My feed

to access all these features


AIBU to tell Mil to f**k off and she is a bad grandmother

102 replies

UhInLaws · 28/04/2021 13:12

Having difficulty toilet training my autistic son. He is 3.
We have tried visuals (printing off a picture of our toilet and laminating it) to show while asking if he needs the toilet. Visual instructions in the toilet. Potty books, with potty songs and potty badges. Using chocolate reward and stickers. Putting underwear in his nappy so he feels the dampness more. And taking him every hour. But he does not understand as he pees 5 minutes after taking him.

Mil thinks its our fault he is not toilet trained and has a speech and language delay. Saying have you tried using a toilet set or are you talking to him as advice. Or wondering why we are having such difficulty. And if she isn't judging and blaming us she is judging my son when she is not ignoring him. For example when she sees him saying oh don’t you know your age in a patronizing manner. So basically focusing and pointing our the things she can't do.
AIBU to tell her to just F**K right off and tell her she is a terrible grandmother. I depise this women at this point. She is complete toxic narcissist.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

CaraherEIL · 28/04/2021 15:26

Jacketdrama, I do agree with you and I think if a family member is trying really hard to be supportive and you know will be a great support if you invest the energy in helping them to understand the situation. Then it can be very worthwhile even if it’s exasperating. I have a similar situation it’s just exhausting coping with it yourself without having to baby step grown adults perfect capable of a google.

GoldDisco · 28/04/2021 15:27

A MIL who kicks you when you are down and adds more misery to an already difficult situation. Hmm

The way I look at it is this. If I am in a difficult situation, my/ our family can either support and help us or go away and leave me to it and find my support elsewhere. That's why I surround myself with helpful friends. I don't have the energy or patience to deal with people who add to the problem.

PandemicAtTheDisco · 28/04/2021 15:34

I've spent years trying to educate my parents about my daughter's diagnoses. We used to attend lots of hospital appointments and see various specialists. At school my daughter had a group to help with fine and gross motor skills, speech therapy and other interventions. We had daily exercises at home to improve her core stability and activities to help improve her control.

A child with ADHD/Autism/Dyspraxia etc can't just sit still. They are more likely to make a mess when eating. No matter how many times I tried to explain that she was still not ready for certain things like being dry - they knew best. So despite input from many professionals that all said the same - it would happen eventually and give it time and contact them again if not happened in a few years - my parents still disagree and know best!

pigsDOfly · 28/04/2021 15:45

You just need to back off with the toilet training and stop putting pressure on your child and yourself. He's clearly not ready.

It doesn't matter if he's still in nappies for a while yet. He'll be ready when he's ready.

I've never understood all this pressure to get a child out of nappies before they're clearly able to control their bladder or bowels.

My three children are all NT and I never put this sort of pressure on them, or myself, when I was toilet training them, why would anyone?

MIL sounds ignorant and nasty. Her views have nothing to do with her age - I'm 72 and don't have those sorts of opinions - but are all to do with the type of person she is.

However, that doesn't make her a narcissist - a term that seems to be thrown around all over MN by those who clearly have no idea what it actually means.

Tell her you don't want her opinion, tell her to fuck off, but speak up for your child and let her know you have no interest in her views and wont have your son treated liked that.

Nanny0gg · 28/04/2021 15:45


I don’t think the example you give is any reason she is a terrible grandma. She is just trying to help without fully understanding the situation. So yes yabu.

I had a DGC with speech and language delay.

That's not how you deal with it
BlankTimes · 28/04/2021 15:45

It sounds like she just doesn't get it. Does your son have a diagnosis/has he had an assessment yet? If so can you show her the report?

IME, some people, often close family members, just will never "get it" no matter how much medical evidence, reports, videos, courses and literature you share with them over years and years.
It's ghastly having to deal with their tactless and thoughtless behaviour and constant criticism towards you and your disabled child.

