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So apparently my DD needs some tough love..(37 Posts)
I always leave the in laws feeling quite pissed off / stressed / upset. Basically, my DD doesn't like them and shows up terribly whenever we are in their company. We've been there all weekend, I think she can cope for so long but then it gets too much for her and she just wants to get away and have her own space. It comes out as tantrums though not being upset as such. She's 20 months.
Anyway MIL completely ignored her so on the last day and I heard her mutter under her breath that she needed some 'tough love'. What exactly am I meant to do!?
I do try to avoid confrontation with her when she's like that and try and keep the peace because it's embarrassing! But I follow through with things and don't let her get her way of she's kicking off.
I don't know what I'm meant to do, or how tough love (whatever that is) will make her any more comfortable with the in laws? Any ideas? I have a newborn as well and finding her behaviour and people's reaction to it quite difficult.
I think you're doing a great job in difficult circumstances, and I think you're handling the situation well with your DD. With a new baby, your DD will potentially be struggling with adjusting to that, plus being in an unfamiliar environment with people who she doesn't like.
Where is your DH in all this? What's he doing to help and to deflect your MIL's misplaced annoyance?
Can you have shorter visits for a while, and/or plan the visit so that you can do different activities with your DD rather than be in the house all the time?
DH does help but I feel like he goes against me wth things and then does things to piss her off that aren't necessary that induce tantrums! So then I get cross with him. Then a couple of times I went off with DD, one time the baby was cold because they'd had him out with no blanket and the other time I came back to find him abandoned on his own! Just feel pretty unsupported. But like everyone is thinking / saying behind my back, "oh haha look how buckyou can't cope and isn't mini buckyou a little shit!" Arrgggg! I'm sure it's not like that and I'm being hormonal but it's so hard!!
They live really far away and go on holiday all the time so we just see them when we see them really it's difficult to plan anything regular. She has never liked them but my BIL and SIL she sees even less regular but is absolutely fine with them.
What doesn't she like about her grandparents?
It does sound a lot Iike it is you that doesn't like them, not your baby? I'm not sure how much of an opinion and judgement/preference a 20 month old can have TBH, but it is quite likely that she is picking up on your intense dislike of them and your tension and anxiety about the situation which would then cause her to play up. I also think the phrase she can cope for so long but then it gets too much for her and she just wants to get away and have her own space is you projecting your emotions onto your child, it sounds like it is exactly how you feel isn't it?
The 'tough love' comment was weird yes, but whatever, I don't understand why you would care if you don't have any respect for them anyway (which is fine - the not having respect if they don't deserve it, it is the caring bit that is baffling). Personally I would work on trying not to give a shit what they think and get on with parenting the way you want to. Nod, smile and ignore all 'helpful'
batshit advice (my preferred method, also with large G&T in hand). Always works for me!
Permanently baffled why it's seen as so wrong for an OP to 'not like' people who are not supportive or nice to them. Being liked is earned. Not liking someone is not a failure. OP is not being a naughty DiL for not embracing what sounds like a miserable few days. However there's that MN Bingo square ticked.
OP, Dd is 20 months old. They can be bloody hard work at this age, it doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong. It sounds like you're being left to wrangle dd and the baby without much support and then getting it in the neck for not doing it better? First step might be very much shorter visits as it sounds like no one is having fun or getting much out of this.
What gets too much for dd, can you pin it down? Is it to do with lots of stuff out in the house that she shouldn't touch so you're having to be on top of her all the time, or that she's getting over played with until she wants a break? What would PiL like her to be able to do? What tends to cause the tantrums?
You are right that they don't sound very nice but I can't see anyone saying she is wrong, I don't get how that can be an MN bingo square ticked?
Sounds like you have a smart dd that can sense bad vibes from mil to me!!
Let their negativity wash over you - having a baby and a toddler is a challenge! Maybe your dh needs to be reminded who he is married to in terms of who he should be supporting?
