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to be fed up with MIL comparing our child rearing technique unfavourably with BIL/SIL?

(34 Posts)
NigellaTufnel Mon 06-Jul-09 17:45:29

First of all our BIL/SIL are lovely. And they are great parents to their two children.

They have a different parenting style to us, aa lot more disciplined, smacking their oldest child (4) and lots of naughty step etc.

We have a 2 year old who is testing boundaries, and has the occaisional tantrum. We do time out, and strong talking, but never smack - just do not agree with it - and don't do rough handling. He is generally very happy, and chilled little boy.

However, I am getting increasingly fed up with MIL's passive aggressive chat about how twe could learn from their style, and how we are too lenient with our ds.

For example If he plays up at a meal in a public place, we don't shout at him, just alk to him firmly, and try to distract him, becuase we don't feel that we want to do a full on discipline session in public.

However, MIL says we are being too nice to him. And then gives us a 10 minute chat about how well BIL is doing with their children.
And about how smacking has done wonders for them.

so far I have just smiled and ignored, but am getting increasingly fed up. How can I deal with this better?

ingles2 Mon 06-Jul-09 17:51:11

is there a chance she does the same to SIL, Nigella?

nametaken Mon 06-Jul-09 17:52:34

oh my MIL does this. angry Every single thing I did, or brought or took my kids too, "Dave" had done the exact same thing last week. Now I get in first, for example, If I get the kids a dancemat and one of them tells granny I immediately pipe up "I expect Dave's got one" before she can tell me grin takes the wind right out of her sails.

Next time, the very second your MIL opens her trap about the in-laws, say, "oh, I bet XX would have handled that no problem". Or something like that. Seriously, get it in first.

sweetfall Mon 06-Jul-09 17:54:50

practice this in the mirror:

cock head to one side

smile beatifically

say "That's nice"

can alternate "that's nice" with "how interesting", "thanks for that"

once you have that down patt - think of a song you love.

As soon as you hear MIL starting - sing song in head - set automatic response unit


cjones2979 Mon 06-Jul-09 17:55:23

Could you not ask your DH to have a quiet word with his mum, or to defend the way you choose to bring your DS up whenever she says anything about it ?
My MIL is full of opinions on everything (and of course she thinks she is right about everything too), but I try my best to ignore her, or give her my opinion and make a point of saying we are all entitled to our own views, but I do sometimes ask my hubby to step in.

nametaken Mon 06-Jul-09 17:56:10

PMSL at sweetfalls solution. grin - I'm trying that one next.

ingles2 Mon 06-Jul-09 17:57:28

I would be much blunter I'm afraid...
It would have to be
That's really interesting Mil, and I'm so pleased it works for bil.. but you know what I actually think smacking is abuse, so that's not a route I'll ever be taking. Now, would you like a cup of tea?
<smarm etc>

NigellaTufnel Mon 06-Jul-09 17:59:00

There is a strong chance that she does it to my lovely SIL.

But it has increased in recent times. I think she really disapproves of our style of parenting.

I know I should be thrashing him more wink

Reginamygina Mon 06-Jul-09 18:01:48

My mum does that, and tells me how well behaved her other granddaughters are. We refuse to smack the kids, but my brother does regularly. So my mum says: "oh a good smack never hurt anyone" (I secretely still resent her and my dad for it all when they used to hit me).

The sun shines out of Sil's arse, and even though I try my best to let it go over my head, it still winds the shit out of me.

Sorry no advice, but just to say you're definitely not alone.

NigellaTufnel Mon 06-Jul-09 18:03:50

Sweetfall - think I will try it. It may have to be one of those Pink Floyd songs that goes on for aboutb ten minutes though.

