how can i get my my father in law to listen to me when it comes to the caregiving of my son

Mandy - posted on 07/09/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )

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Alrighty lol. My son will be 2 next month. When he was born my father in law came over unannounced 5-6 times a day, just showed up. After we had a talk about it, it stopped to only 2-3 times a week. i give him instructions on what my son should eat and shouldn't eat same with drinking. I give my son diluted juice, milk, or gatorade . well , while i was getting ready for work he came over to watch my son for 2 hrs. He has givin my son MOUNTAIN DEW soda in the past and i have asked him repeatedly to stop and he just looks at me and says he just wants a taste a couple of times i thought nothing of . Then we had a family get together and he asked my son if he wants a drink and i looked at him and i said please don't give him that and he did it anyway. One day there was mountain dew in his sippy cup. I also have a DVR where we record our shows when were not home, we also record my sons favoraite cartoons on it so when it's time for quite time we just watch one. i will tell my father in law please don't put the cartoons on or he will want to watch them all day he needs to play with his toys ect. and he did it anyyway when i told him no. My husband has talked to him and his response was i am not going to have a women tell me what to do. I am trying to maintain my cool for the sake of my husband because it is his dad. It's getting to the point where i don't want him around. Any advice on how i should handle this situation

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Wendy - posted on 07/12/2009

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I think you shouldn't have him watch him if he isn't going to respect your wishes.....

Laura - posted on 07/12/2009

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I graduated with a psych degree focused in behavior and development. A big part of my career since then has been in giving parenting advice to clients. The BIGGEST issue today causing behavior problems is caregivers not being consistent and not on the same page. Your father-in-law is obviously VERY old school. He probably has this misguided notion that its "his job" to spoil your son. What he's not seeing is the damage that he is doing could have lasting ramifications. Sure these are fairly minor transgressions. Giving a child mtn dew when a mother says not to, doesn't measure up to beating a child with a belt. However, he is undermining your authority and putting your son in the middle of a love battle. My advice is that you need to have a family sit with him. It can't just come from your husband, you need to be a united front. Talk about what your big goals are for your son, like becoming a productive member of society who has good relationships and is ultimately a happy individual, going to college, attaining his dreams. Also talk about your little goals for him, potty training, being able to sit and listen to a story, etc. Talk about how you would like to help your son reach all of these goals. What discipline you use with him. How you feel what he consumes (whether through food or TV) will help or hinder him in this process. Also talk about what you don't want for your son. You don't want him to have behavior problems that inhibit his learning. You don't want him to do drugs or drink when he gets older, etc. All throughout you should be asking your father-in-law what his opinions are, if these are the goals he would like for your son, what does he feel is most important. Your father-in-law is very involved with your son, so he really should have a voice in how he is raised (though ultimately you are the authority) and maybe giving him that voice to express what he thinks is important will open up the lines of communication and start helping him pay attention to the wishes of you and your husband.

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Gemma - posted on 07/11/2009

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I agree - Your husband needs to talk to his father and make it very clear that YOU are responsible for your son, and that YOUR rules are the ones that apply, and he has to tow the line. I wish you luck. I think you have been very patient.

Amy - posted on 07/11/2009

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well, it sounds to me like your husband wants to make you think that he is standing up for you more than he really is, it seems like your husband is making excuses for your FIL. your husband tells you that you have to be stern with FIL, but maybe you have to be a little sterner with your husaband too... the only reason i am coming down on your husband right now is because obviously you have tried to do something about it many times, and you still come out defeated in the end. i think the one person that could really make an impact in this situation is your husband, but he has to be committed to putting his foot down and setting rules for your FIL. or you can try giving the FIL the "our rules or no conner" ultimatum AGAIN, but you and your husband will really have to stand united and be commited this time, otherwise the FIL is gonna keep on walking all over you guys because he knows he can. i can almost bet you that FIL has some control issues...and by letting him get away with doing the things with your son that you dont want him too, he feels in control somehow... he NEEDS to know that Conner is YOUR son and that YOU(and your husband) are in control......

Mandy - posted on 07/10/2009

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My husband does stand up for me. And i think your right that i should just take action and not say anything, this evening we went out to dinner and my son was doing really good then while my husband was getting dessert my fil asked connor to you wanna drink? ( he was drinking rootbeer ) and he knows my rules about giving him soda, as i nudged him and said no 2-3 times he still did it. i bit my tounge do hard i thought that i made it bleed. i told my husband and he told me that i needed to be sturn with him, but he was the one that told me not to be mean because it's his birthday today. ugh it aggravates me so much

User - posted on 07/10/2009

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Hi, Sorry to hear you're not getting on with you fil, I had problems with my in laws when dd was 2 weeks old (she's 22 months now) and we haven't spoken to them since.

Have you tried asking your husband to stand up for you?? Maybe your hubby being a man - your fil might listen??

