How to ask your MIL to follow the rules?

Rachel - posted on 03/25/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My mother in law is a wonderful woman, and as a grandma she spoils my daughter, and as a grandma she lives her dreams of having a daughter vicariously through her. How ever as a mother I feel that there are certain guidelines set forth by all moms that should be followed through when it comes to children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.



The issue: my MIL's dog. He is a loving little dog, however he has developed a tantrum and growls at my 8 month old daughter and lunged toward her once. The final straw was when he bit her clothing just missing her foot. We currently live with the in-laws, and I have asked my MIL to keep her dog away from my daughter when she holds her and watches her due to safety. However my MIL thinks she can control the dogs actions while holding her.



On several occasions I kindly asked her to leave the dog on the ground and out of her lap while she holds my daughter. I've asked her to keep the dog on the ground when she allows my daughter to play on the bed. But she continues to let her dog near her, and even heard him growl once, and she said was "no".



I don't want to keep my daughter away from my MIL, but I feel like she is choosing her dog over the safety of my daughter. I am concerned and don't want to seem like the kind of DIL who isn't appreciative for all that my FIL and MIL have done for us. Something must be done with this dog.



Please help me and this living situation.

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4 Comments

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Mandy - posted on 09/18/2010

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Dogs that are held become protective towards their holder I never EVER encourage holding any dog no matter how small. The other issue is space aggersion the area around the dog when being held became "their space" and if something comes into this space they feel the need to protect them selves. I also do not believe in letting dogs on bed or furniture as the same thing can happen, my newest member of the family is proof of that. I have recently takin on a young very aggerssive Great Dane. She was in a very dominate state. She was my mother-in laws dog and was allowed to do whatever she wanted. I had told them when she was only 8 weeks old that she should never be allowed on any furniture especially the beds. But they never listened. So when she was 6 months old and 90lbs I got a frantic call from my mother in law telling me the dog was trying to kill her. Aparntly she was on the bed and was snapping and growling at anyone that came near it. I went over got her off the bed(got bit and shartch pretty good in the process) and had to roll her to make her stop. I told once again told them what they needed to do to correct this behavior but they didnt listen. So when she turned 1yr old they decided to find her a new home(I told them I would take her, I didnt think anyone could handle her in the state she was in but she just said no you already have to many dogs). The new home did not work out Stella attcked the new owners sister. MIL said she was going to call the Dane rescue but they told her she would be put to sleep. So she gave in and let me have Stella. We have had her for a lil over 6 months now and after changing her diet, laying down rules, and plenty of excirse(we have two achers of fenced in land and 4 other dogs for her to play with) she is a changed dog. We have butted head a few time in the processes but she is totally different. And my daughter is no longer scared of her.



I would tell your MIL thank for everything they have helped you with but that your scared the dog will hurt your child and if she wants to spend time with her she must leave the dog on the floor. She must not carry the dog hold the dog or let the dog on the bed when your little one is around for the safety of the child.

Stina - posted on 03/30/2010

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This is a bad situation- a dog that nips/bites a child should not be allowed anywhere near children. It sounds to me like the dog feels threatened by the baby- feels like the baby is taking your MIL from him.



The fact is, your MIL does not have control over her dog. If she did, if her dog was properly trained and socialized, the dog would never growl, snarl or attack your dd. Her dog thinks he is the one in charge and he doesn't like your MIL giving attention to the baby.



If your MIL refuses to train her dog to behave (at this point, she would do well to find a good obedience trainer) and/or refuses to keep the dog out of the room/house when your dd is with her, you need to keep your dd away from that dog. It may be time to find a different living situation before your baby gets hurt.

Ashley - posted on 03/30/2010

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My husband, our 2 girls and I all live with my in-laws due to financial problems. It makes raising our girls very difficult because they allow our kids to do things that we don't normally allow, and they constantly tell us how to raise our kids and call us abusive when the oldest (my 4 year old stepdaughter) cries about being punished. Most of the time punishments includes time-outs and being grounded from the TV for a day or two. They also accuse my husband of playing favorites, saying that he loves our youngest, a 7 month old baby girl, or cares more about our youngest because he apparently pays more attention to the baby than to our 4 year old. Last time I checked, helpless infants needed more attention than independent preschoolers, or at the very least a different kind of attention. How can we be firm with his parents AND respectful at the same time?

Semra - posted on 03/25/2010

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I totally understand how you feel. My partner and I had to live with his inlaws when we were first married and I was also pregnant a little while later. She has 2 cats and I kindly asked them to keep the cats away from me because I want to avoid any problems during the pregnancy. Everytime my husband would leave she would let the cats in and walk them through the house in front of me...I was soooo angry!



I think the best thing to do if she is ignoring your requests is to inform her that your daughters safety means the world to you and even though it is nice of them to have you in their house doesn't mean they can trample on your boundaries. You should warn her that is she continues to disregard your requests that she won't be allowed to hold the baby and it may get to a point that you might have to leave for a bit until she gets the message. Your parenting and boundaries shouldn't mean nothing.



I hope this helps. I've had to have strong boundaries with my inlaws because me husband never wanted to make waves with them so he just kept his mouth closed. If you feel weird saying anything ask your husband to let them know that if they don't respect what you are asking and keep the dog away, you both will have to move out (just a threat). Hopefully she will get how serious you are and stop doing it.



Hope this helps :)

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