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Disregard of our rules by in-laws


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This doesn't pertain to academics, but to frustrations I am having with my in-laws, more specifically my husband's stepmother. I have a 4 yo and 15 month old dds. It began when my 4 yo was a baby with letting her watch TV, eat junk, etc. Want to let her watch Spongebob, give her irritating electronic toys, eat junk, stay up till 10 PM, etc. We've sorted out most of those issues, with them finally toeing the line for the most part. Then we found out that they took the 4 yo in the car for a ride with NO CARSEAT. We put our carseat in their car for them, but they just took her in their other car without a seat because it was more convenient. My husband addressed it the first time, they said it wouldn't happen again, and then 3 days later, it did. The stepmother first lied about it. They don't see it as a huge problem because they're just going a couple of miles or whatever. Besides the fact that it's ILLEGAL, plenty of people die in wrecks when they are just going a couple of miles. And the stepmother has had strokes and could again, which endangers her as a driver. At this point, I just don't trust them with my children's safety. So, my question is, how should I deal with this? At what point do I say, "you can't have them at your house alone, you can only see them when we're around." Thoughts?

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At what point do I say, "you can't have them at your house alone, you can only see them when we're around." Thoughts?

 

At this point. They put their grandchild's life in danger. Yes, there were different rules when they were growing up and for their children too, but speed limits are higher now, there are heavier cars (SUVs etc) and the laws must be followed.

 

Also - if they disregard you on this, how do you know they will follow rules you might have re. medicine, allergies (if they develop them), etc.

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I think, if they are taking your child out without a car seat (or at least a high backed booster seat; if that had been previously discussed and approved), for the sake of convenience (as opposed to, say, some sort of emergency I can't even really imagine), and LYING about it, well, I think you're there now. They shouldn't have them without supervision. I'm sorry. :grouphug:

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We just almost never let anyone have our DD alone until she was older. So I can't imagine letting someone who would let a child be in a car without a carseat have my DD alone. Is it crucial that you need them to watch your children? If not, then just either stay with the kids or let the ILs come and visit you.

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These adults have demonstrated that they do not deserve your trust. They disregarded your express wishes, your child's safety, and the law.

Your kids are precious. No matter how awkward it becomes, don't leave them alone with anyone who cannot be trusted.

You don't need to say anything at all. Just politely decline if asked to drop off the kids. Make other arrangements when you need a sitter.

 

:grouphug:

Edited by jplain
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This doesn't pertain to academics, but to frustrations I am having with my in-laws, more specifically my husband's stepmother. I have a 4 yo and 15 month old dds. It began when my 4 yo was a baby with letting her watch TV, eat junk, etc. Want to let her watch Spongebob, give her irritating electronic toys, eat junk, stay up till 10 PM, etc. We've sorted out most of those issues, with them finally toeing the line for the most part. Then we found out that they took the 4 yo in the car for a ride with NO CARSEAT. We put our carseat in their car for them, but they just took her in their other car without a seat because it was more convenient. My husband addressed it the first time, they said it wouldn't happen again, and then 3 days later, it did. The stepmother first lied about it. They don't see it as a huge problem because they're just going a couple of miles or whatever. Besides the fact that it's ILLEGAL, plenty of people die in wrecks when they are just going a couple of miles. And the stepmother has had strokes and could again, which endangers her as a driver. At this point, I just don't trust them with my children's safety. So, my question is, how should I deal with this? At what point do I say, "you can't have them at your house alone, you can only see them when we're around." Thoughts?

 

Don't say it, just do it. Don't make a big deal out of it since you have already discussed the issues with them. And when they ask why (if they ever do) then you can tell them...

Edited by kelouis75
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The earlier stuff you mentioned would have bothered me a lot as an early mom when I was idealistic and (IMO) obnoxious. Today, I'd let a lot of that "go".

 

However, the car seat and lying about it? No more unsupervised visits. I would not discuss or "argue". I would simply state "that's it".

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The earlier stuff you mentioned would have bothered me a lot as an early mom when I was idealistic and (IMO) obnoxious. Today, I'd let a lot of that "go".

