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Expecting first child.... I already see the problems with the inlaws starting. cultural differences, maybe also because of social issues or something else. How do you deal with it? Especially MIL??

(207 Posts)
1horatio Fri 17-Jun-16 21:37:36

So, we're expexting smile OH is awesome. MIL is being difficult...
OH and I have many different opinions (from violence, the army, children and knives, open fires, fishing, shooting, the law [make sure it's worth it if you break it, know how to skirt it vs just follow the law]).
But OH and I talk, compromise and appreciate we're having different cultural backgrounds (OH is English, I'm not. But seeing as I'm also from Europe one might think there would be less differences. We actually enjoy these differences. Especially OH thinks they're incredibly interesting and has many fancy terms... ).

Anyhow, for example: OH's sister's DC is being bullied. Also somewhat phisically. My response: 'Hit then where it hurts'. SIL sat next to us and listened (I proceeded to explain /show a bit how to hit back). MIL comes: 'That's not how we deal with things like this. Go to a teacher.' I say that the teachers know and that it hasn't gotten better. MIL gives me nasty looks and say DC is better than that....

Said child isn't allowed around sharp knives. Ok, I'm not their parent I'd never interfere.
But I got my first dagger with around... 8? and had pocketknives before I went to school. My little brothers had their first daggers when they were much younger. We were taught how to handle them and hardly ever cut us and never somebody else. MIL would be apoplectic if she just heard about it.
Target shooting with a bow is also a perfectly normal activity in my family. Riding isn't seen as "so dangerous" either.... (guns are obviously not for children).
We've always known that meat comes from animals when we were little. Also because sometimes we were the one that killed the animal we were eating. My inlaws thought it was terribly morbid I accidentally called the beef we were eating a cow....

How do you guys deal with this? Does anybody else have similar experiences? Now that we're expecting LO MIL is trying to influence so much. She wants me to stop doing a sport I love after the birth, makes comments like:"one should never let a child do...." and glances at me meaningfully....

Plus MIL is soo concerned with appearance. Some names are 'bad', screaming children are a disgrace but dummies are ok (I'm of the opposite opinion) and she always gives me this stare. Or says: "we don't like this, do we, 1horatio?" whereas I'm just thinking: "we?!"

1horatio Fri 17-Jun-16 21:39:34

Oh, and sorry this is so long. Had a thread last weekend because of food and started to pay very much attention to MIL's behaviour and what exactly I was annoyed/upset about.

Daffodil90 Fri 17-Jun-16 21:43:43

I agree in a sense that the parenting decisions should be left to the parents but I'm a bit aghast at children having blades and daggers before school?!

I'd just talk to your DH, decide on the ways you want to parent and stick to it. MIL will have to fall in line and your DH will have to set the line with her.

ApocalypseSlough Fri 17-Jun-16 21:46:00

If keep my counsel more if I were you. Differences will come up, or maybe not but there's no point setting your stall out at this point. Keep your powder dry. wink

Fomalhaut Fri 17-Jun-16 21:50:04

Distinguish between things that are an absolute no in the uk and those which are just different parenting styles.

So a dummy - do what you what. It's not important.
Your sport, carry on (unless it's bear baiting.)
Riding - fine. But yeah it's dangerous- I've injured myself badly doing it.

But if the kid goes to school and tells his pals he's been handling knives, someone's going to call social services on you. And if he kicks the shit out of his bully, it's likely he will get the flack.

TheAntiBoop Fri 17-Jun-16 21:58:12

Having kids was the first time dh and I really had a problem with our differences tbh. We are over it now but he does a lot of compromising because we do like having the kids around!

I would say, if you are living in England you may need to accept some of your way of doing things may be frowned upon and you should consider the impact on your kids. If you live in your country obviously that doesn't matter!

1horatio Fri 17-Jun-16 22:09:37

Yes, I know agree about the weapons (sadly. But there are summer hollidays in my country!!).

But... You can't hit your bully?? I'm not talking about sending then to the hospital. But no grappling? No fist? Huh... That seems very weird to me.

As for blades... Well, we all had army knives/pocket knives. For wood stuff and was absolutely normal in kindergarten. I also knew how to split wood wih an axe(?) when I was around 8 (or younger).
We also took pocketknives with us on school hiking trips in elementary (6 and older, it was sometimes even mandatory.)

The dagger part. Well, my little brothers were... 4 and 6 (maybe?). They were taught how to handle it and they had to ask if they wanted to use it?

I think MIL feels like she's in a position of power because my family isn't here and she 'knows how it's done'. And she is so obsessed about apearance. And appearing 'trashy'. And me making her look trashy. She'd never say 'trashy' btw.

Creampastry Fri 17-Jun-16 22:10:02

Lets see if you give your 8 year old a dagger....hmm

1horatio Fri 17-Jun-16 22:13:07

Could I teach them how to handle knives but just not let then keep the knive?

It's nor bear baiting. But it is a martial art. (and I probably appear like a total knucklehead here... I have a masters degree in law and played the violine for about 14 (?) year.)

1horatio Fri 17-Jun-16 22:17:08

Why not a dagger? I was chopping wood with 8 (no supervision, in our cellar and carried the wood basket), knew how to assemble my stepbrother's ak before I was 18. I never shot somebody... Children are smart. They just have to be taught....

MyKidsAreTakingMySanity Fri 17-Jun-16 22:19:30

Carrying knives is illegal in the UK. Unless your kid is living the Bear Grylls lifestyle, they absolutely do NOT need a pocketknife or dagger!

