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In-laws and skids visits

pixielady's picture

I have a question about in-law visits and skids. In-laws had been visiting us before we moved from BM town and obviously seeing SS8 during their visits. (They live in another state, and the visits are way too long 2-3 weeks but that's another issue) Since we moved from BM town, we all live in different states (BM and SS8), us, and the in-laws. And since we've moved, in-laws have visited us when SS was with us so they could see both SS and DS at the same time. I do not enjoy these visits. FIL, MIL, SIL all put SS on a pedestal as poor COD. They spoil him materially and they allow him to get away with all sorts of unsavory behavior like being rude, interrupting adults, attention seeking behavior, excessive volume, whining, giving him soda/treats anytime he asks, being extra aggressive with DS (which I put a stop to right away, but they will notice and not say ANYTHING), etc. etc.

Now I know that all young kids engage in this type of behavior from time to time but SS does it CONSTANTLY when in-laws are visiting. He's like Jekyll and Hyde when he has this adoring audience. DH had a serious talk with them about it and asked that they help redirect his behavior if it's unacceptable and to cut down on expensive gifts and cash which they give him because he is so spoiled with stuff, he doesn't even appreciate it. Well in-laws took great offense to it and couldn't believe that DH would ask something like that of them. This failed talk occurred a few months ago, after SSs summer visit. Since then, things have calmed down, however in-laws are pretending nothing happened and are expecting to be invited for another visit next month during SSs Christmas visit. DH doesn't want them to come because after their initial "how dare you ask us to blah blah blah with SS" they never mentioned it again and pretended nothing happened. DH and I take this to mean they will continue as before during this as-yet undetermined visit.

Has anyone experienced this with in-laws and skids? What did you do to resolve the situation? I don't care for in-laws very much but I do want them to see their grandkids, however the visits are so disruptive and SS acts like such as ass. Even when DH corrects him, he does it again and again when in-laws are here. Plus DH can only take a few days off during each of their visits so they are with SS during the day while DH is at work and letting him get away with murder. I work partime from home and take care of DS at the same time. It drive me nuts!


ESMOD's picture

Kids are pretty perceptive and love to put on a show when they have an audience.

I think a well timed and pointed discussion with the child about not putting up with nonsense and consequences that will be imposed is appropriate.

Also, nothing wrong with giving the inlaws some boundaries.. (we don't feed sugar after 4 pm it makes him cranky or whatever).

Ultimately, if these visits are few and far between and short.. sometimes we just have to grin and bear it.

pixielady's picture

We tried giving them boundaries but they just ignore them. They "feel sorry" for SS for every single little thing. Here are examples - he refused to say hello to a family friend who was visiting, in-laws said, oh he's just shy, he wants a second serving of ice cream after dinner, DH says no, in-laws undermine by saying, oh just a little bit more, he's interrupts conversations, oh he just wants to participate, he yells in baby's face, they smile and say awww, he loves his baby brother. Whenever DH tries to give a consequence or limit, in-laws undermine him and imply that he's mean. OR they think I'm mean when I tell him to stop doing something wrong. Like we're running a prison by setting normal limits for an 8yr old.

Since they live out of state and are retired, their visits are 2-3 weeks long, twice a year!

ESMOD's picture

Since they are your DH's parents.. HE needs to take the firm hand with them.

Also, with an 8 year old.. he can also over-ride THEM and say.. sorry kiddo.. you know the rules.. only one dessert. or, now, DS... I gave you a warning.. no yelling at baby.

when inlaws start their tut tutting.. he can say. Sorry folks... you raised ME and look how bad I turned out..DS's life isn't all that bad. It isn't going to kill him to be polite.. not greedy or whatever.

pixielady's picture

Yes it’s DHs job to deal with them and override them. It just sucks because they pout, SS pouts, and it ruins the dinner or activity.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I might just not let them stay with you anymore... Like they can come visit, but unless they're gonna play by the rules I'd push for them to get a hotel maybe... I'm just a grumpy person and on a runners/weight lifting high right now though, lol. I get you don't see them tons because they're out of the state, but 2-3 weeks is a SUPER long time for them to upset your home.. If it was a few days I might just say put up with it, but dealing with that for a few weeks is enough to piss off a saint, let alone those of us who already put up with the stressors of being a stepparent.

Something I've always stuck with is that family isn't a blood thing, legally it might be, but I don't like toxic in my life, only person I can't really cut out right now is the ex, because I have to pretend to play nice there, even though I'm internally screaming to not punch her in the face while she cusses me out. lol

They can't be respectful of your home and your rules, I don't see why they should be allowed in it.

pixielady's picture

The problem is they're not well-off enough to stay in a hotel for that amount of time, and would feel offended if we asked (they're from a culture where family all stays together, a hotel isn't even an option). I'm an introvert and I hate visitors anyway, but then the in-law/SS combo is enough to make me want to kill myself. TBH, if I never saw them again, I wouldn't care one bit. It's for DH, SS and DS's sake that I put up with their visits. DH once said, when he told them not to share info with BM and they got huffy about that too, that they can visit SS when he's at BMs. Apparently BM couldn't stand their visits either, but she's gotten cozier with the in-laws since DH and I got married!

