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RoseRed135

What do YOU think?

33 posts in this topic

Have been mulling this one over in my mind, from time to time, for a while... During our family vacation this year, one of the other families at the resort included a couple w/ their DS, DIL and GS. Apparently, DS and family live w/ the parents/PILs/GPs year round.  DS and DIL both work fulltime, but the older couple is retired and watch GS when he's at home (not in school) and the parents are at work. So far, so good.

But I noticed that the GPs seem to have equal authority for making rules for GS. And yet, there seemed to be some conflict over this, especially between MIL and DIL. While DIL seemed to be ok w/ MIL implementing some of her own rules, she also appeared to think that they each should enforce their own rules. MIL, OTOH, seemed to think they should each enforce each other's rules.

For example, MIL decided that GS should not leave the table in the diningroom till after he finished desert. If he left before that, she would complain to DIL. But DIL would retort, "So? You made that rule. So why don't you stop him?!" (They were at the table next to us, and I couldn't help overhearing this a few times.)

There were some other similar concerns. It never turned into a major argument, thankfully, but there was some bickering and obvious tension. At times, they seemed more like 2 parents who were having difficulty coparenting than MIL and DIL.

What do you think of this dynamic? (No doubt, MIL and FIL make some of the rules for GS regarding their home, but here, they were, obviously, away from home, so that issue wasn't involved.)

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(Keeping mind I am thinking of normal healthy family relationships - when even I do not have :))

I think that when it come to rules grandparents have every right to make their own "house rule" in their home and if my child is at their house I would expect him to obey those rules and I would enforce them. However when it come to a grandchild, grandparents do not make the rules, they can suggest rules, they can (I hope) enforce the parents rules, but it is not their job to determine how a child is raised, as in the end that responsibility both legally and ethically belongs solely to the parent.

However I do notice (not just with myself but friends too) that there is some double standard in this. I have always respected and enforced the rules at any ones home. If it is their tradition to remove shoes at the front door, that is exactly what I do.  So I 100% respected my MIL's house rules, not that she had many. However MIL never (and I mean not once) respected or enforced the rules that we had for our GC.

There were many things that led to our CO, but this was one of the main themes.

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I think absence makes the heart grow fonder and this MIL and DIL need a break from each other.  I also feel this MIL might be stepping on the line just a bit and knows it.

I wonder what the rest of the story is an "who is financing who".  I think that would tell why MIL thinks she is the boss.

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11 minutes ago, SueSTx said:

 

I wonder what the rest of the story is an "who is financing who".  I think that would tell why MIL thinks she is the boss.

IDK this part, Sue, of course. Since both DS and DIL are working, I hope they are buying their own clothes and clothes for GS, etc. And I hope they contribute to household expenses. But, again, of course, IDK.

Come to think of it, who's paying for what may have something to do w/ why DS and DIL accept MIL's making rules for their child (this surprised me since it had nothing to do w/ MIL's home). Then again, it may just be a spillover from the situation at home where MIL and FIL do, no doubt, get to make some rules.... IDK...

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I would never have my family live with grandparents for this very reason. I agree that as a parent if I choose to go to someone's house I need to accept their rules, enforce them, or we shouldn't go over. But their rules belong to their house not a hotel we are staying in. As a parent I make the rules for my child and household. My parenting rules travel with us on vacation. This dynamic gets very confusing when the parent doesn't have their own household, and they have someone else making household rules. 

My friend is having a similar problem because her MIL can't afford to live on their own and has moved into friends house. MIL has a cat and a boyfriend. Lucky they get along but friend has different household rules for cat and doesn't want boyfriend to have an open door invitation like he did when grandma was independent. 

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If anyone lives in someone else's house, IMHO they aren't independent no matter their age.

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I think Sue may be on to something about financing, but what did DS do or say in these situations when MIL seemed to be the boss.

Parents always make the rules to my way of thinking, even at my house. My DD knows me well enough to know the general ins and outs of what's allowed at my home, and is extremely respectful. At her home there may be things I don't agree with but I would never say anything. I guess we are lucky our relationship developed into a respectful one because 15+ years ago DD believed there were no rules, and if there were they did not apply to her.

