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Old 11-18-2012, 10:06 AM   #21
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Re: Is there such a thing as a nice way to...

I kind of think it comes with the territory of free child care from family. If you want everything your way, you may just be better off sucking it up and paying for care. Free family care is not an employer/employee relationship where you get to call all of the shots.
Hiring a babysitter is. Family can be so complicated

My mom has the same problem feeding my kids junk. I totally call her out on it, but I don't demand that she stop. (She only watches my kids VERY occasionally.) I just mention to her, "So, Logan told me that you guys had cookies for a snack AND ice cream for dessert. He rats you out you know!" She is usually a little sheepish and lays off the junk a little bit the next time. She knows I don't usually care if she picks ONE treat to share with they boys, but the constant junk drives me a little batty.

Is part of the problem that they don't know how your family eats/how you expect your kids to eat? I have friends that feed their own kids stuff as bad/worse than you listed because that's normal for them. Maybe seeing how healthy you eat would be a bit of a wake up call for what you expect with your kid.

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Old 11-18-2012, 10:12 AM   #22
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Re: Is there such a thing as a nice way to...

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I would just be frank with them. That your child cannot have that kind of food and then provide them with a list of foods your child does eat.
I'd do this and call the list a "list of their favorites"

I'd also bring food.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:31 AM   #23
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Re: Is there such a thing as a nice way to...

I gave up on that battle a long time ago, but my kids only stay over there for an extended period of time about once every other month. They see them more often, but it's only for a couple of hours, and we're there to supervise.
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:52 PM   #24
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Re: Is there such a thing as a nice way to...

Oh man, did this get ugly. I wrote her an email (because I'm non-confrontational like that) and she wrote back that she was "shocked" that I "deemed her care for her grandchildren substandard". She started off saying she didn't even remotely feed DD the things I listed, but then in her email she rattled off everything DD ate and the only thing she said DD didn't get was the chocolate chip muffin (so EVERYTHING else, the Oreos, the doughnuts, the soda, the juice, etc were accounted for). Sigh. And then at the end she wrote "Sorry I disappointed you" after going on and on about what a horrible grandmother she must be. Yay for inlaws! I really do love my MIL but she is very much a martyr and any teeny tiny criticism of something she does gets flipped around into what a horrible person she must be...especially because the kids are *always* angels there and never do any wrong.

Oh well, she knows how I feel about it now. I wrote her an email back after her rant saying that I was hoping I could have a mature conversation about the care of my children, but I was sorry she took it so personally and that if it would be easier for me to pack them lunches or make other arrangements I could certainly do that. I'm sure that will tick her off more but what can you do?
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:20 PM   #25
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Re: Is there such a thing as a nice way to...

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Oh man, did this get ugly. I wrote her an email (because I'm non-confrontational like that) and she wrote back that she was "shocked" that I "deemed her care for her grandchildren substandard". She started off saying she didn't even remotely feed DD the things I listed, but then in her email she rattled off everything DD ate and the only thing she said DD didn't get was the chocolate chip muffin (so EVERYTHING else, the Oreos, the doughnuts, the soda, the juice, etc were accounted for). Sigh. And then at the end she wrote "Sorry I disappointed you" after going on and on about what a horrible grandmother she must be. Yay for inlaws! I really do love my MIL but she is very much a martyr and any teeny tiny criticism of something she does gets flipped around into what a horrible person she must be...especially because the kids are *always* angels there and never do any wrong.

Oh well, she knows how I feel about it now. I wrote her an email back after her rant saying that I was hoping I could have a mature conversation about the care of my children, but I was sorry she took it so personally and that if it would be easier for me to pack them lunches or make other arrangements I could certainly do that. I'm sure that will tick her off more but what can you do?
I'm sure it will tick her off, too, because that is a rather condescending, passive aggressive way to word it. In your shoes, I'd have written something in response like:
Making you feel like a terrible grandmother was not my intention at all! You are a wonderful asset for our kids, and we so appreciate the important role you play in their lives, as well as the help you give us on the weekends. My only concern is the amount of sugar Sally had today.

