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to tell my children the truth about MIL ??

(27 Posts)
TakeMeHome Sun 20-Jul-08 15:48:15

My husband has always had a bit of a rocky relationship with his parents, but it finally came to a head a few weeks ago and they finally told him what they thought of him and me and said a few mean things about the kids too!!

Husband and I are not bothered about seeing them again, and we don't want them to see our children either. They live quite far away so we won't ever bump into them, but I'm wondering what to tell the kids when they ask about seeing Nanna and Gramps again?

Should I ignore the question (they are 6 and 7) or tell them the truth?

Advice please !

SSSandy2 Sun 20-Jul-08 15:49:58

give it some time and wait before you say anything to the dc

FabioUnblogged Sun 20-Jul-08 15:50:24


Thisismynewname Sun 20-Jul-08 15:50:26

Wow, that sounds awful. I'm sorry.

Are you both absolutely certain that you don't want anything more to do with them? Are they at all bearable/good with the DC? Just wondered if it might be best not to burn all your bridges, but obviously don't know the situation or what was said.

juneybean Sun 20-Jul-08 15:51:46

Hmm speaking from experience it's important for your DC's to form their own opinion of their grandparents and maybe now is not the best time, perhaps wait until they are older?

TakeMeHome Sun 20-Jul-08 15:54:13

Thisismynewname - I always thought they were good with the dc, but it seems from what MIL said recently that it's all been a bit untrue!

Juneybean - I know they should be left to form own opinions, that's good advice. I just wondered what I should tell them meanwhile to explain why we are not going to visit them, IFSWIM ?

milknosugar Sun 20-Jul-08 15:56:33

how often do you go? is it a regular day? if not i would be tempted to just stall and they will prob forget (how awful does that sound). if they ask just say something like 'yes it has been a while' or 'we will see'.

umberella Sun 20-Jul-08 15:59:28

Erm, I wouldn't tell your kids the nsty things their GPs said about them under ANY circumstances. I would think that could be pretty damaging tbh.

Very difficult for you. How mean to say nasty things about their GC.

FabioUnblogged Sun 20-Jul-08 16:00:29


bellavita Sun 20-Jul-08 16:02:23

DH's mum fell out with us. DS's were about 3 and 5.5 at the time, so a bit younger than yours. They are now 11 and nearly 9 and have never ever mentioned their "other grandma".

The DS's got a photo album out the other day and there was a picture of his mum holding DS2, but they just looked at it and then turned the page to the next one. My heart was in my mouth wondering if they were going to ask who it was but they didn't - phew.

I would of course told them the truth had they asked who it was.

Nighbynight Sun 20-Jul-08 16:49:53

Ouch. We are in similar situation with my parents. the children do not forget, I am afraid.
I cant stomach my parents opinions about us though, so there it stays.

crokky Sun 20-Jul-08 17:00:53

TakeMeHome - my advice would be to not actually break contact by saying something like "we are never going to see you again" or something to that effect. Instead I would just let things drift - don't make much of an effort to contact them or visit, but if they visit you, just tolerate it and try and be civil. It will be only a handful of days a year, if that. Send Christmas cards etc. Family rifts are difficult so if you just make sure there is no actual permanent rift, just very infrequent contact, things will be easier in the long term. Let them say what they like, it has no impact on your life. That way, your DC will know who they are and you won't have a rift to explain. Just my opinion! Also, just another consideration - does DH have any siblings? What sort of terms are they on with PILs? Do they have any kids who are cousins to your kids? If yes, all the more reason just to be civil on the odd occasion you have to tolerate PILs. I do know how you feel. My father berates me and DH and everything we do seems to be wrong! But I don't want to tell my kids (only toddler and baby) that I have seen fit to cut my own father out of my life. So I'm just going to let things ride.

TakeMeHome Sun 20-Jul-08 17:06:32

Thanks everyone, all good advice. It is a hard situation, but at the end of the day, it is my dc that I'm more worried about than the GP! Think I will just "let it ride" and see what they say.

Hecate Sun 20-Jul-08 17:57:38

They said horrible things about your kids? That would be it for me. Done, end of, forever. IMO, that is one of very few things that once done, mean there is no way forward with someone, irrespective of who they are. Sometimes, someone behaves in a way that means they forfit any right to be in your life. Insulting your kids is number one on that list!

gagarin Sun 20-Jul-08 18:00:46

I really liked my grandfather but he was a terribel dad to my mum so she couldn't stand it that I liked him!

IMO you should just let it drift and leave your dcs to make their own relationship with them in the future.

Don't pass opinion on them. Your dcs are too young to deal with that. Just leave it.

AbbeyA Sun 20-Jul-08 18:17:59

I agree with gagarin.

TakeMeHome Sun 20-Jul-08 18:29:39

They've just asked me if they can ring GP !!

I fobbed them off by saying they were not at home today. What should I say when they ask next time??

AbbeyA Sun 20-Jul-08 18:32:55

Are they fond of the GPs?-if so it seems a bit sad to stop the relationship.

HonoriaGlossop Sun 20-Jul-08 18:44:05

next time, say yes. I can't see why not...keeping telephone or even letter (e-mail?) contact sounds a REALLY good way round this for now.

If this were me I would write, e-mail, or something just to make clear to the GP's that whatever has happened between the adults does not affect your children's right to have grandparents, so you are actively going to encourage contact. It doesn't have to be huge amounts, just what the kids want basically.

gagarin Sun 20-Jul-08 18:56:46

Let them! Why would you stop them?

AbbeyA Sun 20-Jul-08 19:19:59

I can't see why your poor relationship with them has to affect your DCs, especially if they have a happy relationship with them.

Nighbynight Sun 20-Jul-08 19:22:11

gagarin - because if you maintain contact via the children, it can be manipulated by your parents. They can get their own back on you via your children, with a series of mean, petty little gestures, designed to show your children just how low in the pecking order they are. Am I speaking from personal experience? - yes.
Let them phone, even visit - but monitor the situation closely.

AbbeyA Sun 20-Jul-08 19:24:19

Stopping contact with grandparents seems pretty manipulative of the parents-if you have a disagreement there is no need to expect DCs to take sides.

Thisismynewname Sun 20-Jul-08 19:35:24

Perhaps you could tell us what was said and why you are stopping contact anyway and then we can decide if YABU with respect to that, which will make it easier to answer the question with respect to the dc.

TinkerBellesMum Sun 20-Jul-08 19:44:27

I wouldn't want someone who didn't like my child looking after her. I don't really get on with some of her fathers family or my brothers partner, but at the end of the day they love her and are her family so I don't stop them seeing her. However, if they were telling me or TBD that they didn't like her (or whatever) I wouldn't want them being around her.

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