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Is she on another planet?(124 Posts)
A bit of background info before I begin, I have a DD who has recently turned 4 and she goes to nursery 2 days a week.
My OH’s mum (a retired primary school teacher) is always telling me things like you should be booking swimming lessons for her, my boys knew how to swim at this age or about her booking piano lessons or just making comments how she is worried my DD is falling behind because so and so can do this and that blah, blah, blah!
The other day she offered to buy my daughter learning another language lessons as she is worried DD’s nursery are not providing this and should be doing so as it is the LAW!
My DD absolutely idolises her but I think keep going on like this and you will push her away in tears to come.
Am I the only one who thinks she is putting too much pressure not only on my DD and me and my OH?
She's trying to live her life through your family.
Her pushy behaviour will force you away.
You have my sympathy she sounds like a nightmare MIL be prepared for battle.
I think swimming lessons are definitely a very good idea , I started them at that age and loved swimming. In my opinion it's a necessary life skill and the sooner a child learns the better. I started piano lessons at 6 and I did enjoy it, it's a good way to learn maths too with the practical side of the lessons. A second language can wait though.
I once had a neighbour like this.
I was new to the area and she was older than me.
She would tell me her kids did X Y and Z and I was failing as a parent because I couldn't manage whatever it was she did.
Then I met her kids.
She was a shit parent in lots of ways, and definitely full of crap about her kids adoring her and how much stuff she did with them.
I think sometimes people project the image of the parent they wish they were onto others and blatantly rewrite history.
She did her parenting her own way, you get to choose how to parent your child. Her grandchild isn't round 2 for her.
She sounds very caring if a little overbearing with how she gives her advice. She clearly feels very invested in your dd and the sort of personality who has been very much in the driving seat of her life.
Just keep showing you appreciate the contributions/support you do like and firmly but calmly state your position on the rest.
Your daughter has JUST turned 4 and MIL thinks she should be doing all these extras.
Lordy, is she paying for them?
I'm reminded of a friend's grand daughter at the same age who was enrolled in lots of things and the poor little thing ( when my friend cared for her one day a week) was exhausted and just wanted to play at home with her toys and dolls.
Swimming is a great life skill, the other stuff can wait.
I think you need to quietly ignore most of her comments. I’d maybe (from my own experience with a just 4yo) think about getting some swimming lessons in, because they’re never convenient to do (and, round my way, oversubscribed to fuckery) so making some headway before reception wouldn’t hurt imo.
As a retired primary school teacher, perhaps she knows what skills will be helpful when your DD starts school? You say she recently turned 4, so school is very close.
Why not accept her kind offer to pay for lessons? I would start with swimming lessons, which are a safety concern. It is not like she is suggesting your DD move in with her! It is just paying for something she needs, that is more benefit than a plastic doll house!
After swimming, maybe ballet lessons or judo or gymnastics, depending on DD's personality and activity level? You are lucky to have a family member who is willing to help financially.
Swimming snd second language sounds fab. Let her pay if she wants.
Just keep reiterating your feelings such as ‘we’re just happy with the way things are at the moment thanks..’ and, ‘we’ll get round to those things when we’re ready…’. She has to realise that this is your child and that you will make the decisions you’re comfortable with at a time you feel appropriate. All that matters is that your daughter is happy, contented and loved which she clearly is.
She sounds a bit overbearing. I think your DD at this age is old enough to tell you what she would like and forcing her to participate in certain classes such as second language might not work at all. There’s only 1 thing that I agree on with your MIL and that’s taking swimming lessons at an early age as it’s literally a life saving skill.
If I'm honest we started DD on "extra curricular" activities between ages 3-4 - so swimming, dancing etc, a sport, music at 5 etc. DH and I believe In learning a sport / language / instrument from a young age so DD tried quite a few things before deciding which ones to carry on
Age 4 is she not in pre school?
I agree with her about the swimming, I think it's incredibly important. DS started at that age.
The rest of it, nah.
She is right about swimming lessons. She sounds overbearing but kind.
What was her own child's upbringing like? Did your OH play the piano and learn French at 4? Does he still do thise things now? This needs to be a conversation between your OH and his Mum, not you. Does she have time available to spend time with your daughter and would you want her to? She could take her to weekly swimming lessons.
Hi OP, I have a 5 yo and a 3 yo. The only things they do right now is swimming lessons as it’s important from a safety pov.
They did ski last winter as DH was keen to get them started, but to be fair it was him who got them ready and took them every Sat & Sun (we live in a Swiss ski resort).
Quite a few parents have their kids doing all sorts and it’s too much at such a young age I think. That said, I am looking at English lessons as I’m worried about teaching them to read in English (their first language is French). But otherwise I’d not even be considering it!
I think both learning a language and swimming at 4 sounds sensible. Of the people I know who are fluent in a language all of them (myself included) started to learn it before 5. Not saying it’s impossible to become fluent afterwards (I learned Spanish and Korean in my twenties) but it is a lot more difficult and takes a lot more effort and I could only really do it because the languages I already knew were similar in terms of their grammar.
I do agree with her on the swimming, it’s a life lesson and good fort kids to learn earlier rather than later.
The language is a bit much but if she’s willing to pay for it and spend the time teaching it, I’d let her crack on.
DD has been doing swimming lessons and a second language "class" since she was about 3/4 months old. Neither feel like a chore; they're fun with songs and play, just like any other class aimed at that age group.
Swimming was a way to bond with her dad, it's their thing on a Sunday morning, and I think the UK is piss-poor when it comes to languages so to have a basic understand of it now will stand her in good stead for the future (it probably helps that we have family and friends in the country the language is from and I can speak a fair amount of it too). She actually goes with her gran now as I work on that day and both of them learn something!
It does sound like MIL is being a bit pushy and it's your decision but if she is offering to pay, why not let your DD give it a try as she might enjoy it?
Swimming: very good idea to learn. Other sorts great as well
Second language: fabulous! The sooner kids start learning the better, however, one hour a week won’t cut it! So I wouldn’t waste my money.
Musica: absolutely great! Starting soon massively advantageous. If she doesn’t like it you can always drop it.
7 is the optimum age for learning new skills, music/language
although perhaps swimming could be earlier, but only if they like it.
Tbh if she is offering to fund extra activities why would you deny your DD the opportunity to do them?
Comparing children to others is awful and really annoying.
I do think though a few things like swimming or music or sport is a positive thing for children. Mumsnet sometimes tends towards the belief that too much is more harmful than not enough and I’m not sure I agree, although of course you don’t want an overtired child. But I have known children who spent their preschool years not seeing anyone or doing much and they do tend to be a bit behind developmentally (I’m not saying this is the case for your DD.)
Would she agree to pay with the proviso to knock it on the head about so and sos DCs?
It is not the law to learn a second language during EYFS. I've read quite a few articles about how it's not great to completely fill up a young child's schedule with classes, it's also just not necessary. Does DD actually want to do these things? If so, maybe suggest MIL pay for it and take her since she's being so pushy. I do agree with others that swimming at this age is a good shout though.