 

However, the car seat and lying about it? No more unsupervised visits. I would not discuss or "argue". I would simply state "that's it".

:iagree: with all of this.

 

The car seats are non-negotiable. We had a similar issue with my in-laws. We put a stop to all unsupervised visits.

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I mean you're THERE......

 

Even though the symptoms are danger, legalities and medical issues, the REAL issue is they are disrespecting you as parents. They should never have the children unsupervised alone AGAIN. Sorry this happened. BTDT. :grouphug:

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I wouldn't let them take them anywhere. If that means no unsupervised visits then so-be-it. I am waaaaaaay to jaded when it comes to stuff like that. I have heard to many stories to even take the risk.

 

My dh family got irritated once because he wouldn't do that when our oldest was in a seat. I was at work and had the seat with me. Rather than someone coming and getting it then going where they wanted they wanted her to ride in the floor board so no one would see her so they wouldn't get ticketed!!

 

They aren't like that anymore thank goodness but it still amazes me in this day and age how people can be about these things.

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The earlier stuff you mentioned would have bothered me a lot as an early mom when I was idealistic and (IMO) obnoxious. Today, I'd let a lot of that "go".

 

However, the car seat and lying about it? No more unsupervised visits. I would not discuss or "argue". I would simply state "that's it".

 

Joanne took the words right out of my mouth.

 

At the beginning of the post, I was thinking, "Oh, grandmas are allowed to let the kids watch too much tv, eat too much sugar, and stay up too late," (as long as it's not every day.)

 

But not using the car seats? Twice?! And then Lying??!! You can't leave them with gma anymore.

 

If you are comfortable with confrontation you can tell them why. If you're not comfortable with it...then just don't ever let the kids go to gmas again unless you're there, too.

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Agree. The car seat is a deal breaker.

 

And, if they throw a fit, I'd be tempted to tell them they are lucky I didn't call the police and report them for breaking the law and endangering the life of my child.

 

Just curious...what does your husband say about this?

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Joanne took the words right out of my mouth.

 

At the beginning of the post, I was thinking, "Oh, grandmas are allowed to let the kids watch too much tv, eat too much sugar, and stay up too late," (as long as it's not every day.)

 

But not using the car seats? Twice?! And then Lying??!! You can't leave them with gma anymore.

 

If you are comfortable with confrontation you can tell them why. If you're not comfortable with it...then just don't ever let the kids go to gmas again unless you're there, too.

 

:iagree:

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These adults have demonstrated that they do not deserve your trust. They disregarded your express wishes, your child's safety, and the law.

Your kids are precious. No matter how awkward it becomes, don't leave them alone with anyone who cannot be trusted.

You don't need to say anything at all. Just politely decline if asked to drop off the kids. Make other arrangements when you need a sitter.

 

:grouphug:

:iagree: I've dealt with some of your issues and more. Not using a car seat once because some people really are that ignorant and/or stubborn, but apologizing and never making the mistake again is one thing. Not following the rules you set (especially when they're safety related) repeatedly, and then lying about it to boot? They've proven themselves untrustworthy and I wouldn't be surprised if she did more and more things against your rules as time goes on.

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Safety issues are not negotiable.

 

I don't think I would be explicit about it, though. My inclination would be to just be around whenever they are with your kids. No need to make a fuss or even really to discuss it that I can see.

 

:iagree:This is a case where confrontation will not do any good.

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DS10 went camping with grandpa at age 3. Now, DH's family is all olive/brown, tan-easily type people. My side of the family is lily-white, fair-skinned, Irish folk. We don't tan. Guess who took after my side of the family? Yup! I sent an entire bottle of SPF50 baby-block and a sun hat. He came home with sun poisoning. He's not been camping with them since.

 

 

You're at that point, MaryAnn. It's illegal. It's dangerous. It's just plain stupid.

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You say stepmother should not be driving your children around. Well don't let her. A couple of years ago, I had a similar conversation with my husband about a family member of his, who was coming for a visit. He offhandedly said, "Oh, T. can drive them," with "them" being our kids. I jumped all over him about that, make a real stink about it, because we KNOW T is not a good driver and have discussed it repeatedly. He thought I was being unfair, but I was very firm about it.

