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'Robust' play - granny too physical?

(9 Posts)
Ginga66 Thu 03-Sep-09 22:33:25

My mother in law adores my 5 month old a little too much!!! She seems to be pushing him to play 'hard', maybe because he is a boy I don't know. My DH said that she pulled him from a lying position by the arms at 4 months and claimed it was 'strength training'. In general she is very loud and robust with him and my DH and I are a little worried that she might inadvertently injure him or deafen him (ha ha) in her attempts to aid him. We have tried telling her not to do this but she ignores us. She also tries to talk over us and in general really I think she wants to be the mommy! She told us off for wanting to ensure he is not exposed to pathogens and dirt; for wanting to go in a baby pool rather than a regular one etc. At wits end. She is very helpful with housework and with him but we want to protect him. Can anyone sugggest a way forward. Also cold hard facts about play and development that we could give her would be useful.
Any adivice appreciated.

morocco Thu 03-Sep-09 22:38:33

she managed to bring up your dh ok? she probably has more experience with kids than you (am guessing this is your first?). if she's doing dangerous things - no car seat for example - then she needs telling that times and the law have changed. but maybe she's right about some things as well - what exactly is the deal with pathogens and dirt? is she shoving dirt in his face or something? hard to tell from your post if she's being unreasonable on that or not. pulling from lying to sitting - can he do it? does he support his head? really can't remember when mine could do it but they were pretty young

Pyrocanthus Thu 03-Sep-09 23:37:26

I'm sure your son doesn't need to be protected from her, but the problem is her 'wanting to be the mommy'. She appears to think you're a bit soft with him and is trying to give you the benefit of her experience, but you are the parents and are entitled to handle your baby as gently and hygienically as you see fit.

Don't worry about your baby (unless he seems distressed by the boistrous handling) try not to let it get to you and make the most of the help. Easier said than done, I know, I really do, but this sort of difference of opinion between the generations is very common, based on the best of intentions, and not worth falling out over if you can possibly help it.

And remember that your son is rapidly growing more robust and this particular issue should resolve itself within a very few months - by which time, if MIL's training has worked, he should be able to put her in a half-nelson if she annoys him.

mathanxiety Fri 04-Sep-09 05:36:45

She's trying to 'man him up'? She's ignoring your stated wishes? She will probably laugh at your attempts to educate her about development, germs, etc. Get someone else to come in and help with the house. It will be worth the money. It's your turf. You're the boss where your DS is concerned. BTW she is probably right about pathogens and germs -- exposure builds immunity (not talking about feeding him from the bin, but a reasonably clean house, not a sterilised one, is fine for a baby)

Effjay Fri 04-Sep-09 13:35:41

She must respect your decisions about the way you parent your child and if you are not happy with the way she is behaving, you need to have a conversation. I found my parents were trying to 'parent' my little boy, especially at mealtimes, constant instructions, do this, eat it up, don't do that, etc. As he is their first, they have to accept that being a 'grandparent' is different to being a parent. I told them that they must let me take the lead and find my own way with being a parent and accept that sometimes it might be different from what they did. They later thanked me for being honest with them and things have significantly improved. They still get their own way with him when I'm not around, but I'm relaxed about that!

LovelyTinOfSpam Fri 04-Sep-09 13:56:35

Oh my dad does this.

Getting the new baby and seeing if she can support her head, pulling to sitting, generally doing things which make me feel a bit uncomfortable.

DD1 survived it though. And he is a doctor! So I bite my tongue and let him get on with it...

Obviously if it is something genuinely dangerous then you need to speak up, otehrwise if the baby doesn't mind then really it's OK. They are quite sturdy little things really.

ScummyMummy Fri 04-Sep-09 14:10:51

He'll be fine. None of the things she's doing will harm him or sound developmentally inappropriate. She sounds annoying though and very lacking in tact! She should be biting her tongue and making encouraging noises instead of hinting that she thinks you're over-protective. Can you leave them alone together for an hour or so so you don't have to watch them/receive her advice?

Reallytired Fri 04-Sep-09 18:33:31

I don't think that your mother in law is doing any harm. Babies enjoy energetic play. Is your baby smiling or crying? My do similar things with my daughter.

Ginga66 Mon 07-Sep-09 16:50:28

OK, thank you all, will try to lay down some rules whilst allowing her to do as she feels right. Still I have not heard of 'strength training' so where does she get this ide from?

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