Am I being unreasonable with my inlaws about how they are with my kids?

Jeanette - posted on 04/07/2009 ( 105 moms have responded )

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Last week my 2 year old son went to stay with my husband's parents for a few days. They also had their other grandchild. The first day there, the other child came down with bad diarrhea but my inlaws did not tell us about this until the 4th day when they also got sick. By this time now, we had bad weather and our son ended up having to stay at their house 2 more days before we could go get him (they live 100 miles away). Now he is sick with it, and we have a 4 month old baby he could make sick, and we are supposed to have her baptism this Sunday on Easter. I am upset b/c I think they should have called us the 1st day to tell us the other baby was sick, and that they were inconsiderate and selfish to not tell us. There are other things they do that bother me such as going way overboard with gifts (they give our kids more presents than we give them!), not following our requests for sleep/nap routines, and not disciplining the same way we do when he is clearly acting out (we do time out, they don't do anything). Whenever I mention my concerns to my husband he thinks I am overreacting, that they are just being grandparents, and he thinks I am especially overreacting with this diarrhea issue. Am I???

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Krista - posted on 04/14/2009

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Wow!!  I'll bet you didn't expect such strong responses!!  I think that while grandparents are well-meaning, sometimes they can get caught up with a "well, it was fine for my kids" attitude.  If you've stated your wishes, they should be respected, not argued.  When you feel as though your feelings are being considered and your parenting choices respected, then you build trust, and feel more comfortable leaving your child with that person.  It doesn't matter if it is a babysitter, a grandparent or any other family member.



I think that there are probably other issues that have arisen before this one that makes this one seem even more important to you.



I am currently in the same type of situation, and constantly have to ask myself: Is this a big deal?  Is this really about what happened or is it my issue with the in-laws?



I know grandparents sometimes like to buy into that mindset of "I can spoil my grandchild and then give him back for Mom and Dad to dealwith the consequences."  But I think it is kind of a selfish thing that doesn't take into account the child's best interests or Mom and Dad's. 



Liz, I hope that when I am lucky enough to be a granparent, that I will always have my grandchild's best interests at heart, enough so to provide consistency with Mom and Dad's routines; respect enough for Mom and Dad to always let them know what is going on, and humility to realize that things change and how I did things may not be what's called for or even acceptable anymore.  Being a concerned parent isn't over-reacting.  What would be MORE upsetting is a parent who doesn't really care about what's happening with her child as long as she gets a break.  I'm a teacher, I see too many parents who really don't care enough, and send their children to school with contagious infections, because they don't want them at home.  Congrats Jeanette, for being a caring and concerned parent!!

Liz - posted on 04/09/2009

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I can't believe alot of what I am hearing! You know they were and still are parents why would any of you have any doubt in their ability to take care of your kids (their grandkids)? Is it just because you want them to do things your way? What makes you think their way is wrong? Did they not do a good job raising you? I am not a granma yet, hope to be some day, but I do know my kids will trust me and not question me nor try and set rules on me because they know I am a good Mom and they know I will spoil them and then send them home....as it should be, like their Grandmas did. Quit complaing and just be thankful they are still here to be a part of your life and your kids life!! It would suck not to have a Mom/Grandma!!

Emily - posted on 04/08/2009

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I use the same techniques on my inlaws as I would on an impulsive three year old.  First of all pick your battles. Is it worth the hassle? For example, we ignore the gift thing just request that certain gifts be kept at their house and make it clear that gifts that go against our values like Bratz dolls are not allowed period. Secondly, I maintain consistency when dealing with them. I don't allow them to sometimes let them watch TV but not toher times. that is confusing for everyone. My kids are not allowed to watch TV at the inlaws. they get one movie a week and it is on Saturday. If they spend Saturday at my parents' or the inlaws' they get the movie on Sunday instead. That way I don't have to trust someoen else's judgment to decide what is appropriate for my children. Thirdly, let them know there will be consequences for actions.  When my parents took my then one year old out in an 18 year old (it had belonged to my sister when she was a kid) carseat they didn't see her unsupervised for about 6 months. They are adults they should have enough common sense to know what is acceptable and what is not. Allowing your child around a sick child obviously is not.

Debbie - posted on 04/13/2009

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Ok, Grandma chiming in. I watch my grandson every weekend so I might not be the best to answer. They should have told you about the stomach bug - but (just speaking from my POV) the baby was already there - already exposed so getting you to come and get him (traveling 100 miles) with the infant, prbably was not something they wanted to risk. Also, TV and things - I buy my granson (20 months) balls, coloring books, bubbles, etc to keep at my house so that he has something to play with. I am not buying it so you will take it home, I am not spoiling him - there are no other kids around, I think that he needs stimulation and fun because maybe Mommy and Daddy are too tired when they get home to do that (I know I was). But I will say that once my daughter asks me not to do something - I don't. But she does have a long memory and will remind me and everyone that I don't listen. Please just know that we love our grand babies (all of them) it is a miracle that they are here and they came from you - which freaks us out a bit since you are from us and you are still our babies. Just saying

Sara - posted on 04/08/2009

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A thought on the gifts - maybe you could suggest things your child could use that might be more expensive so they can still feel like they are spending the same amount of money without having as many gifts. Depending on where you live, maybe a membership to the zoo or a children's museum. I also suggest magazine subscriptions for my kids grandparents. That way it's not just another toy, and my kids love getting the mags every month.



