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Thinking my MIL is wrong to think my 16 month old DS is naughty

(33 Posts)
Loujalou Sun 23-Aug-09 09:24:56


Was with MIL yesterday and my DS who is 16 months and into everything was his normal self. MIL told him not to be naughty. Think he's a bit young to be naughty. My mum and DH agree. My mum think its child abuse, but she's just being her.

Also she said I should tap him on the wrist when he does something "naughty" I don't agree unless its running into a road type dangerous. Am I being unreasonable to get upset by this? My mum definitely thought this was child abuse!

piscesmoon Sun 23-Aug-09 09:29:07

I don't think it is child abuse-neither do I think it is naughty. However if he is in her house he has to respect her things and you have to stop him from touching things e.g. he is not allowed to fiddle with TV buttons. You don't need to tap his wrist or get cross. Just say 'no' and move him-every time. Distract.

purepurple Sun 23-Aug-09 09:30:12

Definition of naughty
he is being a normal 16 month old and doesn't need a tap on the wrist for anything
next time she suggests it, bloody well slap her one

pagwatch Sun 23-Aug-09 09:32:16

I think your mum should get a grip .

It is not going to help your DS with his extended family if you gossip and are critical of your MIL with your mother behind MIL back. That is not a very nice thing to do

Have you told your MIL that you don't like her telling her that DS is naughty . As your DH agrees has he raised it with her?

tatt Sun 23-Aug-09 09:33:16

too young to be deliberately naughty but not too young to start learning to respect other people. So give him extra things to play with and remove him (to the garden maybe) if too boisterous. Tapping not appropriate unless it's something like removing a hand from a hot fire but hardly child abuse.

GypsyMoth Sun 23-Aug-09 09:37:56

its not going to help future family relationships if he is branded as 'naughty' at just 16 months either,is it?!

Loujalou Sun 23-Aug-09 09:38:29

I say no sternly and take him away from anything he doesn't get the message about. MIL takes away all things she wants him to keep away from. He definitely needs to learn what is allowed and what isn't. Give him lots of praise when he does good too (my mum's advice - good this time).

He does understand no and will stop doing things.

My mum is just being herself. Don't take her too seriously. She likes to stir things up. She was a teacher...

I did tell MIL I didn't think he was being naughty. Don't think DH would say anything to her though. Even though he agrees.

Loujalou Sun 23-Aug-09 09:40:27

Don't think I want her to look after DS - but she is moving away so won't be. She is going to be looking after his cousin when he is older. Not sure if SIL has the balls to put her foot down though.

Other words of wisdom from MIL - don't waste money on a window cleaner. Even though DH said they had one when he was younger.

piscesmoon Sun 23-Aug-09 09:40:48

This is the DSs grandmother purepurple with whom they need to have a lifetime's relationship-a bit of diplomacy is needed. It isn't in the DS's interests to sever contact! It is a minor hiccup-easily sorted with give and take.

Loujalou Sun 23-Aug-09 09:42:00

Not severing contact. She is really good with him in general and he loves her. Just get annoyed with her.

pagwatch Sun 23-Aug-09 09:43:21

I understand that he will not be helped to be branded as naughty.
But dealing with MIL, explaining that it is not the way you want him to be handled and that you will not allow it, is the way to deal with it.
Gossiping about MIL with various memebers of the family will create hostility, increase tension and damage the relationship with this boys grandmother.

I agree with the fact that he should not be called naugty. I wouldn't have allowed my children to be talked to like that.
But I would have dealt with it with the person involved and stopped it. I wouldn't have gossiped about it instead.

piscesmoon Sun 23-Aug-09 09:45:16

I wasn't suggesting severing contact-it was aimed at purepurple who I would hate to have as a DIL-unless she was joking!

piscesmoon Sun 23-Aug-09 09:47:21

I would agree, I wouldn't talk about her behind her back. Just quietly say that he is just a 16month old exploring, you will stop him from touching anything he shouldn't and perhaps, while he is at that stage she could put anything really precious out of reach.

wheredidiputmyfone Sun 23-Aug-09 09:48:50

It's not possible for a 16 month old to be naughty in the same way a 3/4 YO can be naughty IMO, they just can't understand stuff at that level.

