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Old 05-13-2015, 09:38 AM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,224 posts, read 14,830,704 times
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I'm so sorry for the way you've been treated, OP. I stand behind you 100% on the pool issue. But on the other issues, I'll stand in front of you with hugs and a shoulder to cry on.

I'm a stepmother also, in addition to having my own children. I'm also a step-grandmother, and a step-GREAT-grandmother. It hurts sometimes when I look at the kids, adults, babies as my family only to be reminded that I'm not the REAL one. But through it all, including some difficult times with a teenage stepson, my husband stood beside and behind me all the way. I cannot imagine the hurt you are feeling right now.

The only thing is I would caution you about is criticizing the parents of the grandkids in front of the children. Take the child in your arms to allay fears, then speak to the parents out of earshot.

Just know that you are not wrong in this.
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:09 AM
 
7,344 posts, read 13,148,674 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shyguylh View Post
Oh please. REAL child abuse is things like burning their hand on purpose over a hot stove, locking in a basement with iron bars, molesting them, beating them with a baseball bat, truancy, drug usage, or maybe throwing them in a LAKE or such. Throwing a child into a pool--please. They're relatively small (so someone can more readily rescue the child & they aren't at risk of drifting out), the water is clear, and there are no submerged objects or currents to deal with.

Throwing them into a pool may not be A+ parenting, and it might be something better not practiced, but I'd hardly call it "child abuse," and it's ridiculous to say it is and certainly ridiculous to think these are situations where someone should be taking things to the point of intervening. When it's something relatively innocuous like this, it's not "intervening," it's INTERFERING, and unless you have REAL abuse going on, you don't DARE interfere.
I can understand why people would call it child abuse, they're playing on a child's fear. You clearly do have a very narrow band of definition of child abuse. I don't know if you simply choose to downplay/invalidate emotional abuse as being part of the package, but regardless, the OP has the right to step in and ask/demand such behavior be curbed as it was done at her pool and she was concerned for the child. The behavior isn't "innocuous", it's reckless and could lead to dry drowning.
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Sterling Heights, Michigan
26 posts, read 17,512 times
Reputation: 39
I totally agree with your method of teaching the kids. My kids were deathly afraid of the water until they "played" in grandma and grandpa's pool.....no pushing at all. They need to get comfortable and willing to try new things without being afraid of "going under water" before they are ready. We got our own pool and the kids got very good at swimming as they become more willing to try new things. They wouldn't have ever got there with us forcing them.

Your husband's comment is totally outrageous! I think I would have left him! I think I'd be pushing him in the pool every chance I got! Give him a taste of his own medicine and see how much he likes that!
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:59 AM
 
3,279 posts, read 4,037,714 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkpoe View Post
I can understand why people would call it child abuse, they're playing on a child's fear. You clearly do have a very narrow band of definition of child abuse. I don't know if you simply choose to downplay/invalidate emotional abuse as being part of the package, but regardless, the OP has the right to step in and ask/demand such behavior be curbed as it was done at her pool and she was concerned for the child. The behavior isn't "innocuous", it's reckless and could lead to dry drowning.
I'm not saying the original poster is this, you understand, but I'm tired of this wussy parenting to where anything that isn't all sunshine and roses is "abuse." Parenting sometimes gets ugly. Life is messy sometimes. It happens. So long as you're not calling your child stupid every other second or whacking them aside the head with a baseball bat, I think calling something "abuse" that simply isn't culled from an episode of "Full House" with all that saccharin and sugar is just ridiculous.

People get frustrated with their child once in awhile when they won't do what they're told, and they resort to playing on their fears or letting them experience some temporary pain because it gets the desired results and quickly. SO WHAT. It may not be A+ parenting necessarily, but so long as it isn't every second with everything, it's just a little unbeautiful and nothing more. If being a parent means you can NEVER get upset at them and NEVER raise your voice at them and NEVER toss them into the pool when you've been trying to get them to take that leap and they just refuse to and you're trying to "break through a wall" of sorts, that's asking too much. I'm not saying one should STRIVE to DO those things, I'm just saying that even good parents occasionally become frustrated and resort to such tactics to hurry things along and that to me falls within the boundaries of ACCEPTABLE parenting even if it isn't EXCELLENT parenting and is something one should seek to move away from.

