When your parents and in laws take your requests re: your child as a personal insult?!(4 Posts)
My parents, occasionally (my Dad really) and more so my in laws (MIL especially) seem to take my requests re: my kids when in their care as a personal insult. They get all huffy and accuse me of being paranoid eg when I run through a checklist etc or ask them if they're 100% sure how to safely buckle the kids into their car seats etc. But MIL shows she doesn't know everything all too often - putting 2 week old down in Moses basket on his side, not feet to foot etc. I was there a minute after and corrected him but her body language gets all defensive when she sees that. With my older son she bundled him up in 3 blankets and a hat indoors while he was a tiny and she watched him for an hour or so one evening so that DH and I could go for a little stroll.
If I raise these things with DH he gets all defensive and implies that if I trust my parents then why not his mum (who he feels is more capable and switched on etc). The difference is that I can much more easily tell my parents how it is and what they're doing wrong without fear of offending or making things awkward. MIL is quite arrogant (years as a single parent of 3 necessitating self-sufficiency and self-assurance) when it comes to childcare and it annoys me, kind as she is in general. How do you handle these situations?
So 3 out of 4 grandparents do wrong. Tbh I'd say that's pretty normal. Guidelines on lots have changed over the years. They probably think they are doing things right as that's how they did them.
How you approach it with them is what is key. If you appear to be constantly nit picking it won't help. They will feel they jave rasied x number of kids to adulthood, a feat you have not yet accomplished. Have conversations about how best advise has changed. I regularly have these conversations with MIL and at times its hard not to sound preachy but you do need to try.
Just to add I would be very grateful if someone would write a book for Grandparents 'I know you raised 4 kids but here is a list of things that have changed. Your DIL will appreciate you if you follow these guidelines'
I think with grandparents you just have to hold your tongue quite a bit and trust them. I can understand why she would feel offended if you gave her a checklist. It's hard for you as you just want to protect your baby but imagine when the time comes for you to watch your grandchildren and your son's wife acts like you can't look after a child properly, it would get your back up.
They love the baby too so as hard as it is, you have to trust them. I've felt the same though, I had to watch my mother in law put my baby to sleep on his side (and watch with worry on her face when I put him down on his back as this wasn't the right thing to do 20 years ago) and watch my parents give my kids chocolate at 8am. It's hard but you have to have faith in their abilities. They probably get the impression that you just don't trust them, think they can't raise children and are better than them. Of course, you are just being a protective parent but it's one of those things that aren't going to go away. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child...so as hard as it is, I think you need to consider their feelings and trust them
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