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To think my mum is really out of order?

(43 Posts)
whethergirl Sun 11-Oct-09 22:22:59

Today we were at a family gathering. DS aged 4.5 was getting a bit overexcited and was also a bit tired. He kept jumping on the sofa behind me, where I, my cousin and aunt were sitting. My aunt asked him to stop jumping but he ignored her. I asked him to stop 2 times because it was just distracting to have someone jumping behind me while I was trying to talk. Then my cousin turned to him and nicely asked him to stop because she has a bad back, and I immediately followed with "I've already told you to stop" at which point he immediately went to jump on the sofa again. So stopped him with my hand and said loudly "I SAID NO". He then started sobbing and - to the rescue - AS ALWAYS - my mum. First she tried to console him and failed. She then told him "Mummy's going to say sorry now" so I told her, no actually, I wasn't. Then she tried to pretend to tell me off so that he could hear, but I stopped her and said "No mum, I told him off for a reason". She then carries him out of the room, exclaiming "Oh you're just a baby and no-one seems to realise" and spent 20 minutes pandering to him outside in the corridor and bending over backwards to make him laugh.

It just really flippin pisses me off. I find it so undermining and very disrespectful. I discipline my child as I see fit, and there she is, spoiling him and pandering to him. And making me out be the bad cop in the process. I'm a single parent and she babysits for me twice a week so sees enough of him to make an impact. I don't my son growing up to be a brat that doesn't respect his own mother.

The irony of it is, when I was a child, she would have thought nothing of giving me a slap for such behaviour!!!

thesunshinesbrightly Sun 11-Oct-09 22:28:48

I know the feeling, my mom is exactly like yours, drives me nuts!!! but what can you do.

6feetundertheGroundhogs Sun 11-Oct-09 22:29:02

Oooh, i can see why you got wound up.... Whethergirl, you are right you know that. YANBU.

Can you sit down with her and explain that no matter how she disagrees with you, she has to back you up in front of DS, and disagree with you when he is out of earshot.

Explain your thinking about the brat thing, again you are 100% right. He has to be taught to respect you and her undermining you directly like that is not acceptable.

Good luck

Ewe Sun 11-Oct-09 22:32:15


Grandparents are a law unto themselves!

beaniesinthebucketagain Sun 11-Oct-09 22:32:17


But im afraid it seems to be a grandparent thing! Not alot of point talking to them because in the next breath theyre back to old habits!

TigerBitesAgain Sun 11-Oct-09 22:37:30

with mine it's either "he's only a little boy (DS is 7) so cut him some slack" - when he's being obnoxious and needs telling off

Or: yes, of course you can have a biscuit/sweets/icelolly immediately before a meal, or after he's had a load of crap like that, and without even thinking of asking me

Or: you awful child, what are you thinking of (for some misdemeanour I can't fathom out and nor can he).

Grandparents - love 'em but don't try to work out what's going on in their Werther Original soaked old heads.

thesunshinesbrightly Sun 11-Oct-09 22:38:44

yes i agree with beanie, you can talk to them till you are blue in the face, makes no difference.

whethergirl Sun 11-Oct-09 22:43:31

I know, a lot of it I try to ignore, like when she babys him (she spent a lot of this evening spoonfeeding him while allowing him to play with his cousin in between mouthfuls) , but sometimes she just goes to far. Anyway, comforting to know I'm not the only one.

I know talking to her would be the obvious thing but I don't want to because

1. She will be SOOO offended and there will be a horrible vibe between us for weeks. She might even say something nasty to me which would be really upsetting. Don't forget, she comes to my house for 2 whole days (during which most of the time I'm there - and babysits in the evening) which means not only do I see a lot of her but I also NEED her and don't want to rock the boat.

2. As beaniesinthebucketag... says, she'll only slip into her old ways before long or just try and do it behind my back.

whethergirl Sun 11-Oct-09 22:45:14

Lol at TigerBitesAgain "Werther Original soaked old heads"!