Moreover, I think parental authority should be almost absolute and those who tamper with it should be made to assume a MYOB disposition, perhaps even with a legal response towards that end. If you're the parent, then you should be above questioning, criticism, judgment (especially from strangers), scrutiny--certainly with respect to legal responses, so long as you're not whacking your child with a baseball bat. You should be able to do practically ANYTHING you want, PERIOD, so long as you're not adventuring into the realm of the evil and ugly, at which point yes of course there should be a response. If it's not on that level, though, then you stay out of it, or else you risk someone punching your nose and I frankly say "right on, good for them for telling you to mind your own business" (although I'm not outright advocating or promoting it and I certainly have never done it myself).

Some people teach their child to swim with lessons. Some do it as we did, with a lot of instruction and encouragement but yes, with the occasional "jump in now or else I will throw you" when they won't get past a mental barrier and you've been trying forever. (Then they find out they love it and then you have to tell them to stop when it's time to eat or leave etc, but they wouldn't have gotten there without the push. Or they ask if they can just float around awhile, and you say "yes, I think we've done enough teaching for the day, you can take it easy now." Either way you keep it positive for the most part vs yelling and belittling all the time.) Others don't ever take their child to any water ever for fear that they'll drown or drift away etc. No matter what others think, so long as a parent isn't holding a child's head under water or throwing them off a 30 foot bridge, it is their call to make, period.

I'm straying off-topic here a bit, but the thing is when it's not respected to this degree, you get all sorts of nonsense and it gets to where a parent can feel like they have to solicit everyone's opinion about every choice they may make, and if someone doesn't like a choice they have to change it, even if they think it's right. It gets to where everyone and their grandmother (no pun intended) has an opinion and they feel like they just have to ram it down your throat and if you don't do just like they say then you're "abusing" the children. Parents shouldn't have to listen to it. They should absolutely say "MY child, MY decisions, MY right to do so" and then the ones butting in now have to leave them alone or else they will be MADE to, perhaps with legal charges of harassment levied.

Look, I understand parental authority can't be absolute 100%. Children aren't property. I can't bust my child's face with a baseball bat like I can my non-working vacuum cleaner (not that I'd want to anyway). We can't be letting parents whack their child with a baseball bat and then go "well, it's their child, they can do what they want." Of course not, don't be ridiculous. That's insane. No one is saying that, not even me. It is RIGHT that we have protections in place to fix that sort of evil. I applaud it, I support it. I also support family members being able to give their opinion and the parents listening to the advice because they might benefit from it. To that end, I stand with the original poster in that she wants to help for the benefit of the child AND the family as a whole. That's what families do.

The problem is that it's getting to where it seems EVERY parenting decision is up for discussion and criticism and gets labeled "abuse" simply if it's not the same as what someone else thinks is right or if it's not the prettiest sight to see in how it looks. Parents can even lose their kids because people who think it's their mission in life to tell everyone else how to raise children butt their nose into their business and get the government involved, or cause parents to edit their parenting simply to avoid dealing with busy bodies and social services, not because it's a bad practice but because OTHERS think it is. We have to be careful with telling parents how to raise THEIR kids (emphasis added by me). There are times to get involved, yes, but there's also a time to realize you're not the parent, it's not your call to make, those are THEIR children, and you respect their choices whether you like them or not. To that end, yes, the definition of "abuse" should be VERY narrow.