But if you don't say anything to your MIL, wont that cause probs if she ever babysits for you?

BonsoirAnna Sun 23-Aug-09 09:51:02

I sympathise with the OP.

It is healthy and a sign of intelligence for a 16 month old child to be inquisitive about his environment, and he doesn't have any idea of boundaries at this age. Adults ought to encourage and foster exploration, not condemn it as "naughty" behaviour (what they really mean is that it is inconvenient for them).

debs40 Sun 23-Aug-09 09:54:36

How strange that people think little babies can be deliberately naughty. I had a similar experience staying with my very intelligent, compassionate friend last weekend. She has a 16 month old girl and called her naughty numerous times.

Example, 'DD keeps twirling her finger in my hair, she knows it's naughty but it doesn't stop her'. To her face, 'put that down you know you are being a naughty girl'

Etc etc hmm. There never seemed to be the right moment to challenge that either plus she's pretty touchy (this is her first) about these things.

Loujalou Sun 23-Aug-09 09:55:54

I did tell her that I didn't think he was being naughty. So she does know and also told her I didn't agree with the tapping on wrist thing.

DS was touching DHs eyes which is not good and needs to be stopped and we are working on it.

Wasn't sure if I was being over sensitive by telling her and maybe I was over reacting. But think DS will learn to be naughty at one point.

BonsoirAnna Sun 23-Aug-09 09:57:24

If your DS does things you really don't want him to do, you need to explain why to him (children are never too young to hear rational explanations for desired behaviours), and possibly remove him or distract him.

Loujalou Sun 23-Aug-09 09:59:23

We do tell him things are dangerous, hot or they hurt. I do hate just saying no all the time.

Its funny what they pick up on. DH got the clippers out to do DS hair today and he hasn't done it for a while but DS still got upset when he saw them.

BonsoirAnna Sun 23-Aug-09 10:00:09

Why are you clipping a 16 months boy's hair anyway? Some battles just are not worth it!

pagwatch Sun 23-Aug-09 10:05:21


Perhaps you should re-prase how you explain to your MIL.
You are expressing it as if you have one way and she has another - and it is just a matter of each doing what you want. But you are his mother.
So why don't you explain it differently - That you and your DH have decided that this is not the way that you want your son spoken to and that you need her to respect that when she is dealing with him.
It is the same as with any other decisions you will make as a parent - like being a vegitarian or bedtimes etc etc. She should expect to respect your wishes.
It is definately something your DH should discuss too as it is his mother. You expect your mum to respect your wishes don't you?

Then it is just up to you to make sure he doesn't break stuff when he is there smile

Loujalou Sun 23-Aug-09 10:06:05

I wouldn't bother but DH does it when I am not there. I would leave it but hubby likes to do it. Keep well away.

diddl Sun 23-Aug-09 10:11:51

I also think it depends whose house you were in.
Your house-your rules.
But in MIL´s house, I do think she has a right to ask your little boy to leave things alone-or ask you to ask him.

purepurple Sun 23-Aug-09 10:12:13

pisces, of course I was joking grin
I was just emphasising the point that it's ok to hit children but not adults.
How would Granny like it, if every time she farted or spilt her tea or something trivial, somebody tapped her on the hand and said "Don't be so naughty"
I don't think she would.
On the other hand, I don't think it's child abuse either.
As a parent, OP, you have to be assertve and stand your ground and explain why you do things the way you do.

Loujalou Sun 23-Aug-09 10:13:08

When my mum does things my DH is not happy with I have to talk to her but he seems resistant to do the same for me. Boys and their mums.

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