As for the other issues, I think they probably had the best intentions for not telling you about the sick kid. I think you should explain why you would have prefered to know so they don't have the same problem in the future. And other things you mentioned (nap times / discipline) should probably be talked about with them. If possible, have your husband bring it up - or if he feels out of place, you can just relish the chance to correct them, but be sure to emphasize that it's how you and your husband feel. These are the ways you want to raise your child, and they need to follow along. If they won't, then you need to decide if they get to watch your kid(s). It's funny that sometimes the best way to deal with adults is to treat them the same as we would for kids...model good behavior, explain rewards and consequences, etc. It's ok to be a little lenient if it works for you, your child, and the grandparents, but let them know what you will not budge on.

Good luck!

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Helen - posted on 03/22/2011

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I think that Grandparents always spoil grandchildren! It's kinda part of the job description.
Having said that, following your routines for sleep and naps is important.
As for the presents, my feeling is that it is up to them how they spend their money, and if it means that you don't have to spend so much on toys then you can spend that on other things your child will enjoy! And whatever you say, and who ever is looking after him, no one will discipline your child in the same way that you do - some will be more lenient while others will be harsher, and others will discipline for things you wouldn't and visa versa, and all parents have to learn to deal with this - both for themselves and for the possible effects on the child.
So in some ways possibly you need to rethink your reactions to this, but as far as the illness is concerned I think you are right - I would certainly have wanted to be told about the diarrhoea straight away, so that I could then make a decision about my childs health, especially with a younger baby to think about as well.

Liz - posted on 03/17/2011

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yeap no your not over reacting! totaly agree. See taht is the problem with men lol. They just seem less concerned about things if you will. lol If it helps when during the eary months of age with my baby I had a thing about people kissing my baby on the lips. Just because people have so much bacteria around their mouths and I dont know where there mouths have been so I just told everyone to kiss her on the head. I wasnt to be mean, simply because my daughter will suffer if she got sick not them. I knew that they wanted to show afgection totally fine but there was to be no kissing on he lips lol. My father in-law used to do it all the time to baby, and I would constantly tell my partner to let his family know to not kiss her on the mouth. But him being a male, rubbed it off, but I forced him too say something otherwise I would and it wasnt at all going to be nice. I guess it all basically what you and your partner agree ad disagree on at the end of the day and how you implement it. If you think about it when raising a child it a two player game, so its team work. But there is a saying " it takes a whole village to raise a child" however ultimately that is your child and there nee to some respect there.

Victoria - posted on 04/15/2009

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I know how you feel there your childrens grandparents should respect your rutine you have and enforce it when they have care. I also would hope that i would be informed if any of my children were staying in the same place as another sick child but can also see why they didnt inform you being at such a distance they wouldnt want to panic you but i would have liked personally to have been given the choice of weather or not to pick my child up and the spoiling all grandparents spoil children my mum just got my 8 year old daughter a laptop for her birthday and maybe your inlaws think that being so far away they have to make up for it try speking to them again tell them that its upsetting you and will also be having effects on your child reguarding the sleeping and disaplining

Pat - posted on 04/15/2009

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hmmmm...how does your husband feel about YOUR parents  (his inlaws)... are they PERFECT and do EVERYTHING you want them to do and do it YOUR way...

Melissa - posted on 04/14/2009

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First off they raised there kids , now its your turn to raise yours. They should respectr you and your family enough to follow your routine and your rules, otherwise when they get older you will ALWAYS be the bad guy. When they go there yes they should get some special treats the are they grandparents after all but that is all they are you are the parents. There has to be boundaries and guidelines set or you are not going to be able to relax and enjoy your break while they do have them. Besides that how good is it to have no structure kids need and thrive on structure. Have there visits on your terms but you need your husband to set them and you will have to let him deal will this one.Best wishes I really know how hard this can be.

Melissa - posted on 04/14/2009

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First off they raised there kids , now its your turn to raise yours. They should respectr you and your family enough to follow your routine and your rules, otherwise when they get older you will ALWAYS be the bad guy. When they go there yes they should get some special treats the are they grandparents after all but that is all they are you are the parents. There has to be boundaries and guidelines set or you are not going to be able to relax and enjoy your break while they do have them. Besides that how good is it to have no structure kids need and thrive on structure. Have there visits on your terms but you need your husband to set them and you will have to let him deal will this one.Best wishes I really know how hard this can be.

Melissa - posted on 04/14/2009

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First off they raised there kids , now its your turn to raise yours. They should respectr you and your family enough to follow your routine and your rules, otherwise when they get older you will ALWAYS be the bad guy. When they go there yes they should get some special treats the are they grandparents after all but that is all they are you are the parents. There has to be boundaries and guidelines set or you are not going to be able to relax and enjoy your break while they do have them. Besides that how good is it to have no structure kids need and thrive on structure. Have there visits on your terms but you need your husband to set them and you will have to let him deal will this one.Best wishes I really know how hard this can be.

