Jump to content

Try to change them or just shut up?
Parenting decisions


  • Please log in to reply
46 replies to this topic

#1 Tesseract

Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:35 PM

How do you cope when you have different ideas about child rearing to your Mum and MIL when they look after your children regularly?

When DD was younger and I was at home with her it didn't matter that they thought I was a crazy hippy, I would just smile and nod and do things my own way. Now they have her 3 days a week (childcare 2 days) - that's more than me/DH who only get weekends!

Examples of some of the ways we differ: I prefer to let DD explore her environment or play with one or two toys that are developmentally appropriate (ie at 14 months she likes taking things in and out), I find this keeps her calm and engaged and extends her skills; MIL on the other hand gets out 25 plastic pieces of crap that make awful noises and waves them all in DDs face until she gets overwhelmed. In regards to my Mum, she is constantly hovering over DD 'teaching' her how to play with the toy ie putting the block in the hole for her and then DD just pushes it in; now DD has given up on trying to find the right hole and just hands the block to me to do! And they both shower her in mindless "good girl!" which drives me nuts.

Ok I am sleep deprived and clearly sensitive, that's why I'm coming to EB for a bit of perspective. (Am I asking for a whippin' here?!?)

I am not wanting them to just leave her alone, but I want them to be sensitive to her need to explore without boundaries. Especially at this age I want them to verbally engage with her about what she is doing rather than just saying over and over "now put it in here, clever girl!!"

DD hasn't really started tantrums yet but I imagine if/when they do start this will be another issue. I obviously want to go with distraction and comfort rather than mocking and isolation, but they think is is the best way to 'discourage the behaviour'. Note Mum and MIL are very loving and gentle, but that generation's approach to negative emotions is different to modern thinking I guess.

But how on earth do I explain this without sounding freaking nuts? How do i broach the subject without sounding like im preaching and pontificating and telling them how to suck eggs? I realise many people on EB are going to think I'm nuts for not wanting to shower my kid in mindless praise. But that's not really the point, my point is how do I cope with this? Should I try to get them on board with our approach, or should I just appreciate the help and shut up? The couple of times I have tried to bring up the subject they either agree with me and don't change anything, or they just tell me that my concerns don't mean anything, that it doesnt matter. Either way they are not really hearing what I'm saying and I wonder if they really could because it would require a major rethinking of their fundamental view of raising children.

Thoughts?

#2 Snorlax

Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:44 PM

Irritating as it is, I'd just ignore it, if they're anything like my family (& IL's) then they're not going to change. shrug.gif

My Mother has VERY different parenting approaches, in fact I knew even in my childhood that I would most definitely NOT follow her example.

MIL also has a very different style & views in regards to parenting which DH disagreed with growing up.

We parent our kids as WE see best. Our kids are amazingly awesome little people & we're so proud of them. They're clever, well adjusted, confident & creative, I think we're doing a great job so we just try block out the noise & nonsense from others wink.gif

ETA: I have tried to explain our reasons & methods to MIL & Mother dearest, have demonstrated repeatedly how they work, but they're set in their ways. Don't want to see reason & will often just criticise simply because it's not 'their way', hence no point in discussing it with them.

At the end of the day we're just happy that they are in their lives. If it's not hurting your child then let them be.

Edited by Belle~Vie, 19 April 2012 - 01:01 PM.


#3 BadCat

Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:46 PM

I would let it slide.

They are unlikely to change.  They raised their kids and presumably did OK with it so they are more than likely to roll their eyes, say sure thing, and go on their merry way.

I doubt it's worth the hassle.  I know getting it "right" can be all consuming when they are tiny but your child will probably turn out much the same either way.

#4 bakesferalgirls

Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:48 PM

I think you can tell them what you would like done, but can't force it. If you are not happy with what they are doing then you always have the option of putting her into daycare. I think they are both doing you a massive favour by agreeing to care for your DD whilst you are at work. At the end of the day she is with people that love her and want the best for her.

My mother does things differently to what I do, but she cares for my children for free. She loves them, they are well looked after and they love being with her. I just put up with it, as ultimately nothing she does harms them.

#5 steppy

Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:53 PM

As someone who has spent a lot of time raising someone else's children, I have to say that my perspective on this is ... if you aren't paying, you don't really get a right to dictate what they do. I wouldn't bother saying anything much and pick your battles on these issues - I'm sure they are providing you with an extremely valuable child care option - not a perfect one, but a valuable one. I would be careful not to queer it if they are mostly doing a good job.

#6 FeeGee

Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:54 PM

I think you have some great ideas and you shouldn't give up on your preferred way of parenting. Rather than trying to get MIL and Mum to change (they probably won't!) perhaps you can show them in a really positive way how you like to do things with your DD, and talk up the benefits of doing those things that way.  Then they can try to incorporate them into the way they play with DD. Have you got books or articles that you can share with them?  Perhaps you can write up a list of activities they can use when caring for DD, including DD exploring toys by herself whilst being quietly supervised.