NigellaTufnel Mon 06-Jul-09 18:04:36

I'm glad it's not just me!

mumtoted Mon 06-Jul-09 18:14:07

I'd smack the MIL to see if it shuts her up

Qally Mon 06-Jul-09 18:15:20

YANBU. My grandmother is awful about everything - she's a Truby King fan, approves of Claire Verity (no - seriously) so had a huge tantrum that I wouldn't give ds water before he was weaned, fed him at all at night even as a newborn, didn't have a strict, 4 hour routine... you name it. It's exasperating to deal with, especially when it's over something non-negotiable (like smacking). You also are in a tight spot because you can't say anything that might be reported to SIL as criticism, either.

No advice, but much sympathy.

sherazade Mon 06-Jul-09 18:26:32

YANBU YANBU YANBU. I flippin hate it when people tell me or even hint in the most subtle way that I should be smacking my children. i have learnt though to just sing something inside my head and then say 'oh that's nice' as per sweetfall's suggestion.

moomaa Mon 06-Jul-09 18:33:26

Reginamygina, when your mum says a good smack never hurt anyone why don't you tell her how you felt about her doing it?

To smack or not to smack is not the issue here, tell her thanks for the advice, you'll take it on board but you need to find your own way and leave it at that.

slowreadingprogress Mon 06-Jul-09 19:00:33

I could have written your post. In my in-law side of the family, there is only one way and that is SILs way.

Please take it from me that the absolute, only thing you should do in this situation is to speak up assertively for your way.

It will eat away at you if you don't and yes, I have been there! My SIL while really a sweet person, is a very strong flavour and very domineering and rules the roost with her family. She of course ends up with friends who are meek, because she falls out with those as strong as herself. Therefore there is no-one to challenge her at all and this is not good for people. They need to hear "well, that's your view, but I do it another way".

Specially about important things like smacking.

You have as much right to your view as they do to theirs. It makes you feel SO, SO much better to allow yourself to speak your opinions as freely as they do theirs.

Good luck!!!

StayFrosty Mon 06-Jul-09 19:07:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

catinthehat2 Mon 06-Jul-09 19:09:49

I would probably say

"It has nothing at all to do with you. Please get back in your box"

Offensive is doubly, triply effective -

* reduces your blood pressure
* increases theirs
* stops them coming out with rubbish in future

I am not joking, the heavy handed approach works.

mummiesnet Mon 06-Jul-09 19:10:41

Oh I got a lecture off my IL's about how I should let my (baby!) DD watch TV because BILs 3 year old loves to watch in the night garden before he trots off to bed and it has taught him lots of words apparently.

catinthehat2 Mon 06-Jul-09 19:11:03

Never humour them, they will only take advantage. Ensure they have to humour you from now on.

catinthehat2 Mon 06-Jul-09 19:12:46

And don't go for the softly softly reasonable approach, learn to say "Bollocks to that, idiot" quite loudly.

piscesmoon Mon 06-Jul-09 19:20:22

I don't think you have to be rude! Just get her in a quiet moment when everyone is happy and quietly tell her that it isn't your way and you don't like it.

Greensleeves Mon 06-Jul-09 19:21:29

I would say, mildly but unsmilingly

"I have heard this, you know - it's not new. Did you know you had already said it? More than once?"

MaybeAfterBreakfast Mon 06-Jul-09 19:24:36

I have this all the time from my MIL.
Whenever I mention anything about my dcs as being slightly 'challenging' (not eating food, waking too early, screaming in carseats, etc etc) she says 'well SIL never has these problems', or 'SIL manages brilliantly and she's got twice as many children as you', or 'SIL is such a brilliant mother - she has such a natural flair for it'.

It used to really piss me off, but now I smile sweetly and agree with her (which confuses her no end).

Confuzzeled Mon 06-Jul-09 19:47:42

The one thing all grandparents want is time alone with your child, so they can pretend it's their child again. I swear my mother has admitted this so many times.

So you simply say "I don't believe in smacking, I think it's horribly wrong. I could never leave my lo with anyone who thought smacking was acceptable, what a shame I'll never be able to leave him with you."

Watch the cogs turn in the sour puss's head and you'll never hear about smacking again. Unless she starts pushing at your dh, which is more annoying, believe me.

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