Heather - posted on 04/14/2009

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Here is my opinion as I deal with the same issues....It doesnt matter if you are overreacting. That is your son not theirs. You override them and have the say in his little life, not them! Tell your husband he is either with you or against you. There is no neutral in this situation. He should be standing next to you saying if this is important to her than I back her. That doesnt mean he has to fully agree but this is how parenting works!! Good luck.

Pat - posted on 04/14/2009

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It is a very tricky situation and it can bring a lot of negative vibes to the family dynamics. They should respect your wishes, easier said than done. Try and explain to them, although you know they love them very much they must try and follow your point of views. From my point your husband would be the best to speak with them, they may respond better. They have to learn to respect the way you and your husband want to raise your children..they has their turn, now you have the right to yours. Good luck and be strong for your childrens sake.

Symone - posted on 04/14/2009

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Not at all, my MIL used to help me out and look after my two kids when i wored on a Friday arvo. I had quite a strict routine for the kids and she used to joke that it wouldn't hurt them for a few hours to eat whatever they wanted and not have their slepps. As much as I appreciated her help I had to explain to her that if she didn't follow my wishes then unfortuntately the kids couldn't come. After all, it's me who then has to put up with them when they are hypo and grumpy!!!

Terri - posted on 04/13/2009

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I HEAR YOU GIRL!! MY MOTHER-IN-LAW WILL NOT STOP GIVING MY CHILD COLD MEDICIAN. IHAVE NOT TOLD HER BUT I HAVE TOLD MY SIGNIFICANT OTHER SHE IS NO LONGER ALLOWED TO HAVE MY CHILDREN WHEN THEY ARE SICK. AND BECAUSE MY 2 1/2 YEAR OLD IS VERY ACCTIVE AND SO WAS HIS DAD SHE TRYS TO GET ME TO GIVE HIM COFFEE WITH SUGAR. AND ITS HARD TO TALK TO HER I HAVE TRIED AND SHE JUST WONT LISTEN. I HOPE I DONT DO THIS TO MY SONS OR THERE WIFS WHEN THEY GET OLDER.

Nicole - posted on 04/13/2009

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omg! that is like a neverending battle 4 me w/ my in-laws. my hubbys family & mine r just SO different & its just really hard sometimes. sigh! so BELIEVE ME u r not the only 1! so dont fell bad. hehe

Stephanie - posted on 04/13/2009

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no not over reacting im the same as you sit down talk to them if they cant see your point of veiw dont take the kids

Stephanie - posted on 04/13/2009

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Personally I understand what u r saying as far as your inlaws not doing what u want them to do, but really it is what is is! When my daughter does soemthing wrong I yell at her or put her in tim out, or if its really bad I smack her on the hand! My parents and in-laws will yell at her and then say they are sorry to her for yelling! I tell them not too but they cant help it they dont want to yell because they dont want her to get upset! I have let it go because it really is not harming her and she knows that when I say no I mean no!

As for my parents and in-laws buying larger gifts, I have to say I love it! I am not working and my husband does not make a ton of money so we cant really afford to buy her everything that I could want for her, but my parents have money and they buy her a ton! She does not care and we dont either, where it comes from we just want her to have it! I am so glad that my parents can buy her more since we cant right now! Take advantage of it! Its less that u have to buy! Your kids know u love them wether u buy them a big gift or not! This past Christmas we bought our daughter a stroller for her dolls which was one of the most expencive things we bought her and all she really wanted was the hair ties that cost me a dollar! Kids dont realize the cost of things or when thier grandparents go over board! Grandparents are so important! I miss mine everday and cant imagine my daughter having to go through that and I want her to be with them as much as possible!

Elizabeth - posted on 04/13/2009

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i hate to say this but yes you kind of arevcover reacting this time you need to think that it is better that he is sick at nana and papas house your lil baby is not submitted to it lessening the chance of getting the bug...and grandparents are supposed to be the fun ones not the meanies  yes they should not out do you with presents but let them enjoy the fact that they have grand kids  that is a great thing in our lives we were strict with our kids and now grandkids are a joy in our lives .

Elizabeth - posted on 04/13/2009

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i hate to say this but yes you kind of arevcover reacting this time you need to think that it is better that he is sick at nana and papas house your lil baby is not submitted to it lessening the chance of getting the bug...and grandparents are supposed to be the fun ones not the meanies  yes they should not out do you with presents but let them enjoy the fact that they have grand kids  that is a great thing in our lives we were strict with our kids and now grandkids are a joy in our lives .

Sandy - posted on 04/13/2009

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Your inlaws are willing and able to talk your child.  Let them.  If you didn't feel that they could, you wouldn't have brought him there in the first place. 



Kids know the difference between who is taking care of them and what that persons rules are.  Even at 1.  My youngest is 18 months and knows that when hes at Grandma and Grandpas he can get away with more.  I also know that they wouldn't let him do anything that would hurt himself.  Let them enjoy their grandparents.



Also, it is a good teachable moment for your child, that they should do what is right.  I know your son is young, but it's never too early to start teaching those values that you feel he should learn.  When he gets to school, you can't be there all the time, give him the tools, so that you don't have to be there all the time.