As for my MIL she always thought she was the in charge of everybody, everywhere and always knew best for my kids. This along with her general disrespect for our family unit lead to a TO, which she changed to CO to spite us. Little did she know how happy we were!

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6 hours ago, RoseRed135 said:

But I noticed that the GPs seem to have equal authority for making rules for GS. And yet, there seemed to be some conflict over this, especially between MIL and DIL. While DIL seemed to be ok w/ MIL implementing some of her own rules, she also appeared to think that they each should enforce their own rules. MIL, OTOH, seemed to think they should each enforce each other's rules.

For example, MIL decided that GS should not leave the table in the diningroom till after he finished desert. If he left before that, she would complain to DIL. But DIL would retort, "So? You made that rule. So why don't you stop him?!" (They were at the table next to us, and I couldn't help overhearing this a few times.)

 

If MIL wanted her GS to stay at the table until after he was done eating and DIL was fine with him leaving before he was done eating, and we are following MIL's position of enforcing each others rules, then MIL should have been okay with her GS leaving the table before he was done since DIL was fine with it.   Isn't that how this logic can be applied?  Or does it only flow one way which is MIL's way? 

I would rather live in a box under a bridge then live with my IL's and all the strings that go along with it including this one in MIL gets to co-parent your kid.  I don't feel bad for this DIL as she is obviously getting something out of this arrangement otherwise she would high tail it out of there and live independent of her IL's.   

 

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Posted (edited)

It seems to me that "rule confusion" would be a problem if the MIL and DIL don't discuss the rules and come to a consensus.  They live in the MILs house.  MILs house- MILs rules. DIL and MIL can discuss those "house" rules hopefully come to a mutually agreeable consenses and in the end if DIL doesn't like them- she can move.   MIL watches the child while the parents are at work- "most" of the time.  Childcare centers have rules, GPs can have rules too and again those rules should be discussed with DIL and if she doesn't like them- she can either find a compromise or find another babysitter. 

I get they are on vacation and  this is not "home".  But why would their be different rules for "home" and vacation.  What does the child do at home?- Is he allowed to leave the table before desert is served at home?  I think it would be confusing for a child to change the rules.

IMO- there should not be 2 sets of rules.  There should be one set.  And the two of them need to discuss them or find another living/ babysitting situation,

ETA- Whether a child leaves the table before he finishes his desert is not something I personally as a GP would see as important enough to argue with my DIL over. I could live with it.   I would only "insist" on house/ babysitting rules I couldn't abide by otherwise..  For  example- screaming out of control children in restaurants are not something I personally would let go.  GC would need to be removed from the dining room- whether or not they've finished desert or I would have to leave.

ETA again- along with the above. People who make rules just to make rules IMO are just doing it to show who is in charge/ and use the rules as power over the other person.  It's possible that  this is this MIL she is micromanaging to the point where she is dictating "desert: rules.

Edited by skipped
added thought
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1 hour ago, skipped said:

IMO- there should not be 2 sets of rules.  There should be one set.  And the two of them need to discuss them or find another living/ babysitting situation,

This would eliminate what to me seems like a passive aggressive tendency on the DIL's part. You can't have it both ways!

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13 hours ago, Tobias41 said:

(Keeping mind I am thinking of normal healthy family relationships - when even I do not have :))

I think that when it come to rules grandparents have every right to make their own "house rule" in their home and if my child is at their house I would expect him to obey those rules and I would enforce them. However when it come to a grandchild, grandparents do not make the rules, they can suggest rules, they can (I hope) enforce the parents rules, but it is not their job to determine how a child is raised, as in the end that responsibility both legally and ethically belongs solely to the parent.

However I do notice (not just with myself but friends too) that there is some double standard in this. I have always respected and enforced the rules at any ones home. If it is their tradition to remove shoes at the front door, that is exactly what I do.  So I 100% respected my MIL's house rules, not that she had many. However MIL never (and I mean not once) respected or enforced the rules that we had for our GC.

There were many things that led to our CO, but this was one of the main themes.

 

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What if the parents don't set any rules? Just kinda wing it? We had our GC living with us for their whole life except the last 6mo. Every standard that I raised my DTR with went out the window. Now she's lost the kids due to neglect. 

