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Old 08-08-2011, 07:56 AM   #11
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Re: Is there any way to put this delicately...?

Personally neither of the incidents that you mention would cause me to not allow MIL to watch the kids. Toddlers fall down while exploring their world. It happens. Stairs are an appropriate skill for them to learn. The balloons, well if she was watching during the play, I wouldn't be worried. My kids always loved balloons even when they were little. You have to be careful, but it's the same with everything in life. Admittedly, I am not a helicopter parent. Generally, I think we as a a generation of parents have gone too far in the overprotecting direction.

That all said, if you and your DH are uncomfortable, I would make HIM talk to his mother. His mother, his problem. While she might be hurt by him saying something, she will forgive him - he is her son after all. If you say something, it could drive a wedge that could last forever.

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Old 08-08-2011, 08:58 AM   #12
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Re: Is there any way to put this delicately...?

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Originally Posted by z2akids View Post
Personally neither of the incidents that you mention would cause me to not allow MIL to watch the kids. Toddlers fall down while exploring their world. It happens. Stairs are an appropriate skill for them to learn. The balloons, well if she was watching during the play, I wouldn't be worried. My kids always loved balloons even when they were little. You have to be careful, but it's the same with everything in life. Admittedly, I am not a helicopter parent. Generally, I think we as a a generation of parents have gone too far in the overprotecting direction.

That all said, if you and your DH are uncomfortable, I would make HIM talk to his mother. His mother, his problem. While she might be hurt by him saying something, she will forgive him - he is her son after all. If you say something, it could drive a wedge that could last forever.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:06 AM   #13
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Re: Is there any way to put this delicately...?

I am in a similar situation. Even with the stairs. DS was barely walking when she let him climb up 15 brick stairs while she stood at the bottom. She also proudly showed me tapes of her kids barefoot and shirtless playing with fireworks at 3 and 5.

No advice though.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:32 PM   #14
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Re: Is there any way to put this delicately...?

IMO, there isn't a way to let her down easily. Her feelings will be hurt and you will be the bad guy no matter what. There is a way to make sure there isn't a conflict as a result of her hurt feelings. Don't allow her to be part of the discussion/decision, and just tell her how it is very politely, but matter-of-factly. Phrases like, "I'm sorry, we already made arrangements..." "We have decided that..." "I/DD will be more comfortable with..." will be helpful. Do your best not to bring up the fact that you don't trust her judgement or any past incidents... that would be unkind and counterproductive. You already made your decision, so be clear, decisive and treat her with love.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:42 PM   #15
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Re: Is there any way to put this delicately...?

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Originally Posted by z2akids View Post
Personally neither of the incidents that you mention would cause me to not allow MIL to watch the kids. Toddlers fall down while exploring their world. It happens. Stairs are an appropriate skill for them to learn. The balloons, well if she was watching during the play, I wouldn't be worried. My kids always loved balloons even when they were little. You have to be careful, but it's the same with everything in life. Admittedly, I am not a helicopter parent. Generally, I think we as a a generation of parents have gone too far in the overprotecting direction.

That all said, if you and your DH are uncomfortable, I would make HIM talk to his mother. His mother, his problem. While she might be hurt by him saying something, she will forgive him - he is her son after all. If you say something, it could drive a wedge that could last forever.
I would still let my kids go after those two incidents. My own daughter fell down our steps at 9 months and it was just an accident. I would give anything to be in your shoes where family was wanting to help out.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:23 PM   #16
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Re: Is there any way to put this delicately...?

To gently let her down, I'd tell her how much you appreciate her being willing to babysit, but you already have a sitter booked. You could tell her how great that sitter is (does DD have friends there?) and even if you cancel now you'll still have to pay the sitter for the day.

Or if you don't think she'll buy that, you could do the more honest and direct approach. But while I usually hate shifting responsibility onto someone else, in this case I think it's up to DH to talk to his mom. He should sit her down and explain that your DD is young and needs constant attention. She's still in the stage where she may put things in her mouths (like balloons) and may think she can do things she can't (like climb stairs) and needs a proactive caregiver.

Bottom line is that your kids' safety matter more than her feelings.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:30 PM   #17
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Re: Is there any way to put this delicately...?

Neither of your examples seem too outrageous to me, but we all have our own issues. The bedtime thing would drive me nuts though. I would encourage you to have your dh talk to his mom. I'd be more inclined to just somewhat brush off the issue even apologizing saying that you'd already made plans for your lo to be watched by someone else and they have stuff planned, or you'd have to pay for it regardless, etc.

I also like the idea of having her watch your lo while you either do things around the house. Or, if you'd be ok leaving her with the lo for a shorter time (but just not all day), maybe have a little date night with your hubby for an hour or two, or just go for a walk. She obviously wants to be helpful, so i'd try to come up with a way to make her feel that she is.
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Old 08-08-2011, 04:21 PM   #18
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Re: Is there any way to put this delicately...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by z2akids View Post
Personally neither of the incidents that you mention would cause me to not allow MIL to watch the kids. Toddlers fall down while exploring their world. It happens. Stairs are an appropriate skill for them to learn. The balloons, well if she was watching during the play, I wouldn't be worried. My kids always loved balloons even when they were little. You have to be careful, but it's the same with everything in life. Admittedly, I am not a helicopter parent. Generally, I think we as a a generation of parents have gone too far in the overprotecting direction.

That all said, if you and your DH are uncomfortable, I would make HIM talk to his mother. His mother, his problem. While she might be hurt by him saying something, she will forgive him - he is her son after all. If you say something, it could drive a wedge that could last forever.
Agreed.

My FIL was who I've had problems with. He left DD standing on a chair in the kitchen when she was just learning to stand on her own. She was 5 months old. Guess what? She fell and came really close to splitting her head open on the corner of a table.
By the time she was 2, he would let he use very sharp hedge trimmers, unsupervised, and allow her in the pasture w/ the cow and horses alone.
These are things I find unacceptable. The chair was just not smooth, but the hedge trimmers and large dangerous animals are another story.
We have set some ground rules, and I trust him to watch her now. She is 4 though. He respects our choices and once we made our wishes clear, we've had no issues.
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