 

Sandy - posted on 04/13/2009

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Your inlaws are willing and able to talk your child.  Let them.  If you didn't feel that they could, you wouldn't have brought him there in the first place. 



Kids know the difference between who is taking care of them and what that persons rules are.  Even at 1.  My youngest is 18 months and knows that when hes at Grandma and Grandpas he can get away with more.  I also know that they wouldn't let him do anything that would hurt himself.  Let them enjoy their grandparents.



Also, it is a good teachable moment for your child, that they should do what is right.  I know your son is young, but it's never too early to start teaching those values that you feel he should learn.  When he gets to school, you can't be there all the time, give him the tools, so that you don't have to be there all the time.



 

[deleted account]

i went through a similar experience recently. I don't think you should be that concerned with them not calling you. They had no idea whether or not whatever the other child had was contagious. They did not realize that until they did call you. They did not ruin your time unnecessarily. As far as the gift thing, you should accept that too. They will do what they want to do there. They have dreamed of being grandparents since they became parents. But the discipline issue definitely put your foot down. Have your hubby deal with them, obviously that issue should be important to him too, right?

Sandy - posted on 04/13/2009

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Your inlaws are willing and able to talk your child.  Let them.  If you didn't feel that they could, you wouldn't have brought him there in the first place. 



Kids know the difference between who is taking care of them and what that persons rules are.  Even at 1.  My youngest is 18 months and knows that when hes at Grandma and Grandpas he can get away with more.  I also know that they wouldn't let him do anything that would hurt himself.  Let them enjoy their grandparents.



Also, it is a good teachable moment for your child, that they should do what is right.  I know your son is young, but it's never too early to start teaching those values that you feel he should learn.  When he gets to school, you can't be there all the time, give him the tools, so that you don't have to be there all the time.



 

[deleted account]

No not at all, if your child or another child that is around your child is sick you should have been called, and my parents don't do the exact same thing as me, but it is close enough not to affect them, but not disciplining at all is over spoiling, and with the gift giving that they do, tell them that you don't have room for all those toys and don't feel bad about, selling or giving away what you don't want when they don't listen to you......tell your husband that you don't want your child to go over there unless they are willing to compromise, like for instance if he is doing something that is dangerous(like he could seriously get hurt), that they must put him in time out, and if it is something you just don't let them do at home like they let him have a snack before bed, maybe let it slide, he will have to learn that people have different rules at different places, and as far as others saying that well your husband turned out well and they raised him....first off you don't necessarily know that he was raised ONLY by his parents, or what the situation was....besides that you don't know what kind of problems his siblings could have because of how his parents raised them.....some people turn out just like their parents and others are inspired to be different and/or better than their parents were because they didn't like how they were being raised.....so you can't judge somebody with that.....However if they are totally unwilling to compromise at all then they can come to see your kids at your house....but I would definitely sit down with them(with your husband) and maybe see why they do what they do, and try to come up with a suitable compromise.

Pat - posted on 04/13/2009

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being a first time "mema" (but having raised 4 wonderful children) i love that i can spend time and money (gifts) with sam:) i appreciate it when my son and daughter in law let us know what their "expectations" are so we don't get blindsided if we unintentionally "do it the wrong way - meaning Not the the way you would do it)



it sounds like YOU have ISSUES with your in-laws (and probably did even before the kids arrived)and are using these somewhat trivial things to make a statement and you know what? your children will suffer in the end... you will alienate your husbands parents because you didn't/couldn't understand they would never intentionally hurt your children and are not competing with you with the gifts...



start "discussing" this with them not "dictating" and hopefully, for your kids sake, they will understand and can also explain to you where THEY are coming from... and possibly a comprimise can occur (imagine that ...)

Tammi - posted on 04/13/2009

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i dont think you are.  i have some of the other in law issues as you.  i have trouble with crossing the line into what i think are "mom"  responsibilities and what are grandma's.  such as buying my daughters easter dress.  to me that is a moms job and something that i want to do.  some ppl say that i over react and should be happy with the help but i believe that i do my best to be a good mom and some things are a moms job!  sorry i dont have a answer for you cause i am still trying to figure it out myself.  but just know you are not alone and if you ever want to exchange in law stories i am here!

Amanda - posted on 04/13/2009

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No, you're not. On major issues like routines, diet, and discipline, you need to stand your ground. If they don't respect your rules, then don't send the child to visit. Talk to them and diplomatically lay down the law. Of course there are little things that will never change and maybe it's better to let those things go.



My mother would not stop buying gifts, so I took everything to Salvation Army and then told her about it. SInce then, she has eased up. I also do not let my kids stay with her because she only eats junk food. Unfortunately I have to supervise all visits with my family. Luckily my inlaws are not as bad.



Yes, they should have called you immediately at the first sign of sickness. Especially with a child so young.



Be firm but polite if you can, and just follow your own rules. Keep the lines of communication open with your husband so these issues don't come between you. Good luck, from some one who's been there!

