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I have to rant.

I have to, I really really must.


Doesn't the word just put a shiver down your spine, like someone chasing you with an axe?

I'm trying to like them right now. I'm really, really trying. And I used to, mostly.

But then they committed in-law sin number 1.

Disregarding parental authority.

We're pretty normal parents I think, a for the most part, run with benevolent neglect as a parenting style. In our house, if you don't want the kids touching something, you don't leave it where it might tempt them, much as you shouldn't leave a cheesecake within my vicinity. It's like asking a starving man not to eat while sitting him in the middle of 7-11. Ain't gonna happen. So we just make sure nothing worrisome is near the edge, and use plain old "don't touch that" otherwise.

This works. It's called picking your battles.

Apparently, this isn't good enough for my inlaws. Apparently, leaving a camcorder and a very expensive part to a machine on the edge of the counter where Vivian eats her snacks is a good idea. Since apparently, she won't want to touch the illiicit items, oh no. Apparently, it's the TODDLER'S fault for being curious, and our fault for not disciplining them properly. It worked for their kids after all.

I was so bloody pissed off I could barely speak. These people are around our children, at most, 3 weeks a year. We told them explicitly that we do not leave things where they can grab them. My father learned this lesson the hard way, costing him a pack of smokes. The difference is, my father realized it was his own mistake for leaving them out, and didn't blame the kid. She still got in shit, but it was as much his fault as hers. She's being naturally curious like any almost 3 year old. He's old enough to know better.

My inlaws on the other hand, seem to think that we should just punish our children for everything, instead of preventing the problem in the first place.

Later that day, it happens again. The girls have this water table thing that we sometimes use as a sorta table if we eat on the deck. FIL kept putting his beer on the table, and getting mad because Ros wanted to GASP PLAY WITH THE TABLE, and hence the beer. Apparently, moving the beer to the deck rail wasn't good enough for him, instead, he wanted to punish the toddler for doing what she is supposed to-play with her toys!

I've turned a blind eye to the candy. I've walked away when they've let Vivian be rough, and get away with stuff, because I do believe that grandparents are supposed to spoil their grandchildren to a degree. I don't mind that.

But the minute the "It worked on our kids" speech comes out, I see red. Cause you know what? Smoking in a parked car with my kids in it? NOT COOL. Telling me that something worked on yours, and then seeing the effects, and working for years to get rid of those effects? NOT COOL.

My mother used to use a stick to strap me across the knuckles when I did something wrong. She also used to spank me as punishment. In the early 80's, this was a little more acceptable than it is now. Does that mean that it's ok? I remember riding in the backseat a a child, no seat belt, no nothing. We don't do that anymore. So it's not ok.

And the really bothersome part is that when we ask them nicely to respect our childrearing style, they actually get offended, and refuse to change or listen. It's immensely frustrating, because I cannot speak with them directly, and yet I need to deal with the tension. I'm going to explode, and my husband has to deal with all of this, on both sides. I don't want to be an asshole, but they are OUR children, not theirs. It is OUR house, not theirs. I don't have this problem with my father, even after he's been with us 6 months. He knows to back off, and not take over. He has fun with them, but leaves the true discipline up to us. Because they are our children, and they are overall well behaved, polite, smart, incredible children. And they don't get that way from being prevented from exploring, or being continually punished for our laziness.

My most favorite part however, was how my MIL was all like "Well, what about what WE are used to? What about our feelings, and wishes." Frankly lady, when it comes to my kids, I don't give a crap. You've got my mother bear hackles up now. And it also illustrates why I've had to fight with my husband for years to not always think about himself first. Because he was parented to believe that his wishes and desires were not valid unless he forced the issue, unless he controlled it, and was "first". I can't think of anything I can stand less than people who think the world is here only for them to stand on. I couldn't believe she said that.

Anyone else have this problem? Any thoughts? Because quite frankly, I'm about ready to blow my stack. Thank the gods I had to work today.

Good lord they are selfish eh? Its NOT what THEY want, its what is best for the child.

My MIL taught the Rugrat it was OK to jump on the beds, still, to this day she does it, and the MIL has just realized the error of her ways. Of course, she says that the first time she falls off and bonks her head she won't do it again. Grrr...not the point.

As for their broken shit. Not your problem. Are they THREE? What dumbass leaves stuff like that out where the kids can access it? Sounds like you need to discipline your in-laws instead of the kids.

Is there a way for you to say that you are the primary caregiver, and therefore you need to be the one to discipline? It can be pretty confusing after all *wink* sending mixed messages to children who only see their grandparents for three weeks of the year.

It will be over soon!

Oye... Feel your pain man. I do.

Try not to kill 'em. ;-)

This doesn't come up too much for us, except with my parents. If Larry has a problem with how my parents interact with Anthony, he tells me and I deal with it.

I think that's what you need to do here. You need to sit down with your hubby and say, "This is what's wrong with how your parents are with the kids. This is how things need to change." You guys have to come to some sort of agreement amongst yourselves and then HE has to address HIS parents. You guys have to be a unified front on this because he'll probably just cave, otherwise. And, as long as your in-laws see that it's your husband doing the negotiating, you don't turn into "evil DIL". Right?

That's how it is around here, at least. My parents think my husband is the best father ever because they don't have to argue with him, just with me, whom they've alway argued with. ;)

What I meant by "unified front" was that you came to the decision together, even though he has to deal with his parents (not you). Does that make sense?

Of course among other things I am a mother-in-law. I have bitten my tongue until it bleeds but I don't think I've ever interfered.

The main problem is that my husband can never seem to do right with his parents. They should be proud of him for who he is, and how we live our life, and I don't think they are. The fact that it's obvious that his sister is the "better" child doesn't help.

I've told him and he's talked to them. They just get shitty with me regardless. It's stupid and immature, and I think that's what bugs me the most.

Well I don't quite have your problem yet since I'm not married but I still totally feel your pain. I mean, where do fools get the BALLS to behave like this around other adults?? Totally and utterly rude no matter which way you slice it!

I'd flat out say to them, "You raised your kids the way you saw fit and did what you felt was best for them. These are our kids and it's our turn to make the decisions and raise them the way that we think is best. If we want or need your advice, trust us that we will ask for it. Until then, please let us be the ones to decide how to discipline our children." (or, more likely, have DH be the one to tell them that first and then echo it to them myself if need be.)

Good luck.

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