#7 Kay1

Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:54 PM

I don't think you can change them. Suck it up or find a daycare or a nanny that fits with your parenting approach.

#8 tazcan

Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:58 PM

I think you should just be grateful that your DD has two grandmother's who are clearly interested in her and want to spend time with her, and help to look after her 3 days a week (especially if you are not paying them to do so, but I don't know if you are or not). It will be insulting to try to tell them how to play and interact with your DD, and she will benefit from interacting wtih different types of people. She will also benefit from having close relationships with more adults than just her parents, and feel special as she gets older that so many people care about her. I wish my children had that.

#9 Froger

Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:01 PM

If your relatives are minding your kids, IMO I really think you have to put up with their style of things. If you want a say in how people look after your child while he or she is away from you, I think you need to have paid childcare.

#10 fancie

Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:04 PM

QUOTE
or should I just appreciate the help and shut up?


Yes.

Your baby will in the next few years come across a great many people with all sorts of approaches and interactions with her.  She will cope.

If your mother's and MIL's ways upset you so much, then remove your baby from their care and place her in organised, structured care.  

He who pays the piper calls the tune.


#11 BeYOUtiful

Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:06 PM

I used to worry about 'little things when he was younger.
However I have come to realise he adapts very well to others 'styles' as well.
In fact, the cheeky monkey goes to sleep in 5 minutes for my Mum and others.
For me however, takes me far longer no doubt due to me bf him wink.gif

I am very appreciative of Mum and SIL looking after him, it helps us financially and I am forever grateful.
They love spending time with him and vice versa.


#12 Liv_FERAL_sh

Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:09 PM

I'd let what you describe slide...you are going to come up against WAY more important stuff in the future.

One of the big things for us was toilet training. MIL nagged and nagged us to start, when we did DD got it immediately, DS is STILL going and now MIL goes on and on about how badly we did it, how we've screwed it up royally etc etc.

Pick your battles, let them look after her the way they want then you'll hopefully be able to dictate the important stuff!

#13 CountryFeral

Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:10 PM

I think you are going to have to just roll with it OP.

You raise your child your way at home - the vast majority of her time is spent there is it not? So her development is still being guided in the majority of time in the manner you wish.

When her Grandmother is in charge then she will do things her way... prescribed food or sleep routines are legitimate requests, as is insisting for her not to have physical punishment.

But telling her Grandmother how to play with her grandchild is taking it a bit far.

Children are pretty savvy, they CAN tell the difference between what is appropriate at Granny's house and what is appropriate at home.

As PP said if you don't like it then you may need to seek out paid childcare that subscribes to your philosophy.

#14 Rach42

Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:11 PM

If they are doing you a favour by looking after your DD then you can't really complain about how they are looking after her (unless they are seriously neglecting her or harming her in which case, presumably,  she wouldn't be there anyway).  If you don't like how they do things then you need to get someone else to look after her.

So even if it's more expensive maybe you should put her into childcare 5 days a week - and if your current childcare center isn't quite intune with how you parent either then find one that is.  That's what I would do if I was seriously worried about how my child was being influenced/cared for.

BTW At that age I wouldn't have left my kids for 3 days in my mum/MILs care for pretty much the same sort of reasons.

#15 annasue

Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:27 PM

yyes.gif 👆

#16 lozoodle

Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:29 PM

If its not a safety issue, I ignore it.

They are doing me a favour by babysitting and if at the end of the day my child comes home happy, that's all I'm really concerned about.

I used to really butt heads with MIL over this but then I realised it just doesn't matter. Don't sweat the small stuff.

#17 smudgiekiss

Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:31 PM

can't teach an old dog new tricks.

#18 rosiebird

Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:40 PM

Tesseract, I have a lot of sympathy for you in this situation. I don't think it's as simple as "they're doing you a favour, so suck it up". Presumably your mother and MIL want to look after you daughter - otherwise they wouldn't have offered/accepted! So I don't think you have to be so pathetically grateful at their overwhelming generosity that you have no say in how they look after your daughter.

I would be very careful in the way that you couch your requests. Perhaps when you are there, you could show your mother how she likes to explore toys and exclaim "Look, she's working it out for herself, 'isn't she clever! It's so much better for their brain if they aren't taught what to do every time". For your mother in law, I would sit your daughter down with one toy and while she is playing with that, you could comment "Isn't it lovely to see how much attention she pays to that toy. She does get overwhelmed when there are too many things to play with and she doesn't seem to play as nicely when she's over-stimulated"



#19 BabeBlossom

Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:40 PM

It's hard, but if you want your child looked after your way 100% of the time then you have to do it yourself.
You can try to talk, encourage, show proof of the benefits but at the end of the day you have no way of making them do things a way they don't feel comfortable.
My family know we have particular(gentle) ways of parenting DD and that if they want to look after her they need to adhere to them. If not then we stop asking them to mind her but we are lucky in that we have the luxury of choice and she only gets minded for date nights etc.