Last edited by shyguylh; 05-13-2015 at 11:36 AM..
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Old 05-13-2015, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
42,446 posts, read 41,181,207 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shyguylh View Post
I'm not saying the original poster is this, you understand, but I'm tired of this wussy parenting to where anything that isn't all sunshine and roses is "abuse." Parenting sometimes gets ugly. Life is messy sometimes. It happens. So long as you're not calling your child stupid every other second or whacking them aside the head with a baseball bat, I think calling something "abuse" that simply isn't culled from an episode of "Full House" with all that saccharin and sugar is just ridiculous.

People get frustrated with their child once in awhile when they won't do what they're told, and they resort to playing on their fears or letting them experience some temporary pain because it gets the desired results and quickly. SO WHAT. It may not be A+ parenting necessarily, but so long as it isn't every second with everything, it's just a little unbeautiful and nothing more. If being a parent means you can NEVER get upset at them and NEVER raise your voice at them and NEVER toss them into the pool when you've been trying to get them to take that leap and they just refuse to and you're trying to "break through a wall" of sorts, that's asking too much. I'm not saying one should STRIVE to DO those things, I'm just saying that even good parents occasionally become frustrated and resort to such tactics to hurry things along and that to me falls within the boundaries of ACCEPTABLE parenting even if it isn't EXCELLENT parenting and is something one should seek to move away from.

Moreover, I think parental authority should be almost absolute and those who tamper with it should be made to assume a MYOB disposition, perhaps even with a legal response towards that end. If you're the parent, then you should be above questioning, criticism, judgment (especially from strangers), scrutiny--certainly with respect to legal responses, so long as you're not whacking your child with a baseball bat. You should be able to do practically ANYTHING you want, PERIOD, so long as you're not adventuring into the realm of the evil and ugly, at which point yes of course there should be a response. If it's not on that level, though, then you stay out of it, or else you risk someone punching your nose and I frankly say "right on, good for them for telling you to mind your own business" (although I'm not outright advocating or promoting it and I certainly have never done it myself).

Some people teach their child to swim with lessons. Some do it as we did, with a lot of instruction and encouragement but yes, with the occasional "jump in now or else I will throw you" when they won't get past a mental barrier and you've been trying forever. (Then they find out they love it and then you have to tell them to stop when it's time to eat or leave etc, but they wouldn't have gotten there without the push. Or they ask if they can just float around awhile, and you say "yes, I think we've done enough teaching for the day, you can take it easy now." Either way you keep it positive for the most part vs yelling and belittling all the time.) Others don't ever take their child to any water ever for fear that they'll drown or drift away etc. No matter what others think, so long as a parent isn't holding a child's head under water or throwing them off a 30 foot bridge, it is their call to make, period.

I'm straying off-topic here a bit, but the thing is when it's not respected to this degree, you get all sorts of nonsense and it gets to where a parent can feel like they have to solicit everyone's opinion about every choice they may make, and if someone doesn't like a choice they have to change it, even if they think it's right. It gets to where everyone and their grandmother (no pun intended) has an opinion and they feel like they just have to ram it down your throat and if you don't do just like they say then you're "abusing" the children. Parents shouldn't have to listen to it. They should absolutely say "MY child, MY decisions, MY right to do so" and then the ones butting in now have to leave them alone or else they will be MADE to, perhaps with legal charges of harassment levied.

Look, I understand parental authority can't be absolute 100%. Children aren't property. I can't bust my child's face with a baseball bat like I can my non-working vacuum cleaner (not that I'd want to anyway). We can't be letting parents whack their child with a baseball bat and then go "well, it's their child, they can do what they want." Of course not, don't be ridiculous. That's insane. No one is saying that, not even me. It is RIGHT that we have protections in place to fix that sort of evil. I applaud it, I support it. I also support family members being able to give their opinion and the parents listening to the advice because they might benefit from it. To that end, I stand with the original poster in that she wants to help for the benefit of the child AND the family as a whole. That's what families do.