[deleted account]

i completely understand where you are coming from. My inlaws now live across the road from us (we moved to the same street so we could look after them as they arent well anymore). We have had so many incidents with them since our eldest (now 5) was born. Things such as he cracked his head open at their house while he was sleeping over aged 1 and a half and they never phoned us, despite the fact we lived 10 minutes from the hospuital at the tmie and my baby was screaming and screaming for his mummy yet they were more than happy to "deal with it themselves as they have had kids you know". we both went mental at them. Father in law got defensive and stroppy and declared "fine i will phone you about every tiny little bump and graze and trip he has then" and then walked out with his nose in the air. They have been banned from seeing our eldest when he was a baby for 1 month because things came to a total head and mother in law very told me that, depite knowing i had a 5 month old baby, had only just moved into my new place and was still very tired, i was lazy and a bad mum cos my house wasnt spotless and i was napping with my son.



I have a similar problem with my own mother in regards to the presents. She always goe totally overboard with presents and xmas and birthday times fr both our kids. so much so that i had to put my foot down and tell her off over the phone (she lives 200 miles away thank god) that we are sick of having to compete with her as we dont have alot of money and she makes us, the kids own parents, look bad because for our 3 or 4 presents, they will go and buy each kid 7 or 8 large presents and then whine they never have any money. On the other side of hte coin, if we want something for the kids to use at my inlaws house WE have to pay for it. For example, the bed guard, toys etc. Simple things you would expect that if they want the kids to stay over they should pay for. they arent expensive but it is things that their cousins use aswell when they go over and yet we are the ones paying for it all. Although nappies are different, they will get those, though usually in the wrong size and too many.



In regards to the sickness thing in your case, they really should have told you and you are not going overboard with it. there are other people to think of, in your case your baby girl, and sometimes a little consideration does go along way. Your husband sounds like mine did in the early days, doesnt want to rock the boat b/c it is his parents. but i promise it will soon get to the stage where they go too far and he will then have to say something.



Hope all goes well and they start to realise what a pain in hte butt they are sometimes!!!

Valerie - posted on 04/13/2009

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Perhaps I am lucky to feel this way that I have absolute trust in my in-laws and my parents in looking after my kids. Absolute trust in terms of safety and love foremost. I consider most other things such as gifts and tv a very minor issue and I trust their judgement. If I don't like something I say it but the only thing I've said is not too many candy. Like I said I guess I am lucky that I have reasonable and loving family and I truly feel they are trustworthy and have good judgement - this may not be the case for all. They also don't get to see us very much since we live overseas but when we were in Australia the trust issue was not a problem. My advice is, as long as you feel that the fundamentals are not a problem, then don't sweat the small stuff. That's one less stress for yourself. All the best.

Kathleen - posted on 04/12/2009

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So the cousin had diarrhea, and the in-laws didn't tell you right away. My guess is that they expected either your son wouldn't get sick right away and they'd deal with it while you enjoyed the break, or that he managed to escape getting sick (especially if the other child's parents didn't mention him being sick, so they might attribute it to something he ate). Then when they got sick, they realized that your son would probably get sick, too, just in time for you to get him, so they let you know then. It was a judgment call, and in this case it didn't turn out the way they'd hoped, but they had no way of knowing that when they decided not to call the first day.

As for other issues with your in-laws, you really need to decide what's worth fighting over. With my first child, I left very explicit instructions for how things were to be done - which books to read at bedtime, in which order; the exact food to be eaten, at what time, and how best to prepare it; which outfits were to be worn on which day. I became upset if my son came home wearing the wrong jeans with his sweater, or if his grandparents gave him something from their cupboard instead of my approved food-bag.

Then I had my daughter. I still cared about some stuff (I still didn't approve of peanuts), but so what if outfits were mismatched? Or that they went to bed late or missed a nap?

I realized that my in-laws loved my kids, and just wanted to spend time with them. Of course, by this time, my oldest could talk, and I loved hearing about his days with his grandparents. So they do things a little differently, but that does not make them terrible people. In fact, it gives them a closer bond, in that there are things that my kids only get to experience with their grandparents.

Yes, the grandparents spoil them a bit, but they really do love my kids. And they're still willing to watch them occasionally. For free, even!

[deleted account]

I use the same techniques on my inlaws as I would on an impulsive three year old.  First of all pick your battles. Is it worth the hassle? For example, we ignore the gift thing just request that certain gifts be kept at their house and make it clear that gifts that go against our values like Bratz dolls are not allowed period. Secondly, I maintain consistency when dealing with them. I don't allow them to sometimes let them watch TV but not toher times. that is confusing for everyone. My kids are not allowed to watch TV at the inlaws. they get one movie a week and it is on Saturday. If they spend Saturday at my parents' or the inlaws' they get the movie on Sunday instead. That way I don't have to trust someoen else's judgment to decide what is appropriate for my children. Thirdly, let them know there will be consequences for actions.  When my parents took my then one year old out in an 18 year old (it had belonged to my sister when she was a kid) carseat they didn't see her unsupervised for about 6 months. They are adults they should have enough common sense to know what is acceptable and what is not. Allowing your child around a sick child obviously is not.



 



Wow that is pretty harsh....6 months?? Like a prior poster said...why didn't you drop off your car seat for your child, why didn't you as a parent check first? I think you enjoy having something they want and the power to keep it from them.



