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I think I've upset my MIL. Again.

(5 Posts)
YesAnastasia Mon 05-Nov-12 14:05:42

In fact I know I have. I'm always doing it.

This time I've told her that I don't want her to keep saying that my eldest child is clever, "no, I mean REALLY clever" and then saying "Of course, DS2 is too, but..."

I know there's no malice there & she loves DC but she's always said it about DH's DSis, that she's a genius etc & it's affected DH in a way that I don't want to happen with mine. She never did it on purpose (although she does play on the 'rivalry' now to get what she wants but they're both adults now) and she says lovely things about DH too.

I don't like labelling of children, especially when they're so young (3 & 21 mths) so I really needed to say it but I didn't want her to feel criticised about her own parenting. It's only now with hindsight that we know the effect it had so she wasn't to know.

I'm a plain speaking person & always need to air my troubles (sometimes a good thing, sometimes not, but it's who I am) but my PIL aren't like that & see any voicing of differing views as confrontation & take offence really easily. I don't often say how I feel to her/them to but this time I think it's worth it.

Any ideas on how to deal with this 'clash' of personalities? How I should word things in the future? I can't just shut up even if I try...

CogitoErgoSparklers Mon 05-Nov-12 14:14:21

Stick to the truth along the lines of... 'they're both REALLY clever children so don't set one above the other'. In reality, I don't think it matters so much to DCs what granny says or doesn't say because grannies tend to say all kinds of rubbish (mostly in a nice way) and aren't around all the time. If she takes it as a criticism of her own parenting.... never mind.

YesAnastasia Mon 05-Nov-12 14:18:25

I do wonder how much impact they have because my own DM was worried about my Grandma when I was young. She was a nutcase but - to me - in the most wonderful way ever!

WineOhWhy Mon 05-Nov-12 14:42:09

Lots of things we do offend my mum, e.g:
1. we limit screen time. When I was growing up we could watch as much tv as we wanted (subject to doing homework).
2. we expect the DC to eat vegetables (they dont have to eat anything they genuinely dont like but are expected to try things etc). We were never made to eat veg (mainly because my dad did not eat them!).

My mum takes both of the above as a criticism of her parenting and sighs and tuts a lot when she hears us telling the DC to turn the TV off or encouraging them to eat their veg. I just ignore. On the other hand, becuase we don't see them that often, when they are looking after the DC I let them feed them whatever they want and entertain them however they want as I dont think a day here and there really makes a difference. So I think it depends in part how often you see your MIL (and whether she has the DC on her own) how much you should make of it. Obviously some behaviour needs to be stopped even if it is infrequent (e.g. dangerous things like driving around with no car seats or showing clear favouritism). From the limited info here, I dont think your MIL is necessarily showing favouritism, but i think needs to be watched in case it turns in to that.

CogitoErgoSparklers Mon 05-Nov-12 14:49:05

I was my late granny's favourite because we had a huge amount in common. But that was OK because DB was everyone else's! DM didn't like her (MIL issues big style) and DB found her annoying... but I think that's the advantage of extended families really. A fighting chance of finding a relative you actually get along with smile

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