What would you do?

[deleted account] ( 14 moms have responded )

So, what would you do if your almost 3-year-old told you that your mother in law hit him on the head and hurt him? It's totally her personality to do something like that. She denies it though. My husband and I have asked our son like 50 times if she did it or not and every time he says yes. She confronted him about it when my hubby asked her if she did it, and of course when approached by her, our son said no. When I asked him right after that though, he said yes and has continued to say yes EVERY time! How would you handle this situation? FYI...she and I have never had a good relationship anyways.


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Lorie - posted on 08/15/2009




My son would never see my mother-in-law again. You should always take your childs word.

It would just be like if he said a nanny did that, either way, no matter who it is its not ok.

Jana - posted on 08/13/2009




First let me start by saying that I am sorry you have to even deal with this situation and that by no means to I side with your MIL. But in reference to your last post on here about welcoming her into your home after she has lied to you about hitting your son...maybe in her eyes, since she seems to have a history of hitting people, she truely doesn't feel like she hit your son. Maybe to her a "hit" only happens if she stopped and thought about it, like what you have to do if you punch someone. But to your son a "hit" is a slap on the head (again, by NO means do I agree with what your MIL did)

I alway say this because it might be more helpful to focus on how you can stop it from happening again verses always being frustrated when she comes to your house. I hope I made sense.

Lynlee - posted on 08/13/2009




This is a really difficult one! Of course your first priority is to protect your son but having said that it is quite possible that he made the accusation up or exaggerated it ie. she popped him on the head with a pillow. Little children lie but it is mostly because they can't tell the difference between truth and fantasy and they think if they say something happened it becomes reality. Using young children's testimony in court cases has been proven as difficult as they make stuff up. But you should always trust your instincts...

Amanda - posted on 08/13/2009




I would limit the unsupervised visits, which may seem crazy, but I had a similar situation, and once my mother-in-law realized that her childish behavior had consequences she changed the way she was around me and my son.

[deleted account]

It's your child. I don't care who's mother it is. If you every right to confront her yourself. I wouldn't take a backseat to my husband just because it's his mother. You've already said it's in her personality to do something like that. Trust your motherly instinct. Sounds like you already know the answer. O.K., I just saw your second post. I would be pissed and she would NEVER again be left alone with my child. No F'n way! As far as the relationship with her goes, well that's a very personal decision for you and your husband. I would say it depends on the other dynamics of your relationship with her and your husband's relationship with her.

Heather - posted on 08/13/2009




You need to believe your child. Kids don't usually make stuff like that up. Believe him and leave it at that. Constant questioning of him and your MIL serves no useful purpose. I would think twice before you let her watch him again.

Melissa - posted on 08/13/2009




my friend's hubby wasn't convinced it happened either. but when the kids started crying every time grandma was around, he couldn't deny it anymore. she cannot have the kids alone anymore. and grandma does not enter their home either. when the kids go over there, my friend refuses to go because of the way this woman treats her. hubby must go, and they stay for a very short time.

[deleted account]

3 year olds do make stuff up and exagerate, and it is pointless to keep asking your child. If your husband won't accept that his mother did this you have to let it go. It's hard and it sucks but dwelling will get you nowhere. Try not to make a big deal out of it, and in the meantime don't let mom-in-law babysit.

[deleted account]

My husband isn't convinced that it happened. He will not be of much help here. However, I know that his mom IS that kind of person because my DH's sister once told a story of how their mom hit her with a brush so badly that when she went to school the teacher thought she had chickenpox! I just had a friend of mine talk to him last night with me absent from the area and he told her the exact same thing that he's been telling me. I KNOW that it happened! How do you welcome someone into your home (or visit their home) who has hurt your child (and then lied about it to your face)?

[deleted account]

I would probably tell her that hitting is not something we do with our son as it teaches them it is ok to hit others when they are upset, and that whether it happened or not it should never happen again. I would also limit her visits to only when you or dad are around to help ensure that it wouldn't happen again.

Maraea - posted on 08/12/2009




I agree that because it is your husbands mother he needs to be the one to confront her, but in saying that I also think it should be done as a united front. I think you both need to express how dissapointed and upset you are about what happened and just to confirm with her, tell her how you use discipline and maybe show her what an alternative way of handling the situation may have been. for instance, my mother in law told my son he was "Naughty" for pooing in his pants when we were trying to potty train him! I was right there when she said it and instantly told her to please choose her words more carefully as he has been pooping in his pants for the last 2 years and doesnt know any difference, and because of what she had said to him, that he may take it literally and just hold on instead of pooping at all! Anyway, because of this, I put a halt on the training until I thought she was able to take a different approach to the situation. (by the way we have not always got on either, and she lives right next door)
So maybe by explaining to her that you do not use smacking as a descipline and show/tell her how to handle it differently. If this does not work then I would tell her quite frankly and honestly that if she does not change the way she interacts with her grandchild/children then you will have no choice but to only give her supervised visits or worse none at all.
Good Luck

Stephanie - posted on 08/12/2009




I agree with Candice, your husband will have to be the one to feild this one. And, also no matter how many times you ask the question, your son will give you the same answer because now he knows which answers gets the attention.

Your instincts will have to guide you here, I'm curious to how your husband feels about it. Your husband may have a better sense if this is something she is likely to do, and do again.

Unfortunatly, the only "punishment" you can do without having proof of the incident is limit her access to her grandchild to "supervised" visit with someone you trust.

It's a difficult situation, I understand, I'm going through something like this, but it involves other children.

Good luck.

Candice - posted on 08/12/2009




since you've already talked to him 50 times about the incident, there's no point prolonging this one. but if it happened again, i would try to get him to explain "how" she did it...like "did she do it like this? or like this?" which gives you more concrete evidence of an actual event. (not that it matters how it happened, it's just further evidence that it happened).

since it's not your mother, your husband needs to draw the line and explain to her that it WILL NOT happen again...whether she denies it or not. children have limited ability to protect themselves. if you have ANY thought that it could be true...protect him.

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