Last week my 2 year old son went to stay with my husband's parents for a few days. They also had their other grandchild. The first day there, the other child came down with bad diarrhea but my inlaws did not tell us about this until the 4th day when they also got sick. By this time now, we had bad weather and our son ended up having to stay at their house 2 more days before we could go get him (they live 100 miles away). Now he is sick with it, and we have a 4 month old baby he could make sick, and we are supposed to have her baptism this Sunday on Easter. I am upset b/c I think they should have called us the 1st day to tell us the other baby was sick, and that they were inconsiderate and selfish to not tell us. There are other things they do that bother me such as going way overboard with gifts (they give our kids more presents than we give them!), not following our requests for sleep/nap routines, and not disciplining the same way we do when he is clearly acting out (we do time out, they don't do anything). Whenever I mention my concerns to my husband he thinks I am overreacting, that they are just being grandparents, and he thinks I am especially overreacting with this diarrhea issue. Am I???



It's diarrhea for pete's sake !! Do you not think they can handle that?? Give them some credit, they raised your husband !! If I  reported to my son every time my granddaughter had diarrhea he would have laughed at me. Now if it was something serious then yes I am on the phone explaining every detail to him...before I take her to the doctor. And we live in the same town but he trusts I will do the right thing. I think the issues go way beyond the diarrhea with your in-laws, I think you have other issues that have nothing to do with your child. I mean come on, they buy gifts...would you rather have in-laws that don't send anything? Grandparents who don't care, who ignore their grandchildren? Ask them to keep what they buy at their house and allow your child to bring a favorite one home or you can put them up and rotate the gifts so it seems like they have new ones each month. There are solutions !! I think I would reflect on how I honestly feel towards them, I think you just don't like them and are over reacting.

Maria - posted on 04/12/2009

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I don't think you are over reacting .You should of been told about the other grandchild's illness sooner rather than later.What you have to let your in laws know that you have rules you are trying to teach your children.Your children weill soon learn that their grandparents are push overs and learn to use it .You have to be honest with your husbands parents,if you don't tell them how will they know.

Amber - posted on 04/12/2009

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1st & formost Happy Easter!



2ndly most of what they are doing is things grandparents do like the gifts and not giving times out and what not. Now about the other child being sick and all your not in the wrong that's not fair that they didnt tell you when they knew it was more than something the child had eatten.By the time they figured out that it was a tummy bug and not that it was to late anyways tho. Hope all went well today.

Michelle - posted on 04/12/2009

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you are not over reacting at all especially when they were so fare away from you , i would put it to your in laws and if they dont agree to your ways , don't agree to let him stay with them.if they want to see the grandchildren they come to you .... and also just put to them that when they have your children that they not have the other grand child so they can have quality time with your children... grand parent always spoil the grandchildren they think they can get away with it but you have to tell them or you'lll just end up getting yourself worked up for no reason but remember you can never be in 100% control of every situation.... they couldn't have done that bad for you to marry their son they raised

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I totally agree with you.  You are the parents and have to know what is going on with you children at all times, especially if they are sick.  It drives me crazy too when my in laws just babysit my kids for a couple hours while i'm at work because they give my 2 year old candy and junk food.  So then she doesn't want to eat her dinner.  When i'm over there I always make a very huge point about how 2 year olds don't need to eat garbage all the time and they just laugh it off.  I know grandparents are supposed to spoil their grandkids but they also need to do it within reason, and try to stick with the values and rules you are trying to teach your children.  It's not their job when your around to punish for being naughty, but when they are taking over the parenting they need to understand that there are rules and you can't let a 2 year old do certain things.  He will eventually catch on and start playing the "Well grandma and grandpa let me do it at their house"

Melissa - posted on 04/12/2009

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mmm. relationships with inlaws are often tricky and you probably won't find another person on the planet with identical parenting ideas to yourself.  always stop and try to see the other side of the coin. look for positives as you don't do yourself any good getting strung out.



i think of it this way, i married my husband because he is a lovely person and I'm sure you are the same about your hubby. the fact is that its the parents job to help mould little children into good adults. even though i'm not that close with my inlaws i do respect them for helping shape my husband into the person who he is so there must be some good in them!!



 i do hope you try to see the flipside. its nice that they would offer to mind your son to give you and your husband a break. believe me there are lots of mums who would love to have such an offer, even for just a few hours but its just not there. at the same time  they probably thought he could spend a bit of time with his cousin (my own mum loves to see her grandkids together) even though it did go pear shaped..these things happen and kids pick up bugs. as for the other stuff, well its great for your son that he doesn't have scrooge grandparents and he will hopefully have memories of them being generous and he will apply this to his own life. oh yes and  what do they say, don't look a gift horse in the mouth! if you get something with small parts then throw it out otherwise a simple thank you is all that is needed. use it as an opportunity to teach your son about being grateful. if they only have him  periodically its really not there primary purpose to be disciplinarians. gee, who wants to remember there grandparents as grouches. all that i can say is, if you take them up on childminding again give them a brief note in the sleep over bag with a few points about the routine and to phone if he becomes unwell. also ask your son about his time with nan and pop and if the reaction is good then be happy for him. nans and pops aren't around forever....and remember one day you will be a grandparent too!

