Working with Grandparents

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Working with Grandparents

Postby angela » Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:08 pm

Original Title: Having some problems!!!

Dear mummies,

I have a 17th month girl who is taken care by my mother since birth. She is raised well by my mother. Although she is 17th month old, she can follow simple instructions given by us. She will not cry because of any simple matter. She is very independent and will play by herself.

I dun like the ideal of grandparents always carrying the baby around. So my girl is only carried when she wants to drink milk, bathe or boring. So she does not like ppl to carry her and likes to walk by herself.

But the problem come! Recently, I found out that I am 7-weeks pregnant. Actually, I should be very happy. But recently, my mother-in-law told me that she intends to stop working and wish to look after my newborn baby.

She is the kind that will pamper the children. She will spoilt them. My father-in-law is the one who like to carry the baby 24 hours. Last time, my sister-in-law's children were taken care by them. And they spoilt them. And, when my father-in-law wants to do something, no one can stop him or else he will give you face. Everyone scares of him.

Actually, I dun want my husband in a difficult situation so I am thinking to let my mother in law to look after the coming baby but I worried that they will spoilt it. Then, thinking to let my mother-in-law to look after my 17th month girl but also worried that she will pick up some bad habits from them. I hope to let both of them grow together and build up the sibling relationship.

Does anyone have this problem before? Mind to share!


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Postby heutistmeintag » Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:56 pm

Erm, I am a dad and I hope you dun mind me answering this. lol

My parents who stay with me help look after my kids and IMHO, they spoilt my kids to some extent (I wonder which grandparents don't). They look after them up to ~2.5 yrs old and after that, I packed them off to full day child care centre. They are supportive because there are many benefits and both my wife and I are working.

What I was hoping to do was to reduce the time for spoiling them and I recalled there were only about 2 hours of "exposure" before we return from work and take over. In a nutshell, I tried to balance making my parents happy and also to reduce the amount of spoiling.

Am I confusing you? :oops:

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Postby Jennifer » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:02 am

By the time you deliver the newborn, your older girl can attend childcare, leaving your mother time to look after your newborn.

Your mother-in-law might change her mind about stop working.

Dun worry too much. Enjoy your pregnancy.

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Postby raynreg » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:29 am

It is your grandparents rights to pamper their grandchildren while it is your duty to discipline and nuture them :P

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Postby Funz » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:39 am

what are your dh's views on this?

I was kinda in the same position as you when I had my 2 kids. DH even mentioned that to be fair, since my parents looked after our 1st kid, then 2nd one let his mum take care. He was also being pressured by his gaggle of aunties aka MIL's sisters. I gave him a list of reasons why it will still be better for my mum to look after our 2nd kid. The one key reason revolves around conflicts. Explain to him that like it or not, there will definitely be conflicts. Even with my own parents looking after our kids, there were conflicts but with my parents, I can handle it. But with his parents, he has to handle it and women being women, we tend to be more picky about things especially when it comes to our kids. Told him by turning his mum down now, yes, she will be disappointed but she will get over it eventually. But if he insists on letting his mum look after our 2nd kid, then be prepared to be sandwiched time and again and not only will he have an unhappy mum, he will have to deal with an upset wife from time to time.

That coupled with the fact that MIL suffers from depression kind of sold my point. Hahaha.

Try and come to an agreement with your DH. If the agreement is not to let your MIL look after your kid, then make your stand clear now. The last thing you want to deal with is your MIL quitting her job thinking that she will be caring for your kid. Then all the blame will start coming and things will be worse.

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Postby thebusybee » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:41 am

raynreg wrote:It is your grandparents rights to pamper their grandchildren while it is your duty to discipline and nuture them :P

So darn right! That's exactly what my mum said too when my bro complaining about her 'spoiling' his boys!


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Postby schellen » Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:01 pm

thebusybee wrote:So darn right! That's exactly what my mum said too when my bro complaining about her 'spoiling' his boys!


However, my DD's grandparents learned the hard way. Yes, they spoiled her, then they suffered when she got older (she's now 7). Then, they had to go through the difficult path to "discipline" her and resist the urge to spoil her all the time. So we have the last laugh. 8) :wink:

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Postby mommyNg » Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:48 pm

Ha ha, you are so fortunate that you have great support from your families (including your mum and your in-laws)!! Mine either said she is getting old, or were too happy to leave them (their retired lives) alone :roll:

My mum helped me take care of my dd1 for the first few years, and yes, she did all the stuff that you would abhor, e.g. carrying the baby to sleep, giving her 3 (yes, not 1 but 3) pacifiers - one in the mouth, two in each to "play" with, etc... But hey, 5 years later, all these didn't matter anymore. She is almost 7 years old, and she is a healthy, independent and happy girl. Of course, she doesn't need to be carried to sleep and has long weaned off pacifiers. And yes, she is sleeping by herself in her own bed in her own room...

So as long the "spoiling" is not about "bad values/behavior", such as giving in when child throws a tantrum, letting child scolds or even hits the seniors, I feel that certain differences in childrearing practices is tolerable :-)

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Postby sashimi » Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:35 pm

Objectively, angela, without any knowledge of exactly how your MIL will be like - you should decide for the sake of the child, from the point of view as her mother.

You should not be deciding this based on your role as a daughter(-in-law).

Ideally, the parent is the decide-all and end-all for her child. Grandparents often make this ill-conceived presumption that your child was born for their "enjoyment"'s sake. But no - the child is your responsibility first and foremost. So you have the right to decide.

I know it's easier said than done, but to have a spoiled child is far worse than having an "offended" MIL.

To put it another way, to be a parent is to take a lot of pain, punishment, conflict, embarrassment, sacrifices... for the sake of your child. :)

Unfortunately the wide generation gap these days means that it's not common for two generations to agree on the method of raising kids. You are EXTREMELY lucky to have a good caretaker in the form of your mother. I am even jealous that your MIL offered.

So the question is how to explain/persuade your MIL in this issue. Chances are she's probably envious of your mom. But that's another story.... :)

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Postby danecalymom » Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:55 pm

Hi Angela, really envy you have MIL willing to take up the challenge of staying at home full-time to look after your kids. My mom prefer to work and my MIL prefer to play with kids weekly, thus I have no choice but to engage a maid. Now, my elder boy is turning 4yr old soon and my daughter just turn 18mths. I put both in child care as soon as they turn 18mths. By doing this, it keep both parents happy and also reduce our reliance on maid.
Before my daughter went for childcare, I was at my maid's mercy because we don't live with our parent. Now that my daughter is in childcare, my maid has become very obedient cos she know we are no longer reliance on her.
If you can, try to put your elder child in playgroup or childcare and have your MIL in charge of picking her. Especially when you have more than 1 kids, you will find parent's help very useful.

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