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5 hours ago, Mame925 said:

This would eliminate what to me seems like a passive aggressive tendency on the DIL's part. You can't have it both ways!

I had to put up and shut up. My house rules meant nothing to the S.O... it drove a permanent wedge between my self and my DTR. I ended up with a shattered family. I eventually had to tear up the nest. I wish I knew about this site before.

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27 minutes ago, Forthebabies said:

I had to put up and shut up. My house rules meant nothing to the S.O... it drove a permanent wedge between my self and my DTR. I ended up with a shattered family. I eventually had to tear up the nest. I wish I knew about this site before.

Welcome, and I'm sorry you were disrespected in your own home. 

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Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, Forthebabies said:

What if the parents don't set any rules? Just kinda wing it? We had our GC living with us for their whole life except the last 6mo. Every standard that I raised my DTR with went out the window. Now she's lost the kids due to neglect. 

 My heart goes out to you, Forthebabies! It sounds as if you were there for DTR and family and that's beautiful, IMO. So sorry that SO disrespected your house rules and that this led to a rift between you and DTR.  Also sorry that DTR had her kids removed. I know that must hurt you, as well.

I wish you had known about this site earlier, too, but I'm glad you found us now. Welcome!

4 hours ago, Forthebabies said:

I had to put up and shut up. My house rules meant nothing to the S.O... it drove a permanent wedge between my self and my DTR. I ended up with a shattered family. I eventually had to tear up the nest. I wish I knew about this site before.

 

Edited by RoseRed135

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I feel sorry for the kid. Imagine having four parents telling you what to do (wow), and sometimes they bicker about what you're supposed to do. Ick.

And the "clean-plate club" expectation is also troubling, especially since he was made to finish dessert-- at the end of the meal!-- before he could leave the table. Hope he doesn't develop food issues.

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On 8/26/2017 at 10:19 PM, Forthebabies said:

What if the parents don't set any rules? Just kinda wing it? We had our GC living with us for their whole life except the last 6mo. Every standard that I raised my DTR with went out the window. Now she's lost the kids due to neglect. 

Like I said For... My comment was really applicable for the healthy "normal" relationships if there is a such thing :)... and that is not bashing anyone my own relationship with my MIL is far from "normal"...

It sounds like your DTR (and SO) might have some issues going on (mental or perhaps behavioral) and when you are dealing those types of people common sense and courtesy doesn't apply anymore. The same was true for my MIL who has both mental and behavior issues as well as a drug problem (I think).  There was no amount of common sense or courtesy that I could apply to situations when I had to deal with her. She always said that the rules I set for my son were an attempt to limit her and that I was trying to punish her. 

I ended up seeing a therapist (for myself) who ended up being more morale support than anything, she assured my my "rules" we not unreasonable and reaffirmed that they had nothing to do with MIL - but rather we pretty normal things that most parents expect.  My therapist wasn't able to change the situation, but she did give me a level of calm and reassurance that I really needed at the time. 

Personally - I think it is rude behavior not to obey the "house rules" if you are in someones home.  But that's just me.. Of course I am speaking of visiting etc, to me if you are living with someone, there is a different dynamic at play and alot more to think about... but I have to say if someone took me into their home - I would still respect their rules - especially if it was rent free - but again that is me. 

 

 

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I have a great relationship with my parents, so this is coming from the basis of both parties having respect for one another, etc.

We lived with my parents for a year while my husband was doing a low income residency.  My parents did have some "house rules" that were different than the rules my DH and I have for our own house, but we fully embraced and enforced them.  For instance: No drinks in the living room.  At our own house, our kids are allowed to bring water bottles into the living room, but while we were living with my parents, we respected that this was their house, and their rules for no drinks in the living room were enforced by us and them.

However, my dad's personal belief is that all kids should "clear their plates" and "can't get up from the table until their plate is cleared".  This was the rule I grew up under.  There were a few times that he tried to enforce that rule on our kids, and I calmly reminded him, "That's not our family rule dad, our rule is 'At least one bite of everything'".  On at least 2 occasions he and I hashed this out away from the kids, with him reminding me all the reasons for his rule and me reminding him all the reasons for ours, and ultimately saying, "I'm sorry you don't like it, but this is what we we're doing".  