Another facet that they also cannot seem to grasp is that kids with AN are very often emotionally only around two thirds of their chronological age, so expect a lot of hassle and stupid comments like 'At your age you should be able to .." directed at your child and a lot of flak directed at you for babying or mollycoddling your child and being told endlessly you need to step back and let them grow up.

jacketdrama · 28/04/2021 15:47

I agree re the exhaustion CaraherEIL and it is exasperating having to teach adults stuff they should just find out for themselves. I suppose I'm nearly out the other side now as my children are late teens, but once I got my inlaws on side they were pretty good, and actually went round lecturing other people about autism like they'd invented it themselves! I suspect my MIL (no longer alive) was undiagnosed autistic too - never acknowledged or discussed, but I wonder if she suspected and that made it hard for her to accept in my dc - a bit of guilt maybe?

Nanny0gg · 28/04/2021 15:49


I think the older generation struggle to understand autism. My grans similar. Just ignore.

We tried potty training my autistic son at 3 and he just wasn't ready. Tried again at 4 and was a lot easier.

He's 5 now and at school with minimal accidents, still wears a pull up at night though. Will change this when I think he's ready.

Important thing is not to stress too much about it.

Oh bollocks to the 'Older Generation' crap. I bet I'm a lot older than the OP's MiL as the child is only 3 and some of my DGC are late teens.

I understand it from lay person's perspective and any decent human, let alone grandma, wouldn't behave the way this one does with a child who can't yet talk.

Autism is widely talked about these days and there's no excuse for ignorance. She could ask her son!
Derbee · 28/04/2021 15:50

YABU as you are trying to toilet train a child who isn’t ready, and doesn’t understand the concept. The more pressure you put on him, the more pressure your MIL will feel is appropriate for her to put on him. Forget it for now, and try again in a few months.

Nanny0gg · 28/04/2021 15:51

But OP. Why are you continuing with toilet training now?

Wait a bit, he may not be ready and until they are it's a pointless waste of effort.

Does he go to nursery? They can be very helpful too

mam0918 · 28/04/2021 15:58

3 is toilet training age so your child is not behind or anything and my 2.5 year old has DLD (most common learning issue, 2 children in 30 have it) and doesnt talk so couldnt answer questions about age etc... either, just so you know your still on a perfectly normal time frame for kids this age so no need getting frustraited just relax but it never hurts to try new suggestions.

Lovemusic33 · 28/04/2021 16:11

Sounds like she’s just trying to offer advice, I wouldn’t say she’s terrible.

As for toilet training a child with ASD (or any child)....if he’s not ready he’s not ready. I would stop trying for now. My dd has ASD and toilet trained a couple weeks before starting school, I just backed right off and then one day she just did it herself and was dry within a week (just the odd accident).

Holly60 · 28/04/2021 16:11

YANBU. As a grandmother I think she is being really unkind. Of course you are trying everything, you love your DS and want the best for him. I don’t think you should worry too much about the potty training, just keep doing what you are doing and it will click when he is ready.

Ask your DH to speak to him mum and tell her that the suggestions are causing stress, and that you will ask for advice if you need it. Number 1 lesson for grandparents is to only ever offer advice if asked - everyone knows that Grin

Oenanthe · 28/04/2021 16:14

You do sound a little...tightly wound.

You'll be the toxic MIL one day. Chill out.

OnTheBrink1 · 28/04/2021 16:18

I have found many of the older generation (esp women as they were the ones to raise their children on the whole) are obsessed with toilet training. For some reason it’s a hideous parenting fail if your child isn’t potty trained at 1 or 2 and if you haven’t even started by 3 then what the hell are you playing at kind of thing.
My own MIL looked on with horror that my son was still in nappies aged 3 1/2 and took the chance to mention it very often.
I think it’s because they are from the generation of nappies being washed in Buckets which was a pretty disgusting business (I remember them being in the house and it stunk or poo and soaking cleaning product) so it was the done thing to get them out of those and on the loo or potty ASAP.
As for the autism side of things I swear my MIL thinks it’s made up

MilduraS · 28/04/2021 16:38

It sounds like she's just very ignorant. Autism is more widely understood and diagnosed now but I've noticed that some (not all) older people see it as increased labelling and refuse to acknowledge it. It must be hurtful to listen to her commenting as if there's something wrong with your child and your parenting.