#20 Oriental lily

Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:46 PM

Free child care gives them the right to care for them how they see fit.

It's very trivial op. if it was a big issue like smacking or constantly filling them up with junk food then you can lay down the law.

But this is very minor.

How much control do you have in formal cc setting? Probably less.

#21 Feral like a Lemon

Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:56 PM

QUOTE (bakesgirls @ 19/04/2012, 12:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
At the end of the day she is with people that love her and want the best for her.


And really, this is the important bit.
OP, not only can't you change them, you really have no right nor requirement to do so. They aren't cloning your parenting preferences which is a good thing considering they are her grandparents not her parents. What she will take away from this in the end, is that you have different relationships with different people and you will be treated differently by different people.

I think you wanting them to do things differently just because you do things differently is unfair on them and ultimately will affect the individual relationships your child is developing with them.

#22 Mummy Em

Posted 19 April 2012 - 02:19 PM

QUOTE (Tesseract @ 19/04/2012, 01:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I realise many people on EB are going to think I'm nuts for not wanting to shower my kid in mindless praise.


Not me, I totally agree with you on that. No need to be always evaluating them when they are playing!

I do agree that you are probably asking them to majorly rethink their fundamental view of raising children, and that is why they balk. Changing your view is often a painful process. I think it is fantastic that your dd has the opportunity to have the close relationship she is getting with her grandparents. hheart.gif

But I also think you are right to want to control certain things about how your daughter is cared for. I think I would chose just 2 or 3 things that are important to you - things that effect your daughters welfare or the values that you are trying to instill and focus on those. Let the less important things go, there is value in kids learning to deal with a variety of approaches and personalities.

#23 CherryAmes

Posted 19 April 2012 - 02:35 PM

I can understand why it bothers you, as I know it annoys me when I'm round at Mum's and she does not stop "talking at" bub the entire time - then complains that bubby isn't talking! She would if she were given the chance!

I don't know if there is much you can do except model what you'd like to see and hope it rubs off, even going to the extent of showing them a few activities (esp if they are activities they don't already do). I don't think you're going to have much luck altering the "good girl" thing though, it's a deeply ingrained habit with most people and really difficult to alter.

#24 Dionysus

Posted 19 April 2012 - 02:43 PM

i am with many of the other posters.

I do see what you are trying to do but, at the end of the day, you are getting free (I assume) child care 2 days per week and neither your mother nor your MIL are doing anything inherently 'wrong'

If your child is in child care 3 days per week and with you 2 days per week, that is 5 out of 7 days that will be more in line with your way of thinking.

At 14 months old, there isn't too much play stuff that you can get wrong, really.  Of course, your way might be the optimum way, but their way isn't actually detrimental

As for the tantrum management, I do think you have a 'right' to explain how you will be dealing with tantrums so that you are all largely on the same page in terms of 'discipline'

FWIW, my DD was in child care 2 days per week and with my mum 2 days per week from 7 months old.  From 13 months, she went to cc 2 days and mum 3 days.

I do know where you are coming from wrt different parenting styles - but basically I dictate sleep/dummy use/types of food/discipline.  The rest is up to my mum as to how she wants the day to run.

#25 whelmed

Posted 19 April 2012 - 03:17 PM

Agree with pp I think you should let these things go. It sounds like your DD has two loving grandparents & if you bring up everything that bothers you it's likely to just make them defensive. Bring up the big stuff but everything else just keep reminding yourself that your daughter has more time with you and she'll handle the differences okay. With regard to tantrums I think you should start talking to your mum & MIL now about how you'd like to handle them, just casual conversations. It's better to get ahead of things and start off with everyone on the same page than try to change what's already happening. But, as a previous poster said, pick your battles.




2 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 2 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Share the little things that make you smile

We're giving away a Mountain Buggy nano, the ultimate travel stroller - and here are some of the great entries so far.

Toddler pleads for return of "stolen" nose

A two-year-old's reaction to a game of "got your nose" shows it doesn't take much to make a toddler cry.

The 15 photos new parents share (and five they don't)

From the first scan photo to the baby covered in cake at their first birthday party, there are 15 photos most parents seem to share - and some they don't.

Doctor sings first Happy Birthday to newborns

His job is to deliver babies, but this US obstetrician also has a unique way of celebrating the miracle of life.

Breastfeeding friendly café goes viral

A photo of a breastfeeding-friendly sign in a cafe has been posted to Facebook and shared by hundreds of mums around the world.