If it is easier for you, I can pack food for her, or if you prefer, I can just send snacks to replace the sugary options. I don't mind one "treat snack" of x, y, z, etc. during the weekend, but if we could limit it to that, it would be better for Sally and really help Bob and I out.

Please let me know what you want to do. We love you very much, and so do the kids, and we ALL appreciate your weekend help!


It gets the point across without feeding into the drama, putting her on the defensive or making yourself sound so belittling.

Family issues are not easy!
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:40 PM   #26
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It gets the point across without feeding into the drama, putting her on the defensive or making yourself sound so belittling.

Family issues are not easy!
Yeah, the way I phrased it wasn't very nice...I was just summarizing because I was lazy . This was my actual email to her:

"I was worried you would be upset by my email and please know that was not my intention at all. I know that you mean them no harm, and that you have been a tremendous amount of help to us. Truth be told, I'm a little hurt that you took this as a personal attack instead of an open conversation. Yes, I am their mom, but I very much trust you and consider you guys part of the "team" in caring for them and I thought that we were close enough to have a mature discussion about things related to their care. The entire reason why I wrote that was so that we can have a mutual understanding about what the kids are eating and develop a plan so we are on the same page.

To be fair, the only thing on the list that you said she did not get was the muffin - the rest she did have per your email (doughnuts, cookies, fruit snacks,juice, soda, etc) so my request is not totally off base. Had I been wrong though, I still would have wanted to know because then I could address Lainey lying to me. I never implied that those were the *only* things she got, but I feel that this is too many sweets for one day and I wanted to bring it to your attention. You are grammie and grampie and I know you love your grandchildren and you love to treat them, and it is more than ok for her to get a treat once in a while. Conversely, there is no reason why, if Lainey finishes her lunch, she can't have strawberries as a dessert. It sounds like today she wanted carrot sticks for a snack, which is awesome! Lainey has developed a distaste for all things healthy (as many kids do) and I don't want to further alienate the healthy food by giving in to every sweet tooth, that was all I was trying to point out. Again, I am very sorry that you took my email personally. If my request comes as a hardship to you though, I would understand if you would rather I bring her lunch and/or find other arrangements (though of course I would rather they would be with you guys because they adore spending time there). Let me know."

Was that out of line?
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:53 PM   #27
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Re: Is there such a thing as a nice way to...

I think you were fine. However, I think this is something that needs to be talked about in person or on the phone. Tone is hard to read in an email sometimes, and gets misunderstood. If she writes back, I would call her to respond.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:58 PM   #28
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Re: Is there such a thing as a nice way to...

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Next week, I'd bring some apples over with me, and I'd hand them over while saying something like, I think the kids had a bit too much junk last weekend. I'd like to see if we can do a little better this weekend. Let's limit the sugary snack to a few cookies today, ok?

That way, you're not making a big federal case out of it, but you are getting your point across.
I agree.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:59 PM   #29
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Re: Is there such a thing as a nice way to...

Oooh I would be mad. My sister-in-law has told her kids exactly what is okay and not okay to eat, and she puts it on them to follow the rules. When she drops them off with grandparents she has them repeat (in front of everyone) the rules for food. She also jokingly tells them that grandma and grandpa might forget so it's up to the kids to keep them in line. The kids know they may get punished if they accept sweets that they know are not allowed. If the grandparents offer sweets the kids sometimes turn them in to mom.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:32 PM   #30
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I think you were fine. However, I think this is something that needs to be talked about in person or on the phone. Tone is hard to read in an email sometimes, and gets misunderstood. If she writes back, I would call her to respond.
I saw her tonight and tried to bring it up and she said, "oh don't worry about it, its no big deal!" despite the email she sent me earlier today about how I must consider her a "substandard" caregiver and how offended she was. Talking in person doesn't work with us...she just retreats or blames it on someone else (she did that too - finger-pointed at FIL and then changed the subject quickly into a conversation about the Hostess doughnuts she fed DD and how they were the last ones on the shelf at the store...).

She takes everything as a direct personal attack but she will never - EVER - say anything to your face, just in email and gossiping with other family members. In front of you she is all sunshine and rainbows. That makes this issue even harder and why I took it in to emails instead...she obviously has no problem being candid there.
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