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MIL has done it again - favouring DSSs over DS

(7 Posts)
notagainffs Mon 04-Jul-11 08:54:35

I have posted about this in the past. Brief (as poss) back story:

I have 2 DSSs, 16 and 12. With us every other weekend. We alse have 4yo DS. At the beginning of last year, it became obvious that MIL was treating DSSs differently to DS. She would hand them money and give nothing to DS. Repeatedly - every time we saw her. Then when we went to visit, this came to a bit of a head when she actually gave them drinks and sweets and totally left DS out. Literally, the other 2 were sitting at the table eating chocolate bars while DS was asking me why he didn't have any, and could he share DSSs. DH (after I'd said to him) asked his mother not to do this.

She ignored him, and then on DS's birthday last year, MIL actually handed money to the DSSs and specifically said something along the lines of "and this is because it's not your birthday" - WTF? hmm.

At that time, DH and I had a huge row because I was getting really angry about her deliberately making such a difference between them. DH said it didn't matter and that DS wouldn't notice. Also that MIL was doing this because he felt 'sorry' for DSSs. I said I didn't understand why an adult would deliberately disadvantage one grandchild over 2 others, out of some misplaced sense of loyalty. DS was starting to notice. Also it really is difficult enough in a blended family, without someone basically sabotaging all efforts to make sure the children are growing up without a clear difference being made between them. DH (somewhat reluctantly) pointed this out to his mother.

It appeared to have stopped. But, lo and behold, it was DS's birthday last week. All DH's family were at our house (including FIL - who is divorced from MIL). Everybody having lovely time. Then MIL, out of the blue, publicly hands £30 each to each of the DSSs for their holiday. Saying "DS will get money for his holiday if he goes on holiday at that age". WTF? DS then asked me why DSSs were getting money to go on holiday, and was he not allowed to go on holiday. He was basically very confused and I had to spend all evening answering questions.

When I posted about this last year, the overwhelming response was that DH needed to step up and tell her it wasn't acceptable. He reluctantly did this, like I said. People were of the opinion that this is likely to cause problems between DSSs and DS, certainly into the future, and that it should be stopped now.

I am so annoyed that this has happened again.

I think a mixture of shock, it being to public and it being a happy family occasion, that I didn't say anything. I could kick myself. The next morning when I woke up, I said to DH where is the money MIL gave to DSSs. (thinking we would either give it back to her and explain why, or just split it 3 ways like she should have done in the first place). But DH said he had already sent it home with DSSs

He then had a go at me for bringing it up.

Thing is, he gives his mother a fool's pardon. She has always treated BIL differently (constantly giving him cash, "poor xxx", etc etc) from DH and DH justs accepts this is the way she is. I think fine, but when that negatively impacts on my child, it shouldn't be tolerated.


plupervert Mon 04-Jul-11 09:16:43

Let your husband answer the questions and wipe the tears the next time DS notices blatant discrimination. It's hard being the one to bear the fallout on a child, when you can't do anything to stop it. He needs to see the consequences.

He should also probably talk to his sons and appeal to their sense of fair play and protectiveness... if they were brought up to have such a sense and haven't had it spoiled by their rather malicious grandmother.

notagainffs Mon 04-Jul-11 10:21:13

thanks plupervert

I know what you mean. I feel that one of us should be actively challenging her when she does do it, and shielding DS from it.

The thing is, she did it in a way that the DSSs weren't even at the table at the time (although DS was). Like almost to make a statement. So DSSs will have been mostly oblivious to the whole thing, apart from going home with £25 each

notagainffs Mon 04-Jul-11 11:15:22

shameless bump for more views please!

notagainffs Mon 04-Jul-11 14:10:35


SayItLoud Mon 04-Jul-11 14:20:29

To a certain extent, I can see that what she did is fine. Your ds does not need that amount of cash, and so to give to him to would be unnecessary. Rather like giving the teenagers a phone or something equally 'adult', you wouldn't expect your ds to get the same thing. However, if it is causing problem then it is not ok, and needs to be done more fairly. So when giving sweets, chocolate, etc, then it should be shared equally. When it is money, I personally would explain to my ds that big boys get more pocket money, or whatever phrasing suits his understanding. But it would be best if your mil and your dh understood why it isn't acceptable to favour one child over another, and realised you won't stand for it, and so I would continue to make the point, probably in front of the children at the time of the issue so it was made obvious to all.

notagainffs Mon 04-Jul-11 14:33:10

I guess if it was a one-off giving of money specifically for a holiday then I wouldn't blink an eyelid. It's the ongoing difference in treatment that's the issue, and the fact that she justifies this to herself because they don't live with DH (and are therefore somehow hard-done-by).

And the fact that it seems to happen when it's DS's birthday like as if to compensate in some way to the DSSs (and justified by her last year as such, then done again this year but justified for a a holiday)

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