The problem is that it's getting to where it seems EVERY parenting decision is up for discussion and criticism and gets labeled "abuse" simply if it's not the same as what someone else thinks is right or if it's not the prettiest sight to see in how it looks. Parents can even lose their kids because people who think it's their mission in life to tell everyone else how to raise children butt their nose into their business and get the government involved, or cause parents to edit their parenting simply to avoid dealing with busy bodies and social services, not because it's a bad practice but because OTHERS think it is. We have to be careful with telling parents how to raise THEIR kids (emphasis added by me). There are times to get involved, yes, but there's also a time to realize you're not the parent, it's not your call to make, those are THEIR children, and you respect their choices whether you like them or not. To that end, yes, the definition of "abuse" should be VERY narrow.
Methinks thou doth protest too much.
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Old 05-13-2015, 12:41 PM
 
13,125 posts, read 20,654,709 times
Reputation: 35274
Quote:
Originally Posted by shyguylh View Post
from.

Moreover, I think parental authority should be almost absolute and those who tamper with it should be made to assume a MYOB disposition, perhaps even with a legal response towards that end. If you're the parent, then you should be above questioning, criticism, judgment (especially from strangers), scrutiny--certainly with respect to legal responses, so long as you're not whacking your child with a baseball bat. You should be able to do practically ANYTHING you want, PERIOD, so long as you're not adventuring into the realm of the evil and ugly, at which point yes of course there should be a response. If it's not on that level, though, then you stay out of it, or else you risk someone punching your nose and I frankly say "right on, good for them for telling you to mind your own business" (although I'm not outright advocating or promoting it and I certainly have never done it myself).

Some people teach their child to swim with lessons. Some do it as we did, with a lot of instruction and encouragement but yes, with the occasional "jump in now or else I will throw you" when they won't get past a mental barrier and you've been trying forever. (Then they find out they love it and then you have to tell them to stop when it's time to eat or leave etc, but they wouldn't have gotten there without the push. Or they ask if they can just float around awhile, and you say "yes, I think we've done enough teaching for the day, you can take it easy now." Either way you keep it positive for the most part vs yelling and belittling all the time.) Others don't ever take their child to any water ever for fear that they'll drown or drift away etc. No matter what others think, so long as a parent isn't holding a child's head under water or throwing them off a 30 foot bridge, it is their call to make, period.

I'm straying off-topic here a bit, but the thing is when it's not respected to this degree, you get all sorts of nonsense and it gets to where a parent can feel like they have to solicit everyone's opinion about every choice they may make, and if someone doesn't like a choice they have to change it, even if they think it's right. It gets to where everyone and their grandmother (no pun intended) has an opinion and they feel like they just have to ram it down your throat and if you don't do just like they say then you're "abusing" the children. Parents shouldn't have to listen to it. They should absolutely say "MY child, MY decisions, MY right to do so" and then the ones butting in now have to leave them alone or else they will be MADE to, perhaps with legal charges of harassment levied.
I'm only addressing the on topic part of your post. If the parents want to use their sink or swim method to teach their children, they should find some other venue. There is absolutely no reason for this grandmother to be made uncomfortable in her own home. The parents are not respecting her. I don't care if her husband is ok with it, she isn't. I would have asked them to leave if they hadn't chosen to do so on their own.
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Old 05-13-2015, 01:02 PM
 
3,279 posts, read 4,037,714 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
I'm only addressing the on topic part of your post. If the parents want to use their sink or swim method to teach their children, they should find some other venue. There is absolutely no reason for this grandmother to be made uncomfortable in her own home. The parents are not respecting her. I don't care if her husband is ok with it, she isn't. I would have asked them to leave if they hadn't chosen to do so on their own.
I actually would agree somewhat with that. Such is why, when we were teaching our kids to swim (which included very little "just throw them in, they'll figure it out", no, we mostly anyway TAUGHT them and provided positive encouragement), we avoided city pools and the like or the homes of people who were so scared of the potential for a lawsuit or such that they were all over you every other second about pool safety. It got on our nerves, so we just went elsewhere. It actually was a case of our kids being totally confident in their abilities and wanting to be more adventurous and swim all over the place in the deep end and not wanting to have their style cramped by staff (or family/friends) only concerned about lawsuits and insurance regulations etc. We just went elsewhere, and if they asked, we kindly stated that such was why.