Monsterspam Sun 11-Oct-09 22:52:20

YANBU - she seems to be showing of in front of others (like my mum does).

whethergirl Sun 11-Oct-09 22:53:34

It's really made me have to rethink things as well. I was going to get a part time job once he was at school but it would mean more babysitting from my mum (especially during school hols) and I just don't want her to have a negative influence on him.

Just remembered a funny incident though, the other week he was wriggling and messing about during dinner and ended up spilling a plate of food, so I told him "You see, that's what happens when you don't sit still" to which my mum jumped in with "Oh leave him alone, you're too snappy", he then turned to her and said "Don't you DARE tell my mum off, she's my mummy and I love her more than you"!!!

thesunshinesbrightly Sun 11-Oct-09 22:55:15

oh yes wetherirl you will be made to feel guilty, your mother on the other hand will say 'i do a lot for you and if you dont like it you wont want me too babysit' you will be made out too be the bad one. trust me.

whethergirl Sun 11-Oct-09 22:55:35

Monsterspam, good point actually! She did seem to be overdoing it a bit, in a room full of relatives. What she didn't realise was that her sister turned to me and said "She shouldn't do that" and my cousin told me afterwards how embarassing it was to watch her act like that!

thesunshinesbrightly Sun 11-Oct-09 22:56:22

aww thats lovily, bright little boy smile

LissyGlitter Sun 11-Oct-09 22:57:20

My FILs trick is to completely ignore me when I say if DD doesn't eat her tea she can't have anything after. I do the thing of not making a fuss and just letting her come back later to her tea if she really has left a lot, but he constantly sneaks her treats! Today I must have told him she wasn't hungry about ten times, and he still kept giving her little yogurts and grapes and things - it's like he thinks healthy stuff doesn't count or something! Grrr!

He spoonfeeds DD as well. It has got to the point where me and DP dive for the seats either side of her at the dinner table so she can eat in peace. He will actually take the fork out of her hand to cut the food up smaller and spoonfeed it to her - she is 2.5 fgs!

Just little things, but SO irritating!

Monsterspam Sun 11-Oct-09 22:58:46

It's sooooo bloody annoying, isn't it? DH and I have a private joke that she turns into supergran every Boxing Day when all the family are round! Sitting on the floor playing, singing, etc when she never does this during the rest of the year!

sayithowitis Sun 11-Oct-09 23:04:44

IME this is a very real problem when some grandparents are minding their GC and forget that the relationship is rather different from a 'traditiona' gp/gc one. After all, many GPs want to be able to 'spoil' their GC a bit, to treat them and to be the 'good guy' to the parents 'bad guy'. And most times, that is fine because the GP are the ones who will do those special, memorable things with the GC and the parents do all the regular stuff, including the discipline etc. However, when a GP is minding the GC, the boundaries can become somewhat blurred. They still want that special relationship but now they are also responsible for some of the discipline. And many of them find it so hard that they just continue to spoil the GC. I have seen this happen with one of my DSis' Dcs and also with my BILs Dcs. The relationships they have with their GMs are very different from the one my children have, particularly my mum and my DC1. They have such a special bond between them that it is a real joy to see. Even now DC is a young adult and not living here, to see them together brings tears to my eyes. it reminds me so much of the relationship I had with my dear, dear grandmother. All the way through my childhood, right up to her death just a couple of years ago, she was so wonderful in my eyes. And she never 'looked after' us, apart from one time when my mum was in hiospital. But she was forever taking me out for the odd day, or swimming,or sharing her wonderful story telling ability with me. And yes, spoiling me. But it worked because she was never responsible for disciplining me.