I agree with you, he should respect how you want your child to be brought up. You could treaten and say if he can't respect your wishes he will not look after your son??

What do you think??

Amy - posted on 07/10/2009

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im so sorry for you, this must be so hard for you... especially because he guilt trips with the financial help he gives you.. i feel you there.. my own mother does it to me. your plans sound really good, but maybe what you have to do, is skip the talking to FIL, and just lock the DVR and dont let him watch your son(just visits), just dont tell him that that is your plan, i know it sounds scandalous, but at the same time, it sounds like talking to him hasnt really gotten you that far, and the more you "talk" the more hes gonna lay the guilt on, and its gonna be that much harder still. you need to just take action. that what i think, and that what i would do. if he loves his grandson, he wont make your husband "choose". that is really sad to me because, when it all comes down to it, YOU are the parents and not him, and it shouldnt be about having to choose, it should be about the way you as a parent want for YOUR child... and i have to be honest with you right now.... still sounds like your husband needs to grow a backbone. im sorry for sayng that.... i reeally am...... and your mother in law, she tells you to speak your mind?? is that FIL wife?? then why doesnt she speak up if she agrees with you???

Mandy - posted on 07/09/2009

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well my husband and i talked about it and the issue is definately being brought up. Because i specifically deleted all of the cartoons from my DVR, when my husband came home i asked him when he got there was connor watching cartoons? He said yes, so that made me very aggravated. i asked him how, my husband told me that he got the cartoons off of ON DEMAND. i told my husband that i have had it, he took my side and agreed with me because my husband will tell him no and he goes against his wishes. This man is stressing me out lol. i thought of a couple of plans if the talking to him doesn't work plan #1 the DVR will be locked and my husband and i will only know the password and plan #2 he will not watch him anymore and will be only able to visit when we are at home. My son ( connor ) will be 2 next month so he needs some one on one time he doesn't need to be watching cartoons all day. My husband says that he will handle it but he said that it is a delicate situation and he will get offended and makes him feel bad, because everytime we talk to him he plays the guilt trip card like i help you guys out finacially ( which i am grateful for but he just gives us money without us even asking ) so to him he thinks he has the right to do whatever he wants with him. But i totally agree with you. But i don't care if he doesn't listen to me as a person but when it comes to my son you better listen. My husband has had issues with him to about this but he handles it differently and i just loose my temper.but try to maintain my cool because you know what they say when you marry someone you also marry his family, i guess this is why he was married 2 times lol. my mother in law tells me to speak my mind but if i do it won't be nice. i don't want to have to put my husband in a situation where he has to choose me or his dad. THIS IS SO STRESSFULL!!!! I AM ABOUT TO PULL MY HAIR OUT

Amy - posted on 07/09/2009

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OMG....your husband NEEDS to talk to him. that is ridiculous. if your father in law says he doesnt want a woman telling him what to do, then your husband has to get a backbone and tell him what to do. this is yours and your husbands child, NOT your father in laws child. and if your husband wont say anything, then i think you've got a bigger problem on your hands. (im not knocking your husband or anything...but seriously....) you could also try making a list of things that he does with your child that is unacceptable to you, and also one with th things that are good(just to make him feel better), then sit down with your father in law and your husband and have a discussion... a very serious discussion, and make sure the FIL (father in law) knows that it is very serious. if FIL still doesnt get it, then would i would do is tell him that he will lose the privileges of seeing your son and spending time with him. because that is what it is, it is a privilege and he needs to know that you are in control of your son and not him. i know it sounds like a lot and it may be hard, but this is something you absolutely HAVE to deal with now. the longer you let it go on, the worse its gonna get!!! i really hope that maybe i have helped a little, and i wish you very much luck with your situation, its a hard one :)

Amy - posted on 07/09/2009

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OMG....your husband NEEDS to talk to him. that is ridiculous. if your father in law says he doesnt want a woman telling him what to do, then your husband has to get a backbone and tell him what to do. this is yours and your husbands child, NOT your father in laws child. and if your husband wont say anything, then i think you've got a bigger problem on your hands. (im not knocking your husband or anything...but seriously....) you could also try making a list of things that he does with your child that is unacceptable to you, and also one with th things that are good(just to make him feel better), then sit down with your father in law and your husband and have a discussion... a very serious discussion, and make sure the FIL (father in law) knows that it is very serious. if FIL still doesnt get it, then would i would do is tell him that he will lose the privileges of seeing your son and spending time with him. because that is what it is, it is a privilege and he needs to know that you are in control of your son and not him. i know it sounds like a lot and it may be hard, but this is something you absolutely HAVE to deal with now. the longer you let it go on, the worse its gonna get!!! i really hope that maybe i have helped a little, and i wish you very much luck with your situation, its a hard one :)

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