Grandparent advice(17 Posts)
Dont know if pregnancy is the best place for this but will give it a go- after some
traumatic interesting conversations about my plans for birth and first few weeks with baby both my mum and my MIL have had some interesting pearls of wisdom which have left me fuming and DH in hysterics as I walked away mumbling under my breath f* off granny Somebody mentioned that there are grandparent classes which encourage them to realise that things have changed in the past 30 years with regards to birth experience and parenting but I can't find any in my area. Are there any books anyone could recommend that would gently let them know that yes, we want them involved but that we will be making the decisions etc?
Smile and nod, then walk away and do your own thing...
Hmmm, it's hard not to offend but unless you want to be pleasing them at your own expense (and driving yourself mad) I'd be honest with them. I know finding a book seems a more gentle approach but what if they don't want to read it? Or what if they just think you're being influenced by a writer's opinion?
I think to be clear to them it has to be coming from you.
It's a shame your partner didn't support you instead of laughing.
I know it's hard but you can't please everyone. Have the confidence to smile, nod and say 'Ok, but we're doing it this way.'
I had some real heart to hearts with my MIL and DM (after many attempts to consider their opinions but being bulldozed anyway) in an attempt to keep everyone happy. It was nigh impossible and in the end I needed to trust in my own judgement. They accepted it in the end and to be honest, you need them to for your own sanity.
After baby comes they'll carry on telling you how to raise him/her and it will drive you mad. Can't guarantee they won't chip in anyway (they will want to help) but make it clear you and DP make the final decisions.
Good luck OP.
Sorry I can't add much to the other advice but just wanted to say yes, afraid you will need to tackle this head on now, jointly with your DH, as imposing their views will only increase when baby arrives. Some of their outdated views might be dangerous (eg putting baby to sleep on front instead of back as now shown to be safer, or adding cereal to a bottle etc) and if they will be doing any baby sitting you need to know that they will follow your directions for baby's care and not just decide they know best.
My dd now 2 and we've had huge issues with fil who feeds dd sweets & cakes then he throws tanttums when we tell him not to. just tell them your the parents now and you will do what you belueve to be best for your dc
Definitely smile and nod. And pick your battles! They want to help so let them do some things their way, it isn't likely to be all bad advice.
Honeymum21 I soooooooo get it. My own parents are absolute stars and I can talk to them about everything and anything but my IL's......grrrrrrrrrrrrr. I can't even begin to explain the reasons they give me to not trust them or their judgement. Our baby is due in six weeks and I have decided that I am either going to obviously ignore their 'advice' or I am going to say, in no uncertain terms, 'that choice does not belong to you.' If people can't pick up on your body language and reaction to their misguided wisdom it is more than fair for you to point out to them that you are not happy with what they are saying.
Bear in mind that most if time they. Give advice because they genuinely believe it. So that's difficult. I have this problem more with my sister. But you just need to be clear that a) what's known to be better has changed a lot in last 30 years and b) that all parents and babies are different and you will be doing what is best for you and your dc. I did once have to say quite sharply to mil after she had been on and on at me for days about ds crying being "good for him": "you may think that but I don't so we will agree to disagree and as I am his mum I will continue to confort him when he cries." [he was 6 weeks at this stage]
"Would you [MIL] be interested in hearing my opinions about how you 'should' have raised your DC back when it was YOUR turn to make the decisions?"
Littlesurprise - I LOVE that retort. my poor DH had a horrible childhood. i msy just use that, though have managed to avoid seeing my ILs for nearly 18 months with dc2 on the way i will likely have to see them again at some point.
My colleague has suggested I say in a worried voice "are you suggesting I should go against medical advice???"
Thanks for all the replies and advice. I've found a Miriam Stoppard book on grandparenting which i might be blunt and buy for them or leave lying about which seems to focus on how they can best look after their GC and how things have changed since the 70s. But will certainly be using some of these responses,thanks
I had similar worries especially when my Mom pooh poohed the fact that babies should sleep on their back, at certain temperatures etc because in her day babies were on their fronts nicely tucked up in blankets.
If their beliefs could harm your child then you definitely need to make sure they know things have changed, I tackled it by keeping her fully included in everything as I learnt it along the way by sharing leaflets I've been given etc, that way she can see for herself what the latest advice is and also feel that she's being included and valued.
They will be a horrible PITA and smile condescendingly at anything you read and spout from "How to expect...." (but to be fair it is somewhat OTT imo). They will take the view that they didn't kill any of their offspring and you just gently need to point out that while you recognise their vast experience, however SIDS etc advice is there for a reason and you would both like them to sign up to it. You will need to learn the hard way, any more than they did.
That said, you will worship them when they take your cranky screaming offspring and magic a burp out of them using a technique that you've never seen or heard of.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (sp?) 's mum has written a book. Think it's the Good Granny guide or something. I think - as you might expect - she's quite <ahem> well to do but if that's not likely to be a barrier then it might be worth a shot. Supposed to be quite good humoured but pithy I think.
Beware Miriam Stoppard - her advice used to be considered some of the best, but she too now seems to give out outdated information (especially regarding BF)
Depends entirely on the type of person they are - my MIL I simply say "we'll think about that, it's another avenue to explore" or "actually we tried that already and it didn't work for us"
even when we haven't
My mum will throw advice out all the time but actually happy to listen to my responses - we loosely follow attachment parenting theories so I showed her some information on it, and she has since said if she was raising a child now she would AP so clearly that was the way to deal with her advice
Agree you have to choose your battles, so if leaving your child with them you need to know your choices will be followed where it really matters eg feeding, sleep position etc but still remember that they are doing you a favour so if your routine goes out for a night you may just have to accept it. When you are just being given unsolicited advice, it's not doing any harm and is usually easier just to smile and nod
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