Kendel - posted on 04/12/2009

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Far as Im concerned, you have the the right to get upset and mad about the whole being sick! They should have called you and told you or better yet called the other childs parents and told them to come get him because he was sick! As for the gifts and things, grandparents are just going to be that way. They went most likely went through it with there in laws and now are doing it with there grandkids. Most parents cant afford to totally spoil there kids, so as grandparents they can. I would not allow the child to get away with things while your around, but when he is with just grandma and grandpa let him. Also teach him that it only happens with them and not mom and dad. You should be fine. You just have to pick your battles with the in laws!!! This one I would just drop, not worth the stress, trust me!

Cristina - posted on 04/11/2009

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I have so much respect for you!!! I wish that I had the guts to do what you did...

Kelly - posted on 04/11/2009

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NO. You should have been told about this. I tell my in-laws if you don't like doing thing the way I want them done I will not have you watch them. The thing is me and my hubby are on the same page with our kids and I think your hubby should be more concerned with your kids being the way you want them to be. Trust me my parents are that way with my niece and she is a  different kid around her parents and grandparents. cut it now before it's to late. Best of luck I hope it works out for you but remember you are the mother and most important person for those kids. 

Nicole - posted on 04/11/2009

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I would say, respectfully and genlty talking with your inlaws is the way to go. Don't ban them, just let them know what bothered you and ask them to adjust. I bet they will.



My inlaws are hilariously awful babysitters. The last time they kept my son, they forgot to feed him. All day! The poor child was only a year old--milk would have been enough! But nothing... They also ignored my requests for diaper changes. They actually bought cheap diapers and used well water to clean my son's sensitive skin, to prove to me that I was overprotective. His bottom bled for two days. Now, not all kids are that sensitive, and I didn't start out 'overprotective' about diapers and wipes--I just had to become that way, to stop his constant diaper rash! And I still let my in-laws take care of him now--but only for short periods, and I am careful to give them such detailed instructions as, "please be sure to feed him." ;)

Liz - posted on 04/11/2009

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I don't think they made a poor choice. Well yes they should have called ., I'm just saying it isn't that big of a deal to get that upset over unless they are totally incompetent.  I was lucky enough to not have to worry about any of them making poor choices but I wasn't going to make a big deal out of small thing. Yes I consider it small mainly because I had trust and faith in my mother-in-law and my Grandma. I see from reading all the comments that most aren't as luck as I was. I also was strong enough to realize that as long as my kids were not in any danger to let things go because they weren't going to be around for ever.

Nicole - posted on 04/11/2009

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Quoting Liz:



I can't believe alot of what I am hearing! You know they were and still are parents why would any of you have any doubt in their ability to take care of your kids (their grandkids)? Is it just because you want them to do things your way? What makes you think their way is wrong? Did they not do a good job raising you? I am not a granma yet, hope to be some day, but I do know my kids will trust me and not question me nor try and set rules on me because they know I am a good Mom and they know I will spoil them and then send them home....as it should be, like their Grandmas did. Quit complaing and just be thankful they are still here to be a part of your life and your kids life!! It would suck not to have a Mom/Grandma!!






I am so thankful for my parents!  That doesn't mean, however, that I have to let them make poor choices for my kids.  They raised theirs; now it's my turn.  My parents are my first and favorite babysitters, but I have had to talk to them about things that I see as harmful for my kids.  I know that I will make mistakes with my kids, and I don't know everything.  I am open to constructive criticism!  But the final authority on my kids is ME.   If you have raised great kids, isn't it okay to trust their judgement once in a while?  The real key to being a great grandparent is love--but a little humility and the ability to let your kids grow up and be the parents themselves also goes a long way. 

Nicole - posted on 04/11/2009

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Quoting Liz:



I can't believe alot of what I am hearing! You know they were and still are parents why would any of you have any doubt in their ability to take care of your kids (their grandkids)? Is it just because you want them to do things your way? What makes you think their way is wrong? Did they not do a good job raising you? I am not a granma yet, hope to be some day, but I do know my kids will trust me and not question me nor try and set rules on me because they know I am a good Mom and they know I will spoil them and then send them home....as it should be, like their Grandmas did. Quit complaing and just be thankful they are still here to be a part of your life and your kids life!! It would suck not to have a Mom/Grandma!!






I am so thankful for my parents!  That doesn't mean, however, that I have to let them make poor choices for my kids.  They raised theirs; now it's my turn.  My parents are my first and favorite babysitters, but I have had to talk to them about things that I see as harmful for my kids.  I know that I will make mistakes with my kids, and I don't know everything.  I am open to constructive criticism!  But the final authority on my kids is ME.   If you have raised great kids, isn't it okay to trust their judgement once in a while?  The real key to being a great grandparent is love--but a little humility and the ability to let your kids grow up and be the parents themselves also goes a long way. 

Ivy - posted on 04/11/2009

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Your are NOT overreating at all. I have the same issues with my in-law. They fail to remember how they would have felt if it were them when they had their children and how upset they would have felt. And they aslo are stuck on the "when I was a kid"- home remedies that parents did back in the day when kids got sick. They dont realize how dangerous diarrhea can cause dehydration. Its the era they grew up in. Sometimes they mean well but they forget they are Grandparents not the parents. You have to communicate this with them because sometimes they dont realize this or maybe they do but they need to respect your wishes. Good Luck! Hope your son is well!

