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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

I find my MIL's attitude to children's health bonkers

(13 Posts)
TheYearOfTheCat Sat 06-Jun-09 23:33:19

Both my DC have been really ill this week with scarlet fever.

My MIL was round for dinner tonight, and when I mentioned they had been really ill, she was totally dismissive, saying 'well it's better they are exposed to everything before they go to school'. No concern or sympathy.

Now, I am aware of the school of thought that exposure to coughs & sneezes does generally strengthen the immune system, but surely this wouldn't hold true for scarlet fever? And what difference does it make whether they are school age or not?

She was similarly cavalier when I didn't want my 8 month old DS, who had neutropenia, exposed to his cousin who had measles. If I recall she made a comment such as 'well it didn't do any of my lot any harm'. hmm

Should we all really embrace every illness joyfully, knowing it is doing our DC's immune systems the world of good?

nickschick Sat 06-Jun-09 23:36:36

I think years ago parenting wasnt such a 'responsible job' we were kind of parented in communities- I had no end of illnesses as a child and my mum died when I was 11 - just lately talking to my nan she said she wasnt surprised I was so poorly as a child - because I had no immunisations!!

I dont think the older generation were so well informed.

Northernlurker Sat 06-Jun-09 23:38:19

You obviously haven't seen the thread about the four children with measles! smile

I think your mil was just trying to reassure you in a roundabout way. She means you to take away the idea that children get ill and are fine in the end. It's a bit annoying when you are worried bt tbh it's probably more useful than what my mum would do - which is to wring her hands, fret the night away and call the WHO in for a second opinion!

TheYearOfTheCat Sat 06-Jun-09 23:55:27

NorthernLurker - you clearly have a very generous spirit. smile.

TheYearOfTheCat Sat 06-Jun-09 23:56:33

Nickschick - so sorry to hear of your Mum.

nickschick Sat 06-Jun-09 23:57:44

Its ok its been a long time now,thanks tho.

littlelamb Sat 06-Jun-09 23:57:49

I think it's an older generation thing. My nan, who is wonderful in every other way, always says whenever ds gets ill that it is because he is still breastfed. I smile and grit my teeth

isittooearlyforgin Sun 07-Jun-09 00:03:50

my pil always make light of any kind of problems we encounter - think to make herself feel better. think of it as her agenda not yours. wishing all the best for your dc

nickschick Sun 07-Jun-09 00:05:31

My Nan still insists that rubbing ds2s feet and chest with 'dog oil' will cure his M.E hmm.

thumbwitch Sun 07-Jun-09 00:09:15

she does sound a bit on the callous side. Scarlet fever isn't just any old illness, it's pretty unpleasant. And neutropenia obviously restricts the effectiveness of the immune system and means that any infection on top of that is likely to have far more severe consequences.

THe latter one, you could probably forgive her for being bloody ignorant, but the former? Depending on how old she is of course, but scarlet fever was always a name to strike a chill to the heart - did you read Little Women?

Stick with "she is ignorant and self-centred and so narrowminded that she doesn't see anything from anyone else's perspective" and let it go. She won't change. for you though.

thumbwitch Sun 07-Jun-09 00:10:37

Am now going to royally kick myself for not having realised that your DC are still just recovering from scarlet fever - didn't mean to add to your woes, I am so sorry.blush These days it isn't going to have the same impact as it did in poverty-stricken areas in the 18th Century!

TheYearOfTheCat Sun 07-Jun-09 00:17:13

It's ok - DC are on the mend.

OTOH, I have developed a really, really sore throat tonight. Have spent the last 15 minutes self diagnosing strep throat on NHS direct. I wonder how thrilled she & her immune system will be if I have passed it on to her. [bad DIL emoticon]

thumbwitch Sun 07-Jun-09 00:39:54

<snurk> - it'll give you a chance to say "oh I'm sure it's good for your immune system to be challenged regularly, gives it something to do" [evilgrin]

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