Be glad they don't live around her corner and forget about her for now!!
Would like to echo HecateAntaia your in laws are being fucking ridiculous don't buy in to their idiotic views about a normal toddler! She's not even two yet they're placing expectations on her to act older.
cat because in any PiL thread someone will swiftly play the accusing 'you don't like them
so it's all your fault ' card.
I'm not MILs biggest fan but I'm not sure it's me. We had a right laugh when she'd gone to bed! There's not an atmosphere or anything.
DD is funny with some people it's just how she is. She's never liked my best friend either. She's just a funny onion! They had a house full not just us visiting and I think it all just gets a bit much for DD. They have a very large house and she just kept trying to run to the quiet end to play!
Tantrums were because of things like having to take her wellies off, not being able to play with ornaments, not wanting to sit down for Sunday lunch. That kind of thing. She was perfect on day one, not bad day two and terrible day 3!
I can see why in laws take it to heart but don't know why they can't see I need a bit of support, not criticism!
I think next time you see them, plan the time with your DH as to what you're going to do, bearing in mind what your DD can cope with and what the baby's needs are. Decide in advance who is going to be responsible for each child at each point, and agree a strategy for if your DD has had enough. In an environment where you have adults who don't help with the children and actively make things worse, then you and DH need to be on the same page and be organised about what you're going to do.
It doesn't matter what they think about your parenting, their opinion isn't one that I think you should hold highly. They're not helping and neither is your DH, you are doing really well to put up with it and manage despite all that. Try just to let it wash over you and don't take it to heart.
Apparently she was giving MIL dirty looks if she tried to interact when she was otherwise happy?
I think the tough love comment has come because I took her away when she was kicking off at lunch but I wasn't going to sit there listening to her kick off and spoil everyone's lunch.
How does a 20 month old give a dirty look, and even if they did, why would an adult be upset by it! How ridiculous.
Does your MIL mean that you should have smacked her? I don't really know what "tough love" really means.
I suspect as you say by day 3 it was all a bit too much having to be on "best" "don't touch" behaviour. If you are stressed by the fact she may touch their ornaments DD is probably picking up on it too.
Are you able to afford to stay nearby at a hotel (B&B or travellodge). We used to do that and it became infinitely more bearable.
Maybe the ils have forgotten what toddlers are like? Is the tough love they mean just removing her from the situation? Because actually sometimes that little time out away from what is happening can work. I'd take her from the room and sit on the stairs myself and let her have the tantrum and then when it was over take her back in.
If tough love means they expect you to smack her then they can jog on!
My parents were like this to me and my child when he was around that age. They made little effort but complained an awful lot. I stopped taking my child there. I suggest you do the same.
I'm not sure what tough love means! Be stricter with her I guess, I don't think she meant to snack her but hard to say.
Smack even! I think they generally think I'm a bit too soft - we should let her CIO or making a rod for our backs, don't cuddle baby too much or we will spoil him etc.
I do take her out of the situation but I think they think that's letting her get her own way.
My niece is the same age and was also visiting and she is a completely different kettle of fish. She loves them and never really kicks off. So I think my DD is compared to DN a lot.
You did the right thing by removing her from the situation, that's prettt much all she can understand at this age. What does your MIL want you to do? Smack her?
Honestly I think their behaviour is making you question your parenting when there's no need, you sound like you're doing fine. Try to ignore their reactions and keep being consistent with your DD, she's not even two, she's emotive, impulsive, affected by changes in routine and not in full control of her reactions and behaviour yet! All totally normal.
They're fools if they don't understand that children are different and have different personalities and reactions to things.
If your ILs are not warm and friendly towards your DD then that really isn't going to help.
I think they've just given up on her a bit now they have friendlier GC who live nearer!😔
I think they've just given up on her a bit now they have friendlier GC who live nearer!😔
If that's true it's fucking awful and she's likely to pick up on their new dislike of her, I'd rethink having them around her they sound toxic.
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