So, I think you should mention it to her because at 4.5 he is not a baby, does not need to be spoon fed and certainly does not need to be indulged in the way she is doing. Part of loving someone means helping them to be the kind of person that others will also love and that means sometimes being tough with ourselves about guiding our children in the right way. Unless of course she actually wants everybody else to just think he is a spoilt brat because tht is what she is doing at the moment.

whethergirl Sun 11-Oct-09 23:08:44

I must say, my mum is brilliant with him in that when she comes to see him, she will literally play with him ALL day long, and will get stuck into anything - lego, sword fighting, hide and seek, train sets, you name it. But when she babys him and panders to his every whimsical need it's almost like saying out loud "You're not doing your job properley as a mother." For eg, if he wants me to wash his hands for him, I'll say "Come on Ds, you know how to wash your hands" and my mum will compeltely miss the point and go "I'll wash your hands for you sweetheart, don't worry, granny's here". ARGGGGGHHHH

LissyGlitter, you think that's bad, my mum not only cuts up his food and spoon feeds him, but will tell him a story during the whole meal so that he will eat more.

whethergirl Sun 11-Oct-09 23:12:51

sayithowitis, that's the part she really doesn't seem to get. She thinks that by being too soft with him she is showing her love for him, but actually it's just detrimental to his well being and doing him no favours at all.

whethergirl Sun 11-Oct-09 23:15:39

And yes, sayithowitis, exactly, she is in many ways, 'the other parent' (ds doesn't see his dad) so can not soley act as the 'traditional' role of grandmother, and should think more about supporting me considering as I am the only that is responsible for disciplining him.

colditz Sun 11-Oct-09 23:27:54

I have been known to put my boys' dinner in the oven for an hour rather than serve it in front of their grandad, who will nag them incessantly about eating until they get pissed off and don't want their food any more! I had to physically remove a fork from his hand earlier this week, he was trying to feed my 3 year old who had clearly had enough and wasn't opening his mouth.

Sometimes I have to be really quite sharp, then I get the patented 'wounded old man' look - which is a corker considering he's only 55!

whethergirl Sun 11-Oct-09 23:39:46

Force feeding kids is just so wrong. When my ds says he's finished but hasn't cleared the plate, my mum will try anything to get him to eat it all. DS will insist he's full up, and if I intervene, she'll give a really dramatic worried look like she's so worried about him starving to death when I clearly don't care at all.

LissyGlitter Sun 11-Oct-09 23:44:47

Ooh, and how about the excessive praise for eating veg? DD loves to eat broccoli, she will be happily munching away until FIL starts up with "wow, you are eating broccoli, most children don't like broccoli, are you sure you like it, well done for eating it, if you eat one more bite you can have some chocolate" and so on, until she stops eating the veg and holds her hand out for chocolate! She didn't even know before that broccoli wasn't a treat itself!

I swear, I am going to start cutting up his food and fussing over him while he eats to see how he likes it!

worldgonemad72 Mon 12-Oct-09 11:01:10

My mum an dad are exactly the same, my mum once said that she'd bought my daughter up as she looked after her when i had to go work, needless to say im getting a childminder for my boy when i go back after my maternity leave (it hasn't gone down well). If i tell my daughter off when they are around they tell me 'you used to be exactly the same and leave her be' well yea i probably was but i used to get a telling off!!
their pandering to her really grates on my nerves, she is like a different child when at their house as she knows she can get away with most things, whenever i comment on how dd is at theirs she laughs it off and says that ds will be exactly the same - i just want scream over my dead body lol.
Ive got no advice as such apart from stick to your guns, say he's my child and i dont want him growing up thinking he can run to you everytime i tell him off. Ive started doing this and i just hope it will sink in one day - fingers crossed.

whethergirl Mon 12-Oct-09 11:13:22

oh yes, I get that worldgonemad72, when I was a kid I was SO MUCH WORSE than my ds, always up to no good I was. And yes, sometimes I can't stand my ds when he's around my mum, he has her running circles. He even hit her one time, I was just about to tell him off and my mum still stuck up for him "Oh no, it was an accident wasn't it sweetheart?". Half of me wanted to say, oh in that case carry on then, keep hitting granny by accident then, just know not to do it to anyone else! I sometimes think this is all going to backfire on her one day, and the decent respectful boy I raised will just be exclusively rude and disrespectful towards her.

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