In that case, you have a dilemma. Grandmother has every right to establish the whats and nots etc of her own home, absolutely. However, in doing so, does she risk alienating a relationship with her grown daughter and her grandchildren? Can it be worked out? If the parents don't want their style cramped, can they instead go elsewhere for the swimming part and only go to grandmother's later for other things, by which time the "water bug" urges will be out of their system from their earlier ventures, thus making this conflict moot? That seems like a possibility to me.

See, I'm big on parental authority and feelings being respected, even if they're wrong. I went on a long editorial about that, but this time I'll give a quicker and actual example. When our children were younger my wife was totally non-negotiable on not wanting our kids to have chocolate, not even a speck of it, none. Her sister thought she was too strict about it, her mother too somewhat, and the sister especially sometimes would sneak the kids chocolate thinking that they'd like it and mom needed to lighten up. Now, in a way, she may have been right about my wife overreacting, but to me the bigger issue is that the mother's wishes should be respected, and so the sister was asked rather firmly to not do that anymore. She still comes around, frequently, and our kids have chocolate periodically now anyway as they're older. But the stand still had to be made at that time. (That being said, we were at OUR house, not hers.)
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Old 05-13-2015, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Scott County, Tennessee/by way of Detroit
3,330 posts, read 2,106,544 times
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Shyguylh...I have been in many pools through my 55 years and NOT ONCE has anyone ie. the homeowner been afraid of letting others swim because they are going to get sued...I don't know why you think that...we have a built in pool too..it never crossed my mind...sue for what? Cutting their big toe on the ladder???..but I tell you this... if ANYONE visits here this summer and throws a kid or anyone else, I don't care if they are a grown adult, in that isn't comfortable with their head under water...they are gone...

Our grandson is 8..and when we swim, I have a towel at the ready on the side of the pool because he doesn't like getting water in his eyes...I would NEVER think to throw him in or dunk his head or whatever, and if my husband did (which I know he never would because he can't swim either...)even though he isn't my son's kid, I would be ashamed of him...Call it wussy grand parenting, I DON'T CARE... all kids have their reasons...In this case, his parents singly deserted him one, then the other...gone like the wind and he only has the other grandma and us...I would NEVER torment him..scare him..give him any reason to distrust me...ever....all in due time with him. He doesn't need anyone else screwing him up..and I don't care who says what....maybe he will learn this summer when he comes to stay with us...one day it will happen...without scaring the poor kid...he doesn't need any more abuse...
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Old 05-13-2015, 02:11 PM
 
7,344 posts, read 13,148,674 times
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Originally Posted by shyguylh View Post
I actually would agree somewhat with that. Such is why, when we were teaching our kids to swim (which included very little "just throw them in, they'll figure it out", no, we mostly anyway TAUGHT them and provided positive encouragement), we avoided city pools and the like or the homes of people who were so scared of the potential for a lawsuit or such that they were all over you every other second about pool safety. It got on our nerves, so we just went elsewhere. It actually was a case of our kids being totally confident in their abilities and wanting to be more adventurous and swim all over the place in the deep end and not wanting to have their style cramped by staff (or family/friends) only concerned about lawsuits and insurance regulations etc. We just went elsewhere, and if they asked, we kindly stated that such was why.

In that case, you have a dilemma. Grandmother has every right to establish the whats and nots etc of her own home, absolutely. However, in doing so, does she risk alienating a relationship with her grown daughter and her grandchildren? Can it be worked out? If the parents don't want their style cramped, can they instead go elsewhere for the swimming part and only go to grandmother's later for other things, by which time the "water bug" urges will be out of their system from their earlier ventures, thus making this conflict moot? That seems like a possibility to me.