As for hitting bullies back, it simply doesn't work. Responsible adults should be left to deal with it. An eye for an eye just leaves everyone blind.

I'm not even touching the "learn how to skirt the law" crap.

Mamaka Fri 17-Jun-16 22:21:49

My dh is also from a country where kids are taught how to handle dangerous things eg knives early on. They say it's safer to know how to handle them than not to. Our 4 year old chops fruit and veg with a sharp knife and our 2 year old is learning to. My 4 year old also helps me cook at the hob. It seems like they actually become more responsible the more responsibility they are given. If they are bullied in school I think we would teach them to first go to the adults but then if nothing changed, fight back in a really assertive, no nonsense kind of way! There is absolutely nothing wrong with self defence in fact it's really important to teach.
Anyway like pp said, talk to dh and agree on parenting rules and stick to them and ignore mil as much as possible!

1horatio Fri 17-Jun-16 22:23:17

Oh, I know. The UK has really strict weapon laws. I totally follow UK law. It was weird at first (I used to carry a pocketknive with me for fruit for example) and I got used to it.

I practice law. Contract law, mostly international. That's all I have to say about that particular issue.

KatharinaRosalie Fri 17-Jun-16 22:27:12

Are you Swiss? Sounds very familiar grin

DH and I are from different countries. Whenever PILs say anything about child rearing, I say that this is the way we do it in my culture. They have to either insult the culture, or shut up.

1horatio Fri 17-Jun-16 22:28:58

And how do you ignore MIL? (genuine question. If she bites something she won't let go...)

Of course it's safe. We were all brought up like this. Before we knew how to handle the knives they were in a kitchen drawer and we had to ask.

Of course you shouldn't hit somebody because they call you silly names. but in my experice hitting back once hard is more useful than going to the teacher 10times...

1horatio Fri 17-Jun-16 22:29:44

Yes, I'm Swiss! Are we that distinctive? :D

KatharinaRosalie Fri 17-Jun-16 22:35:12

I work in Switzerland - an expat friend panicked when she heard they will give kids real knives in kindergarten. 'But won't they cut themselves??' she asked. 'Oh, usually not more than once' replied the kindergarten..

Swiss culture and child rearing is very different from UK standard. I do expect that there will be some differences of opinion, but I would point out that the child is half-Swiss and will therefore be brought up at least partly your way.

hippiedays Fri 17-Jun-16 22:38:29

I was just going to ask if you were Swiss smile

I guess not saying too much is your best bet but I think the norm is quite different in Switzerland to other parts of Europe when it comes to children and bullying etc. I put off a move to Switzerland because I didn't want my children growing up with daggers etc. I'm not saying it is wrong (but to me it is wrong) and there is a big cultural difference that I simply could not adjust to.

1horatio Fri 17-Jun-16 22:41:58

That sounds like a Swiss kindergarten. We went in the forest once a week and often made a fire. If you want your sausage warm you have to cut your stick and make it pointysmile!

It does seem different (here children can't walk to school kindergarten alone!). I personally just fear it won't prepare the LO for life....

Oh, my MIL will totally insult culture if she's annoyed!!

titchy Fri 17-Jun-16 22:48:05

Yeah cos all adult Brits are really crap at life aren't they? hmm Regardless of your cultural norms your kid will be living in Britain, with British peers with British cultural norms. If you think it's OK to give your 6/7/8 year old knives, walk themselves to school and punch other kids, regardless of the provocation, you are going to make their life incredibly difficult.

1horatio Fri 17-Jun-16 22:48:47

Btw, the daggers aren't for fighting. That would be crazy! We're not criminals...
My dad just thought it was more likelymy little brothers would get their fingers stuck in an army knive (one of the first things you learn is how to close then safely). So they got a pfadidolch...:

1horatio Fri 17-Jun-16 22:52:17

Nah, most British adults are very capable, imo. Sometimes a few issues with personal boundaries(very open) but usually pretty awesome.
Which is why I said "I personally just fear". It's irrational, just a personal fear. Not based on fact...

titchy Fri 17-Jun-16 22:58:26

British - open?!!! Blimey how reserved are you if you think Brits are open?!

hippiedays Fri 17-Jun-16 22:59:48

I'm sure the previous poster didn't think the daggers were for fighting smile

I think that if you raise a child in the UK to physically fight with other kids even in self defense, then your child will be the one to land themselves in trouble.

In Switzerland, allowing children to argue/physically fight between themselves to sort out their differences is very normal and even expected and adults wouldn't intervene. As far as I am aware though, bullying is a big issue in Swiss schools so I'm not sure that even if it is the norm there that the non intervention works.

In the UK, it is most definitely frowned upon so I think (as it was in my case) that for certain things, you will have to either accept that things are done differently and adhere to them or in my case because there was no way I could ever think fighting/bullying was the norm, I accepted that living in Switzerland with children was not for me.

1horatio Fri 17-Jun-16 23:05:45

Well, imo we're 'normal'.!
But compared to some people in the UK I feel either like a cold block of ice... Or I feel like I'm too direct. But I like that people in the UK are so friendly smile!

Bullying is imo less of an issue (at least when I compare it with my muuch younger sibblings and OH's nieces, cousins etc). But that may admittedly be just bias.

Hm... Have to ask OH about moving to Switzerland :D!! (I'm not being entirely serious)

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