So, I use those two examples to say that in my opinion, the grandparents should have equal right to enforce rules (and expect parents to enforce rules) re: their house and related issues.  But the parents still have the ONLY right to enforce rules related to the children personal health and well-being and upbringing.  The grandparents shouldn't be able to set rules about those issues in the first place, and if they do, the parents have the right to override them.

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Posted (edited)

On 8/25/2017 at 3:31 AM, RoseRed135 said:

But I noticed that the GPs seem to have equal authority for making rules for GS. And yet, there seemed to be some conflict over this, especially between MIL and DIL. While DIL seemed to be ok w/ MIL implementing some of her own rules, she also appeared to think that they each should enforce their own rules. MIL, OTOH, seemed to think they should each enforce each other's rules..... What do you think of this dynamic?

I think MIL ^ is very wrong and doesn't know that she's not a co-parent. I predict hard feelings.

ODD came home about 3 3/4 years ago. We didn't really know her rules for her boys because we hadn't been around them. We had picked them up and dropped them off for carpool things (that was almost all of our interaction with them). The boys knew our rules for cars, much the same as rules in our home - so we enforced those rules (no food or drinks except at the table, no fighting, no excess noise inside). ODD wanted us to take charge and oversee her boys, so we enforced our child-rearing rules. As she became able to care for the kids, she re-introduced a few small variants to our rules (her rules) while keeping the rules that impacted our homes/cars. Neither of us want to undermine our sweet daughter's authority over her boys, so we don't, we follow her rules/wishes precisely.

It's intuitive and logical, no talk. We and ODD enforce one set of rules. Kids need consistency, in my opinion.

ODD's 3 year old daughter is another story. She is much like our MDS, YDD, and my brother - hard headed and fairly difficult. She was prone to tantrums and fits until recently, and while charismatic and smart - not an easy little girl (shades of YDD). She's a mess who wants what she wants exactly when she wants it. All of us (even the boys) have to diligently and consistently enforce ODD's "little girl" rules, lest we be run over by a tiny noisy pink-ribboned bulldozer. 

ETA: I do not mean to imply I prefer females to be mindless twits. I think being assertive and driven are good adult qualities, but many of the traits we admire in adults - are difficult in kiddies. She's CEO material, but God help us all until then.

Edited by JanelleK
remove harsh word
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2 hours ago, JanelleK said:

ODD's 3 year old daughter is another story. She is much like our MDS, YDD, and my brother - hard headed and fairly difficult. She was prone to tantrums and fits until recently, and while charismatic and smart - not an easy little girl (shades of YDD). She's a mess who wants what she wants exactly when she wants it. All of us (even the boys) have to diligently and consistently enforce ODD's "little girl" rules, lest we be run over by a tiny noisy pink-ribboned bulldozer. 

ETA: I do not mean to imply I prefer females to be mindless twits. I think being assertive and driven are good adult qualities, but many of the traits we admire in adults - are difficult in kiddies. She's CEO material, but God help us all until then.

I raised one of those...and they can be difficult. In the long run I opted for cooperation rather than obedience. There were hard & fast rules (safety), but the majority of her boundaries were elastic. 

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On ‎8‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 5:31 AM, RoseRed135 said:

For example, MIL decided that GS should not leave the table in the diningroom till after he finished desert. If he left before that, she would complain to DIL. But DIL would retort, "So? You made that rule. So why don't you stop him?!" (They were at the table next to us, and I couldn't help overhearing this a few times.)

 

I think DIL is wrong in this situation to expect MIL to enforce MIL's rules. When MIL/FIL are providing child care in their own home, the rules that both parties agree upon apply, assuming they have established those that respect DS/DIL and IL's particular feelings on things. When DIL/DS are present, then their rules apply, with the exception of such things that would be house rules, for example, no drinks away from the dining area or no jumping on furniture, quiet time after a certain hour, etc., whatever, since they are living with IL's in the IL's house. As far as being on vacation parents rules apply as they are there to provide the discipline necessary to enforce said rule. DS in this case should have said to MIL that it was fine with DIL/DS if their child gets up from the table at this time. If he was not present or does not speak up then DIL should have said it.