See, I'm big on parental authority and feelings being respected, even if they're wrong. I went on a long editorial about that...
Did you not read the OP? She had already informed her daughter that she's not comfortable with this method and requested that the daughter tell the her husband not to do this at her home. THEY clearly did not respect the OP's wishes as the SIL went ahead and pushed the child once again while the child was interacting with the OP. And when the OP protested this, the daughter defended the jerky behavior. There is no dilemma here. They knew what was what, and still went ahead against the OP's wishes. There's no making this conflict moot, as there was no intention of working anything out. If you're real big on parental authority and feelings being respected, then you would've recognized that the daughter and her husband were wrong in this and they should've respected the line drawn and went somewhere else to push the child in water.
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Old 05-13-2015, 02:35 PM
 
3,279 posts, read 4,037,714 times
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Originally Posted by Inkpoe View Post
Did you not read the OP? She had already informed her daughter that she's not comfortable with this method and requested that the daughter tell the her husband not to do this at her home. THEY clearly did not respect the OP's wishes as the SIL went ahead and pushed the child once again while the child was interacting with the OP. And when the OP protested this, the daughter defended the jerky behavior. There is no dilemma here. They knew what was what, and still went ahead against the OP's wishes. There's no making this conflict moot, as there was no intention of working anything out. If you're real big on parental authority and feelings being respected, then you would've recognized that the daughter and her husband were wrong in this and they should've respected the line drawn and went somewhere else to push the child in water.
To me there still is a dilemma. The dilemma is that the grandmother will want to see her grown daughter and grandchildren, but if she is trying to tell them how to parent their kids in a way they don't agree with, the risk is they don't come around as much and she thus sees them less often.

As a parent, I don't want ANYONE telling me how to parent my kids unless it affects you and your property. In other words, you can certainly tell my child not to play in the yard because they may trample on your nice flowers, but if you are telling our kids to not play outside because they may get dirty and you hate seeing kids that way or because there are mosquitoes and that bothers you even though we do that all the time at home, now you're involving yourself in matters that aren't yours to be involved with--yes, even at your house. My authority to parent my kids way travels wherever I go, it's not just limited to my home. Any home that doesn't respect this is at risk of us never coming around at all.

So yes, even at their house, even if they are treating us to food etc, I still don't want them telling me how to parent my kids, period, about a thing whatsoever. Ever. Those are MY kids. Period. So zip it--yes, even at your house, even if you bought them clothes, even if you bought them toys (and I do appreciate those things, really I do), even if you help pay for their swim class or whatever--still, I don't want your lecture on MY parenting. Ever. I'm very touchy about that, with good reason, and have no interest in being any other way. ADVICE is fine, sure, a lecture and/or edict is not.

That doesn't mean that the grandmother is wrong in what she doesn't want to see whatever going on at her house, but in doing so she is telling someone else how to parent their kids, and her daughter is not wanting any part of it, nor should she necessarily. So it's up to the grandmother, I think, to somewhat suck it up and shut it up, if she wants them to feel comfortable coming to her house and not feel like they're in grade school having to obey rules handed down by a grumpy teacher.

I'm not saying that's how the original poster is being, but it's clearly how the grown adult children feel about it.

The best compromise I can see is that the grown children, as best as they can, just pretend that there is no inground pool present and that they're visiting someone who doesn't have a pool, and just do what they would do otherwise. If they are not disagreeing about other activities, then do those. Keep the children out of the pool 100%. Do those other things. If you're the hostess, don't prod them to let the child in the pool but do it your way, now you're interfering in their parental authority again. If you're the parent, don't engage in the swimming activity, as you're opening up a messy can of worms that is best left in the can. By not "going there," the topic of disagreement is avoided and they can focus on the common ground where they get along and there are no serious disagreements.
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