Don't give them the satisfaction of rising to their comments. I would be tempted to respond with an airy 'My girls, my rules!' and then change the subject.

Gazelda Fri 14-Apr-17 09:57:19

It does sound as though they are looking for an opportunity to be able to say "told you so". But equally, it seems you are determined to show you are right.
I only have one child, so have no experience in parenting two different children. But I suspect each child reacts to parenting styles differently, and might need discipline methods tweaking to reflect their personality.
Don't see this as a battle. Ignore their judgement. Get on with what works for you, your DH and the DC.

HashiAsLarry Fri 14-Apr-17 09:57:43

Fwiw my two dc are totally different animals and somethings that work with one don't work with the other. And that's normal.

As long as you're prepared to try different things out within reason then you're doing just fine.

Ignore the twats

Trifleorbust Fri 14-Apr-17 09:58:07

I was going to say that sounded strict until you explained she gets lots of time for play. YANBU. Tell them you'll parent how you see fit.

hesterton Fri 14-Apr-17 09:58:37

You sound like a good mum and dad. I agree, you need to monitor this labelling of your second child as the spawn of the devil, even in jest. It could be really quite damaging. I would put in some hard rules regarding this attitude before joining your parents for family time.

SofiaG123 Fri 14-Apr-17 09:59:01

I couldn't disagree more. Timeouts can be very positive. She knows it's a chance to have a breather and we always have a good kiss/cuddle afterwards. Days go by with no time outs. I'm not strict by any stretch of the imagination.

SofiaG123 Fri 14-Apr-17 09:59:41

That was in response to titty

Bantsaredown Fri 14-Apr-17 10:00:27

I think you sound like you know what you are doing. They are your children and you know them best.

Carry on the way you are and try your best to ignore what others say.

You may well find your second child doesn't ever behave as well as your first but you will not know how much of that is down to your parenting and how much just her personality. But this would be the case whatever techniques you use.

Bloggybollocks Fri 14-Apr-17 10:00:46

You're way OTT!!! Let her be a child for goodness sake! She's 3, 3 year olds ARE silly, they do mess about, it's what I and most other mothers love about 3 year olds. Obviously 'bad' behaviour like hitting or repeatedly ignoring warnings should result in discipline, but putting her in time out every time she does 'something she shouldn't'?! Sounds exhausting and cruel.
I can see where your in laws are coming from on this. You're daughter isn't well behaved because of your parenting at all, she's well behaved because of her nature and the fact that you've trained her like a dog.
The example you gave is ridiculous, it's not her fault you were rushing, it's not her fault you put her in a white dress. You essentially punished her for YOUR mistakes and poor time keeping.

originalbiglymavis Fri 14-Apr-17 10:00:53

We used to to 'hands up count to ten' (later became 'assume the position!') when DS was little. Mostly when he was touching or doing something he shouldn't. Never tried time out as it wouldn't have worked for him - BUT he was a dream to parent as a small child, very sweet, kind and well behaved. Cusp of teen now, so a smart mouth but still a good kid.

Horses for courses really. Over strict parenting might work for some kids (challenging, strong willed ones) but not others.

Main thing is consistency, no agression/hitting (I've never hit a child), a bit of humour to diffuse situations (so they don't escalate).

SootSprite Fri 14-Apr-17 10:01:15

You need to develop a thicker skin so that their inane comments don't affect you as deeply. If they openly criticise you then just say 'This is the way we choose to do things. It works for us' and refuse to engage further. For less open things I'd develop a rolley-eye tinkly laugh with a slight shake of the head that screams 'oh dear, the old'uns are at it again'.
You won't change them, you can only change your response to them.

SomethingBorrowed Fri 14-Apr-17 10:01:24

YANBU
we do the same kind of timeouts. Our DC are well behaved (most of the time), but apparently nothing to do with how we handle tantrums, discipline etc.
SIL doesn't discipline much, her DS is quite wild (5yo, screams, hits, takes toys from others etc). According to PIL it is because this is how children are and we should accept it and not try to control it.

SoulAccount Fri 14-Apr-17 10:01:35

I hate the whole 'this one's trouble' thing. Boys get it by default, sister to a well behaved child...'oooh, just you wait '.

Smile and nod, smile and nod, and change the subject. it is ignorant mindless small talk.

Just do what you do and find the best way to work with a child who does have a different character.

LucilleBluth Fri 14-Apr-17 10:02:22

This is a tough one. I have two DSs close together and was quite strict with them,mother when the eldest was 9 I had another DC.....I'm obviously older and feel more comfortable in my parenting and am much less strict.

I have a friend who,is ten years younger than me and is very strip with her DDs, I feel like telling her to loosen up because they are only little for a short time....I never would. Maybe your in laws are just a bit older and more chilled and think you are slightly ott....I'm not saying you are btw.

SofiaG123 Fri 14-Apr-17 10:02:32

I'm totally expecting to change my methods with DD2. I have lots of nieces and nephews and see how individual they all are. I don't see parenting as something you can master after one child or even after 10 children. They are all different. I just hate how they label her. It really saddens me. Actually angers me in all honesty.

SecretNetter Fri 14-Apr-17 10:02:35

People love to comment on 'second child syndrome' op, including parents. You often hear 'if my second had been my first I'd never have had more' type comments.

Unless they're really making spiteful and specific comments, it sounds more of a general 'whoa...dc2, now you're in for it' type comment which is probably meant without malice.

bigmack Fri 14-Apr-17 10:03:08

Just be aware that timeouts don't work for all children.

LucilleBluth Fri 14-Apr-17 10:03:32

Then, not mother

SofiaG123 Fri 14-Apr-17 10:04:41

bloggy - RTFT. I didn't punish her. I didn't give her a timeout. I asked her nicely to stand up as we were in a rush and we didn't have time. She cooperated. Totally a non issue but the inlaws had an issue with it.

bigmack Fri 14-Apr-17 10:04:42

I agree with Lucille about 'loosening up.'

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