First look at the Bugaboo Bee3

The newest Bugaboo Bee ? the Bee3 ? offers a variety of improved features, including a much asked-for bassinet and a rainbow of colour combinations.

Childcare costs, not paid leave, the real issue for parents

Given the choice between maintaining their wage for six months to have a child, or having a reduced rate of pay for a time but a better deal on childcare when returning to work, there are no odds on what most working parents would choose.

Win a Mountain Buggy nano

We?re giving away the new Mountain Buggy Nano - the lightweight travel buggy! So show us the little things that make you smile for your chance to win.

We lost three babies in two years

Our first pregnancy ended the way we all expected it to - with a healthy, happy baby in our arms. What a true blessing he was, for we were not to know the heartache we were about endure.

Family turned back from doomed flight MH17

'There must have been someone watching over us and saying, 'You must not get on that flight,' says mother who narrowly avoided boarding the Malaysian Airlines flight which exploded in mid-air over the Ukraine last night.

The myths and facts about "normal" breastfeeding

When it comes to successful breastfeeding, there is a wide variety to what is "normal", according to new research.

Adorable Skeanie loafers for kids

Your little toddler or preschooler can now get their nautical on with a new range of classic loafers by Australian show brand Skeanie.

My baby is hypermobile

For months, I have been telling myself not to worry that Jasmin isn't crawling or walking. This week I heard the term hypermobile for the first time.

When you don?t bond with your baby

They say that there is no bond greater than the bond between a mother and her child. But for some women, the mother-baby bond takes more time and effort to develop.

Yumi Stynes: Having a baby after a 10-year break

After a long break, Yumi Stynes gets a reminder of the pain - and the pleasure - of giving birth.

Grieving father asks for help to Photoshop his daughter's image

When Nathan Steffel's daughter Sophia died from a liver condition at just 6 weeks old, he reached out for someone to create a beautiful image of his little girl.

Raising kids in a 'low media' home

Can you imagine a life without TV or computers? Some parents are opting for a low-tech, screen-free life for their kids.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Win a Mountain Buggy nano

We?re giving away the new Mountain Buggy Nano - the lightweight travel buggy! So show us the little things that make you smile for your chance to win.

Be careful what you say, your baby is listening

The importance of speaking to your baby even if they are not old enough to answer back has been highlighted by new research.

WIN two Sea-Bands plus $1000

Three lucky fans can win a Sea-Band Prize Pack valued at over $1000 each, which includes two Sea-Bands plus a $1000 Eftpos Gift Card!

The beautiful moment a baby was born at the side of a road

It's not where she expected to give birth, but mum Corrine Cinatl is delighted that her daughter's roadside arrival was captured in a series of beautiful photos.

Doctor sings first Happy Birthday to newborns

His job is to deliver babies, but this US obstetrician also has a unique way of celebrating the miracle of life.

The Nappy Collective starts new drive

It's that time of year when the dedicated volunteers at The Nappy Collective do their bit to help out mums and children in need - and they need your help.

Baby shower cake wrecks

From misshapen cake babies to questionable text, from odd colour choices to internal organ recreation, these are the baby shower cakes that taste forgot.

Photographer captures the beauty of adoption

The love of a family is usually tough to capture on camera. This is an exception.

Pregnancy progression photo ideas

Want to record your pregnancy as your belly grows? Here are some creative, fun ideas for photo shoots along the way.

The myths and facts about "normal" breastfeeding

When it comes to successful breastfeeding, there is a wide variety to what is "normal", according to new research.

Tin can craft and DIY ideas

Got a few old formula, Milo or coffee cans around the house? Use these fantastic upcycling ideas to create items for around the house and yard.

Dads meet their newborn for the first time

Emotional photos of two fathers meeting their newborn son have resonated with viewers worldwide, attracting thousands of Facebook likes and shares.

Skin safety isn't just a summer worry

Lax about the slip slop slap with your kids as weather turns cooler? Here's a reminder as to why we have to remain vigilant for our children?s future health.

Personalised baby gifts

We've scoured the internet to find gorgeous personalised keepsakes and nursery decor to record baby name and dates. They make great gifts for christenings, name days and birthdays! (All prices in AU.)

Creative sleeping baby photoshoots

See how some parents and photographers have captured sleeping babies in unusual positions and using different props.

DIY kitchen and food hacks

DIY your way to a better kitchen and make cooking easier with our clever hacks. (Some content reproduced with permission from mashable.com.)

Winter warmers for babies and toddlers

Your baby or toddler will be nice and snug in these beautiful and fun winter pieces. Most are hand-made or knitted, and they're all designed to keep your little one toastie - and adorable!

 

Mind, body, beauty, life

Making time for me

We look at your wellbeing, covering health, relationships, beauty and fashion, mind and body.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.