I too feel for the child in this situation and I wonder if it continues as child gets older will he play one set of "rulemakers" against the other?  This MIL seems to feel she is co-parenting the child and that is not a good situation to be in.

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14 hours ago, JanelleK said:

 

19 hours ago, ReachingUpFromFedUp said:

I have a great relationship with my parents, so this is coming from the basis of both parties having respect for one another, etc.

We lived with my parents for a year while my husband was doing a low income residency.  My parents did have some "house rules" that were different than the rules my DH and I have for our own house, but we fully embraced and enforced them.  For instance: No drinks in the living room.  At our own house, our kids are allowed to bring water bottles into the living room, but while we were living with my parents, we respected that this was their house, and their rules for no drinks in the living room were enforced by us and them.

However, my dad's personal belief is that all kids should "clear their plates" and "can't get up from the table until their plate is cleared".  This was the rule I grew up under.  There were a few times that he tried to enforce that rule on our kids, and I calmly reminded him, "That's not our family rule dad, our rule is 'At least one bite of everything'".  On at least 2 occasions he and I hashed this out away from the kids, with him reminding me all the reasons for his rule and me reminding him all the reasons for ours, and ultimately saying, "I'm sorry you don't like it, but this is what we we're doing".  

So, I use those two examples to say that in my opinion, the grandparents should have equal right to enforce rules (and expect parents to enforce rules) re: their house and related issues.  But the parents still have the ONLY right to enforce rules related to the children personal health and well-being and upbringing.  The grandparents shouldn't be able to set rules about those issues in the first place, and if they do, the parents have the right to override them.

 

I agree and disagree.  I can't imagine having much interest in dictating how my children raised their children, but if I had to sit and deal with their parenting choices and it actually affected my mental health, I think they would HAVE to do some things differently or they just couldn't live with me.

I just couldn't stand it if the kids were allowed to trash the house and not pick up.  If they didn't have to do their homework.  If they were allowed to eat only junk food and NEVER eat a vegetable. If the GC were morbidly obese and they were allowed to eat the 5 th hotdog in front of me.

These kinds of things I have no business dictating if they are not in my house and in my face 24/7 but if I had to live with this- they would have to change the rules or move,.

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13 hours ago, Mame925 said:

I raised one of those...and they can be difficult. In the long run I opted for cooperation rather than obedience. There were hard & fast rules (safety), but the majority of her boundaries were elastic. 

How does the bolded work, Mame? Can you give an example?

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1 hour ago, skipped said:

I agree and disagree.  I can't imagine having much interest in dictating how my children raised their children, but if I had to sit and deal with their parenting choices and it actually affected my mental health, I think they would HAVE to do some things differently or they just couldn't live with me.

I just couldn't stand it if the kids were allowed to trash the house and not pick up.  If they didn't have to do their homework.  If they were allowed to eat only junk food and NEVER eat a vegetable. If the GC were morbidly obese and they were allowed to eat the 5 th hotdog in front of me.

These kinds of things I have no business dictating if they are not in my house and in my face 24/7 but if I had to live with this- they would have to change the rules or move,.

When you say "allowed to trash the house," skipped, do you mean your house or theirs? If you mean yours, are you saying that you don't see a difference between that - something that impacts your home - and something like not having to do their homework?

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1 minute ago, RoseRed135 said:

How does the bolded work, Mame? Can you give an example?

Raising DD was like trying to catch a greased pig....you always knew where she was, but couldn't quite get your hands on her...the first concert I took her to, she was 8, was in an outdoor amphitheater...by the time the headliners came out there was a conga line going around the top of the venue...she was #3 in line. For her it was all about the joy of the music. As a toddler, she never wanted to hold my hand out in public...just wasn't having it...however, she had issues staying with me. I finally told her "if you can not stay with me, you must hold my hand"...she'd wrap her arms around herself and march along right next to me "ok, Mommy, I'll stay with you", but was not about to hold my hand. There were times she had no choice, but a quick explanation made her understand it was a safety issue (big crowds, strange places, etc).

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