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FIL's attitude to DD - should I be worried?

(16 Posts)
goingnowherefast Mon 01-Jun-09 11:25:15

FIL is often sharp with our nephews (aged 2 and 4) and I have heard him say on more than one occasion that they should be "given a good smack". He shouts at them sometimes for being too loud/boistrous/often imo just for normal child behaviour, especially when they are cooped up all day. MIL will be looking after our dd soon. She's only 13 months but I am worried about FIL being too harsh with her. Should we say something - or is it a case of in their house they can set their own rules?

WinkyWinkola Mon 01-Jun-09 12:12:13

Can you give examples of his being "sharp"? I mean, everyone snaps at the children every now then.

There's a big difference between saying they should be given a good smack and smacking them.

But if you've any doubts, don't leave your DD or children with them.

traceybath Mon 01-Jun-09 12:19:34

Umm - i'd perhaps be thinking about your childcare options if i were you.

My FIL really shouted at my ds1 recently for opening the back door of our house to see his daddy who had just arrived home from work. Behaviour which i'm totally ok with.

FIL seemed to really lose his temper and this is bearing in mind he sees my children about 3 times a year for 24 hours a go so its not like he's with them a lot.

In-laws were meant to be coming to stay when i go into hospital to have dc3 soon but i'm re-considering it.

MIL is fine and she knows that FIL is not great with the grandchildren and snaps at them a lot or in her words 'barks orders' at them.

But for me its just not necessary.

Does your fil spend a lot of time with the other grandchildren?

Bucharest Mon 01-Jun-09 12:21:25

I think you need to tactfully set some ground rules. Whilst it is different saying they merit a good smack to giving them one, it mught also be that he thinks a good hiding is OK. This is something you need to find out about.....
Sounds a bit not-child-friendly to me tbh.

goingnowherefast Mon 01-Jun-09 15:41:57

Thank you for your opinions.

I don't think he would actually smack any of them, but it is just that I think he expects too much of them. So he would shout/get cross when we wouldn't. I know he believes in smacking and thinks that children are unruly these days because parents won't smack them - but as I said I don't think he actually would.

goingnowherefast Mon 01-Jun-09 15:44:36

He spends a fair bit of time with the others, but MIL does most of the care. However when our nephew wouldn't put on his coat to go out before I heard FIl say "bring him here, I'll hold him down and make him put it on", to which MIL said "no don't do that". So I think she would have the overall say, it's just the shouting at I'm thinking about really. And dd getting confused because FIL would get cross about things we wouldn't get cross about. But, it is his house!

HerBeatitudeLittleBella Mon 01-Jun-09 15:49:10

oh he sounds like a bad tempered old git.

I wouldn't leave my kid with him.

Lots of people of that generation simply don't believe in treating children as people and my personal attitude is that my bottom line from a childcarer is that they assume my kids are people just like they are, with feelings and wants and needs that are just as important to them, as adults' needs are to them.

Many ole gits would say that's just fluffy liberal nonsense and the reason the world has gone to hell in a handcart. And I would consider them unsuitable childcarers.

FabulousBakerGirl Mon 01-Jun-09 15:49:42

I don't buy this there house, there rules. The fact she is your child over rides that. Having said that, you do have to let some things go, ime, but the really important things shoul dbe stuck too.

HerBeatitudeLittleBella Mon 01-Jun-09 15:50:39

Yeah if it's their house their rules, I'd choose a different house tbh. One where the rules are more to my liking.

LittleWhiteWolf Mon 01-Jun-09 17:04:56

To some extent its 'their house, their rules', but I think thats trumped by 'your kid, your rules'. Kids need consistency and as long as their are boudaries that are agreed by both parties everything should be fine. Your FIL just sounds like a mean old man.

goingnowherefast Mon 01-Jun-09 20:21:55

Thank you everyone.
He has his good points (honest!) but his views on raising children totally contradict mine! I think I'll ask dh to chat to mil. We are going to be a bit stuck for childcare as dd is not due to start nursery for a few months, and mil was going to have her until then. But if we can agree on some things then it should hopefully be ok. It's just how to phrase it now - very difficult!

goingnowherefast Mon 01-Jun-09 20:24:31

HerBeatitudeLittleBella - that's exactly it, I can even imagine him using the phrase "fluffy liberal nonsense"!

plimple Mon 01-Jun-09 20:29:13

Your dh grew up alright didn't he? If you're worried he'll lose his temper suggest what you do to get your dd to do things e.g. How do you get your DD to wear a coat when she kicks up a fuss?

goingnowherefast Mon 01-Jun-09 20:32:19

Of course dh grew up ok - that's why I feel like I could be overreacting worrying about this. Doesn't mean I particularly want DD to be shouted at unnecessarily though, or told she could do with a good slap.

We will chat to them. I'm not sure what to do for the best.

plimple Mon 01-Jun-09 20:54:48

I'd speak to the MIL, she sounds like the boss to me. Explain you're worried about him shouting and threatening. Don't say the things he's bothered by are unnecessary though as they may not feel that they are e.g. If it's cold I'd make a child wear a coat, but I wouldn't have to shout or hold them down to do so. Then ask her if she can talk to him. Sounds like she'll agree with you anyway.

traceybath Mon 01-Jun-09 20:58:40

My DH grew up ok but when pressed does have 'issues' with his father.

He was always grumpy and also had very little to do with his children.

Not an ideal childcarer by any stretch and it doesn't sound like your FIL is either. Expect your mil to be very defensive though - it is her husband after all.

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