Saturday, October 03, 2009

Parenting Dilema: What Would You Do?

My twins have a shared e-mail address. They really only use it for a select few friends and family members. We monitor it.

Girl2 recently sent an e-mail to her grandparents (dh's parents) asking when she could see them again (they live far away). Their grandma responded that maybe they could fly out for Chanukah and ended with, "Ask your daddy if that's okay, but don't tell anyone else."

Does anyone else have a problem with this?

I have a pretty good relationship with my in-laws. We're not best buds, but we get along pretty well. I'm not the type who would pitch a fit and insist they couldn't come.

Dh thinks his mother probably meant not to tell MY parents. You see, my parents have this awful habit of insisting on being here every time my in-laws are. My mother must do everything bigger and better than everyone else.

Here's just one example that explains it perfectly. When my mother saw the check I was giving my husband's brother when he got married, she insisted on writing a larger one from her and my father. Mind you, my BIL is no relation to her at all, was in a very comfortable financial situation and that check was TRIPLE what she gave HER ELDEST DAUGHTER when she got married (and my sister was not nearly as comfortable financially when she got married. My mother's financial situation, was the same through both of those weddings). So my in-laws VERY rarely get time here without my parents coming along as well. Dh thinks that's probably what his mother had in mind.

I completely agree on that stance and would love for my in-laws to have some one-on-one time with the kids without the other set of grandparents interfering.

You remember, my FIL has been battling cancer. I want him to have as much time as possible with his grandchildren without interruption. He has NEVER seen his grandchildren without my parents also being here. So I would absolutely agree to an exclusive visit from my in-laws.

Even if that was her intention, I have a big issue with any adult asking a child to keep something secret from an adult. My MIL specifically told my daughter to ask her father--not her, "Parents." Which would imply that she wasn't to tell me. That bothers me not just because she might want to keep it from me, but because I don't think it's appropriate for a child to be told to keep something from a parent. It sets a frightening standard.

I've always told my kids that if an adult asks them to keep something from their parents, the adult is doing something wrong.

I'm interested in what the internetz think. Do you think my reaction is inappropriate? Do you see my point? Should something be said to my MIL?


Shelli said...

I wouldn't worry, seems like they just want to monopolize some time with you, without having to compete!

Upstatemomof3 said...

Personally I do not think she should have discussed it with your daughter before discussing it with you and your husband first. It puts everyone in a bad position. And to have said Daddy (even if she meant parents) does not set things in the right tone either. So, yes I agree it is not the right way to go.

TheFeministBreeder said...

I would be miffed. She should have talked to you about it first. I would be annoyed, but I'm easily annoyed by my in-laws.

But, maybe your husband is right and she just meant not to tell the other grandparents. And since they are YOUR parents, maybe she didn't want to say that to you because she didn't want to make you feel bad.

It could be harmless. I'd base it on the track record.

Stesha said...

I agree with Upstatemomof3. How can you discuss something like that with a child, before discussing it with their parents?

As to not jump the gun, just ask her in a nice way what she truly meant by it.

Hugs and Mocha,

MamaOtwins+1 said...

Your hubby is probably right in her intentions, but you are right in being upset. It does create a huge precendent and that is where the real problem is. I'd ask him to point out that to his mom - she may not have seen it that way but doesn't have to make the mistake again.

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