I work with someone who has some questionable opinions and when he's winding me up I listen while inwardly saying "aww bless". Instead of getting annoyed I've made myself feel sorry for him having to go through life as a moron. It sounds stupid but it's helped massively as I used to be wound up for hours after a conversation with him.

As for your son being around her, I wouldn't worry too much at this stage. It sounds like he wouldn't really understand the context or tone of what she's saying and If she's ignoring him, she's probably doing him a favour.

intheenddoesitreallymatter · 28/04/2021 16:48


I don’t think the example you give is any reason she is a terrible grandma. She is just trying to help without fully understanding the situation. So yes yabu.

She's patronising, undermining, refuses to accept he has medical needs, proceeds to mock his difficulties by pointing out his 'age' and ignores him.

I'd say that makes her pretty terrible.

YANBU OP. Get your husband to talk to her, it's his Mother and I think she needs to hear some truths.

It's fine if she wants to adopt a hands off approach, it's her prerogative but she doesn't get to be so condescending.
LynetteScavo · 28/04/2021 16:53

YANBU- tell her to fuck right off. I'd miss out the bit about being a bad grandmother. I'd just say "Oh, fuck right off." When she came out with her nonsense.

steppemum · 28/04/2021 17:26


In my mind this is the difference between your own mum and the MIL, Your own mum sees what you are coping with, loves you and does all she can to help and support both you as her daughter and her grandchild. MIL in my experience have very little interest in the DIL and merely want the grandchild presented in a manageable and expected package. If that doesn’t happen they are invariably critical as if you as the DIL have somehow failed.

bloody hell, you do know that you will be a MIL one day?

really, I am not a fan of the MIL in the OPs scenario, but this takes the biscuit in MIL bashing.

And it is bonkers!
You do know that most MIL are just normal perfectly nice women don't you?
EKGEMS · 28/04/2021 18:49

My son has severe cerebral palsy with autistic like behavior and severe anxiety with perseveration-my MIL went out and bought a book on CP to understand her grandson. My SIL on the other hand tried to tell us we weren't offering the right foods when he had severe oral aversion and a relative of a relative said our son needed a spanking for his "bad attitude" I've learned to pick my fights but there's so much unsolicited and toxic advice on parenting that I've had to develop a hide like a rhinoceros. Your MIL is horrible and I'd just stop exposing your son to her

RoseMartha · 28/04/2021 18:57

I think you need to take a break from potty training as he does not seem ready, and maybe suggest if it is possible with your circumstances your MIL goes with you to a support group for parents of autistic children at some point.

ihavethehighground · 28/04/2021 19:38

Can I ask how old MIL is? My MIL never accepted ADHD and even gave me newspaper articles to say it was not a real condition. I tried to educate her but gave up. She would not listen despite me explaining about all the clinic appointments, school issues, our daily struggles with meltdowns etc. For my sanity I had to let it go.

UhInLaws · 28/04/2021 21:25

MIL is in her mid 60's

OP posts:
Willyoujustbequiet · 28/04/2021 21:45

She sounds like a spiteful cow.

I wouldn't tell her to fuck off but I'd call her out on it. Be direct. Bullys hate being confronted on their behaviour.

AccidentallyOnPurpose · 29/04/2021 18:04

You need to get you DH on board.

Until you do , nothing will work and you're going to be the evil mean one ,not only ruining her grandson but ruining her relationship with her son too.

He needs to stand up to her, and she either adjusts her behaviour and attitude or she's out.

Everything is your fault and your son is not good enough for her. Would I fuck have someone like that in my house/around him.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.