Shemise - posted on 04/11/2009

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nO YOUR NOT OVERREACTING MAYBE THEY DIDN'T TELL YOU CAUSE THEY THOUGHT THET WOULDN'T GET SICK I KNOW MY IN-LAWS WOULD CALL ME TO TELL ME BUT IF ITS SOMETHING THEY THINK ISN'T SERIOUS THEY STILL WOULD CALL AND BE LIKE THEY ARE TAKING CARE OF gRANDPARENTS DO KNOW BEST

PennySue - posted on 04/11/2009

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On the food, sleep and discipline you should have a discussion. At two routines are very important to establish some type of expectation of your child. As for the diarrhea, children get sick. There is no way you can prevent every single little thing. If you called them to check in it would have been something worth mentioning on their part but to rush there and get your child was probably too late anyway, he was already exposed just by being there. Again, you can't keep your children isolated from everything. As for presents, you'll have to work this through for yourself. Personally I didn't have grandparents who spoiled me. My grandfathers were dead, one grandmother did not like children and one grandmother was very sick. When my first child was born and my mother-in-law began spoiling him I honestly think I was jealous at first. Then I thought, "Hey, isn't this what I thought grandmothers were suppose to be?" My mother-in-law never gave a gift she thought I might object to (for me guns) but she always had a gift or two. Now that she has Parkinson's and can not interact the way she was once able my son remembers all she did for him and is not afraid to be with her and wants to give back.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/11/2009

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lol im not sure id expose my grandson to a stomach flu to take home to his baby sister....

Liz - posted on 04/11/2009

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I can't wait to see  how you all that don't think she over reacted act when you are grand parents and your kids get mad at you for te same thing!! LOL! You can deny it nnow but just wait.......you'll see. They did nothing wrong you are over reacting!!!

Elizabeth - posted on 04/11/2009

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id be pretty peeved, if you didnt have another baby maybe not so much but you do....inconsiderate of them.....milk when you have gastro can make it stay for longer......as soon as my kids get diarrhea the doctor takes them off milk altogether kind of hard when your baby is 4 months old!!



I believe grand parents should be allowed to spoil their grandkids but in a way where they arent treading on toes and obviously yours are crushed!!



The thing is they have no right to say if you think its unreasonable...its your children and they have had their go, so if they can't be with your child and respect your wishes then dont leave him there unsupervised and when they say you are over reacting say ..."you may think so"....but continue to stand your ground...they cant argue with that

Krista - posted on 04/10/2009

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Quoting Nadine:



i completely agree wit jennifer and liz, my children hardly ever see their grandparents because they live on the other side of the country, and  we really appreciate when they take the time and money to come all the way out here to visit,  my (father) never bothers with his grandchildren and this hurts and upsets me , yes u should have been informed if your child is sick, but they are parents themselves and believed that they were doing the right thing, talk about your concerns, but dont stew over them. as for emily i completely agree with jennifer you sound like a complete control freak who should be thank ful that your parents are still around and GET OVER YOUSELF!  my god, you sound like an absoulute nightmare!






You totally DON'T sound like a nightmare!!!  You sound like a concerned parent, who feels frustrated that executive decisions regarding your child's wellbeing were made without consulting you.  I don't understand your concern about the gifts (my in-laws have bought my son 2 sleepers and are mad that we won't take their  30 yr old nursery furniture (including crib).  However, I know how frustrating it can be when your in-laws don't respect your wishes, and keep you out of the loop.  Unfortunately, I haven't left my son with them for that same reason, and also because they can be very secretive which makes me feel uncomfortable.  Let's face it, we are the ones ultimately responsible for our kids, and we need to know what's going on when anything might pose a risk to their well-being.  The fact that they were well-meaning doesn't make it right.  I think you need to talk to your husband, he needs to back you in this.  I understand it's hard for him, my husband has a tendency to take his parents side too.  Perhaps point out that if he had a problem with something your parents were doing, you would back him, regardless of whether it bothered you or not.  You are both your children's parents, and you both  need to be comfortable!



BTW, my son is getting baptised tomorrow (Easter Saturday) and is also 4 months! Congrats!  What day was your baby born?

Jamie - posted on 04/10/2009

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absolutely not at all my husband and I have had this very same issue with my oldest daughter the grandparents just wouldn't listen at all about anything stand your ground you are his mother

Theresa-White - posted on 04/10/2009

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I am a grandparent and I think they should of called you to let you know someone was sick in the house and gave you the option to come get your child. On the other hand you will see, being a mother, you think you have everything under control. Kids get sick and you don't over react about it, you just deal with it....the mother instinct don't leave you just because your children have grown up and left the home. You should ask them to please let you know if anyone gets sick at there house again to please call you. Now about the gifts...enjoy them. My ex-sister-in law used to do for the girls, like you say your in-laws do. I used to try to keep up with her, but realized I didn't have to spend my money to pay for the expensive stuff and there needs and wants were met. Let grandma & grandpa spend there money....in all reality we do like to spoil them. (with in reason). Just talk to them. Your in-laws mean well.

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