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Old 11-21-2018, 08:49 PM
 
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My in laws are very helpful, always willing to watch the grandkids, shower them with love and gifts and live two doors down from us.

A few months ago, we were having problems with our 5-year-old hitting our 8-year-old when she felt threatened or upset. We do not condone that behavior and we’re trying to solve the situation. My mother in law took it upon herself to solve it by holding down the 5-year old and telling the 8-year old to kick her while she held her. My husband and I were shocked and offended that she would consider that a solution to the problem and my husband (not I) told her we did not feel that was an acceptable way of solving the problem. She agreed and even apologized to the children and said it wouldn’t happen again.

However, it did happen again. The second time, my husband (not I) was not as polite and told her, once again, that we did not condone that type of behavior and could not understand why she would do that again. She said she forgot and was caught up in the moment.

Last week, I had surgery, she was extremely helpful and even adjusted her schedule to watch the kids for me the entire week. This was the first time she’s ever watched them during the week. About three times a month, they have a sleepover on Friday night through Saturday and sometimes come back Saturday night or Sunday afternoon. They spend Saturdays with them doing fun activities like fishing or day trips to Palm Beach or the Florida Keys. I’m a SAHM and DH works afternoon shifts during the week.

They watched them the entire day today. Then sent them home. Later that day, I called her, which is when she told me, it happened again. I was shocked and enfuriated. I told her she was the adult and should know better, that she knows we don’t condone that behavior. She says she only said that because she knows my older daughter won’t hit her little sister. But I told her that behavior is still not acceptable. Then I couldn’t take it anymore and told her I had to go. She then responded in a condescending voice when she said goodbye, I could tell she was furious.

What should I do? Should I stop letting her watch kids As often as she does? I need help!

Last edited by TaraTed; 11-21-2018 at 10:02 PM..
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Old 11-21-2018, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
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What stands out to me is she forgot. Any other signs of loss of memory?
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Old 11-21-2018, 09:04 PM
 
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Yes, she forgets things sometimes. She’s always writing everything down. She’s 65.

I just don’t understand how you could think telling one child to hit the other is acceptable behavior to begin with.

I can’t say “whoops, I screamed at my boss. I forgot it wasn’t ok to scream at the boss when you’re mad”, and expect it to be an acceptable excuse.
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Old 11-21-2018, 09:04 PM
 
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I think it makes more sense to present her with acceptable alternative punishments. How do you handle it when your 5 yr old hits? That's what your MIL should be doing too.

If your children enjoy spending time with their grandparents other than being babysat, you might also keep the 5 yr old home until she learns to keep her hands to herself.
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Old 11-21-2018, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaraTed View Post
Yes, she forgets things sometimes. She’s always writing everything down. She’s 65.

I just don’t understand how you could think telling one child to hit the other is acceptable behavior to begin with.

I can’t say “whoops, I screamed at my boss. I forgot it wasn’t ok to scream at the boss when you’re mad”, and expect it to be an acceptable excuse.

I think the question would be, why are you trusting someone who forgets things and always has to write stuff down to watch your kids?
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Old 11-21-2018, 09:11 PM
 
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We gave her acceptable alternative punishments before the first “situation”. We told her to send the 5-year-old to time out or separate them. As well, as told her to do that subsequently all three times it’s happened.

My children love being with them. And we don’t give them any rules. Except for not giving them too much candy or sweets, but we don’t mind if they give them sweets or candy, just not in excess.

What do you mean by “other than being babysat”?
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Old 11-21-2018, 09:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mikala43 View Post
I think the question would be, why are you trusting someone who forgets things and always has to write stuff down to watch your kids?
Nothing serious, except for this, has ever happened while she’s watched the kids. She’s actually very good with them. She’s smart and sharp and doesn’t forget when she writes things down.

Are you saying maybe I’ve been too trusting?

Could it be that she’s using poor memory as an excuse?
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Old 11-21-2018, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaraTed View Post
Nothing serious, except for this, has ever happened while she’s watched the kids. She’s actually very good with them. She’s smart and sharp and doesn’t forget when she writes things down.

Are you saying maybe I’ve been too trusting?

Could it be that she’s using poor memory as an excuse?
No. If you haven't seen other problems related to aging I wouldn't worry about it. Perhaps it is just a difference in generations. I don't think it is too uncommon for past generations to have the mindset of "so you want to hit someone, how do you like it when someone hits you?" It's not like she is going to stage a cage match.
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:47 PM
 
12,965 posts, read 19,977,517 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaraTed View Post
We gave her acceptable alternative punishments before the first “situation”. We told her to send the 5-year-old to time out or separate them. As well, as told her to do that subsequently all three times it’s happened.

My children love being with them. And we don’t give them any rules. Except for not giving them too much candy or sweets, but we don’t mind if they give them sweets or candy, just not in excess.

What do you mean by “other than being babysat”?
You said they live two houses away, do the girls run down to visit, or do they only go over when you need the grandparents to watch them? If it's the former, then that's when I would keep the 5 yr old home.

Of course, you could also talk to them with your spouse and the girls in attendance. Lay out the rules, again, with the consequences for breaking them( which do not include hitting back). Even if grandma "forgets", I'm guessing your 8 yr old will remember.
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Old 11-22-2018, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Dallas TX
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I agree she didn’t forget. I wouldn’t let her watch the kids anymore, she can’t be trusted.
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