 

Last spring, T was driving his younger brother to school, a few miles from their house, and turned left in front of a truck. Younger brother was killed. T was fine.

 

If you know someone is an unsafe driver, you cannot let her drive your kids around.

 

Terri

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Yikes! I feel like I'm piling on, but wow...you're in charge, you make the rules, not them. Your instincts are sound. 100% agree, no more drop-off visits, etc. Sunday dinner whole family visits, fine, but kids come and go with you. Also, you don't owe her an explanation, or even a confrontation, if you don't want one (that would be my style...).

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I agree, carseats are non-negotiable. The other things are preferences, but carseats, helmets, life jackets on boats, and the like, those are non-negotiable and are grounds for no more unsupervised visits. As others have said, there is no need to tell her that unless she asks to keep the kids or drive them again.

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I'm OK with the TV, especially if it's only Spongebob - could be a lot worse! I'm OK with the junk food, short of making her sick. I'm totally fine with the irritating electronic toys - my kids have a favorite uncle who can always be counted on for that. I'm OK with staying up late, because grandma's house is fun. I'm even OK with giving them one more chance when they didn't use the car seat.

 

BUT - like every single other poster, I believe they have now crossed the line. It is a safety issue. In my family, when mom or dad says "it is a safety issue", the kids know that it is NOT negotiable. Not using the car seat, when you've discussed it with them, and more importantly LYING about it, is unacceptable. Sometimes grandparents tell stories of the wildly unsafe things that you, their kids, lived through. Sometimes they make fun of us safety-obsessed moms. Making fun and telling stories is a more-or-less acceptable way of expressing their feelings. Going against the parent's wishes, and LYING about it, is not.

 

As the other posters have said, there is no need to make an issue of it. Simply do not put them in a position of responsibility over your children.

 

Hopefully, your dh will be on board with this. The grandparents are most likely good people, and they mean well, but they are perhaps getting on in years and not understanding the gravity of the situation. You are NOT judging them as people, or cutting them off from seeing the kids, or anything like that. You're just making sure all visits are supervised, and no driving is done.

Edited by askPauline
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To me, the carseat was a dealbreaker. The lying about it means that the deal can never be repaired. Not even with super glue. It's bad enough to put your kids in that kind of danger, but the fact that they would lie to you about it is just unconscionable. If they would do that, I don't even want to think of what other stunts they are capable of.

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Grandparents like to spoil kids, but totally disregarding your guidelines and lying is disrespect for you and how you are raising your children.

 

I'd say the grandparents can visit the kids when you're around, but never leave them alone with the the kids. They've proven their character, or lack thereof.

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I agree completely with Joanne. I, too, was much more idealistic as a new parent and had all kinds of rules that I gradually let up on. Safety rules have never been relaxed or compromised for social relations. I would not let them take my children anywhere or leave them at their house. I would let them visit at your house or when you are around. They obviously don't have the same safety standards as you do or as any reasonable person in the USA has ( and isn't it a law that all children of your kids age have to be in car seats?).

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Thanks everyone for unanimously affirming that I am not insane! My husband does agree with me, but it's complicated in that it's really his stepmother who is the instigator of the wrong stuff, but his dad just goes along with it or else doesn't bother to check or is happy to remain ignorant. I have lightened up on some of the other stuff as time passes, but it has really been hard on me when my dd comes home from there a defiant, whiny, exhausted brat and doesn't behave that way when she comes from other Gp houses. My husband confronted them about it, twice. Thank you! Mary Ann

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I feel your upset.

 

Haven't read responses yet..

 

My in-laws are not allowed to see my kids without me present. Not even DH because he cannot stand up to his own father. My in-laws have tried piling in my kids when 2yrs old and newborn into their car with no carseats.. They say "well- we never had carseats for our kids and they are just fine!"

 

My in-laws constantly "break" our family rules. e.g. don't jump off the top of the couch ... but when Mimi and Grandpa are here that is just fine even encouraged because it will get "mommy mad!", no leaving the house without Epi-Pen... Grandpa says "oh I won't use it don't worry", on and on.

 

HUGS.

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