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

BM's do that... Kind of like her separating herself... Went to pick up SD4 from daycare with MIL shortly after the wedding, for some reason BM decided she should be there. She literally walked up to MIL and gave her a hug and called her "mama." TBH I didn't notice until later when MIL pointed it out. Apparently she didn't even do that before. lol Hasn't done it since, but she started trying to call the in-laws with more sob stories and crap after we got married too... lol

My DH's family is like that too... Hotels aren't an option... Culturally that's not how my family works... So that still confuses the heck out of me. lol But I don't think having them there for three weeks while disrespecting your rules is really an option either... . So I REALLY hope you guys figure out something, whether its limiting the length of their visit so at least you don't have to deal with it so long, or by some miracle getting them to actually follow rules!

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

My opinion... If they aren't gonna play nice and agree to it, then why invite them... I TOTALLY agree that the in-laws having contact with their grandkid is important... BUT, if it's affecting you and DH's parenting and is upsetting to you all then why put up with it. They can resume contact, if they play nice of course... (I put up with crap from the in-laws too... So I completely understand it's easier said than done... Meddling MIL with some STRONG opinions... *eye roll*) But I don't see why you or your DH should be expected to put up with crap in your own home, ESPECIALLY for weeks at a time. (however brownie points to your DH for actually standing up and talking to the in-laws!)

pixielady's picture

Yes, kudos to sweet DH for standing up to them. I think when they start talking about their visit, DH will have to be really firm with them and say hey we can't have you visit if you do xyz. We already talked about it and you got upset but this is important to me and pixie. We also don't want DS to be treated like that (tho he probably won't since he's not a poor COD). But we don't want DS as he gets old to think he can act a fool and gramma and grampy will support him in in. Plus their relationship with BM is cozier than makes me comfortable. Not sure what they are sharing with her.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I really hope he is firm! Because that sounds miserable for both you and your DH!

My in-laws are weirdly friendly with the beastie BM sometimes... So I understand that discomfort... She was using them to creep on me on Facebook for a bit there... Literally anything they tagged me in she liked... And MIL was all "we need to help her!" when she had sob stories... It's uncomfortable as he!!. So I sympathize with you there... Best solution I got right now is I blocked BM on Facebook, distance myself a bit from MIL most of the time (she has gotten a bit better since a chat we had though...), and informed DH that should I get a whiff of the ex pulling crap or them sharing everything I will unfriend them all on Facebook so they can't see and share anything with BM and I will basically cut contact beyond general politeness with them, because I shouldn't have to live my life feeling watched by a demon any more than ABSOLUTELY necessary (her best friend also showed up at my work, which I didn't make publically known anywhere... So I know someone had to have shared that with her...)

Side note: I don't get the "poor COD" s***. If the relationship was toxic, by either parent, or just because of a completely lack of affection from both sides even, then the family isn't healthy, and that's not a good environment for the kid to be in... So honestly sometimes divorce is better for everyone involved... Yeah it sucks, and yes therapy might be a thing, but seriously, the divorce isn't what ruins a kid, it's all this coddling over the "poor COD" and the spoiling that creates the brats (also if one parent is completely psychotic that doesn't help either...)

moving_on_again's picture

I have to threaten my own mom all the time that her and DD are going to be grounded from one another. I don't know, every time it gets better, then my mom goes right back to letting DD act like a spoiled brat. And we live within walk distance.

momjeans's picture

We have the EXACT same in-laws, pixielady!

Boundary crossing, get huffy, passive-aggressive and all that when DH tries to tactfully bring it to their attention. I hate it.

When we lived in the same city as skid, the in-laws would fly out for a week and stay at our apartment with her. They lived, ate, and breathed for skid. Still do. But now skid comes to us for visits, where we live in the same area as my in-laws, so I inform them to go way over there with that BS.

I am so sorry to hear staying in a hotel is not in their budget, because that’s my only advice - to keep them at arms length during their extended visit. Oof, that’s two weeks too long.

pixielady's picture

What is with this child worship? My parents love their grandchildren but they don’t put up with crap from them. They will not hesitate to correct them when needed. Lucky you that they don’t come visit anymore. How did you tell them that it would be better for skid to visit them?

princessmofo's picture

Time to "conveniently" schedule a visit to see your family, friends, etc out of state along with DS while they are visiting. There's no way I would entertain company for weeks on end. My mother did it to us with her extended family when I was growing up, as she is also of a certain cultural persuasion, and it was AGONY. I swore when I was an adult it would NOT happen in MY home.

pixielady's picture

I hate the idea of leaving my beloved home to skid and in laws! I’m very house proud and the thouof them taking over my kitchen and possibly snooping around gives me heart palpitations.

Acratopotes's picture

Simply don't invite them..... there's no reason why they should visit every time SS visit, it's not their son it's their grand son.
DH can simply tell them he has to work thus a visit will not suit him, and SS needs to learn the world does not revolve around him,

Or DH can say, yes you can come and visit from this day till that day, the days I am on leave to ensure you stick to our house rules and to ensure SS behaves ...... the rest of the time I have to work.

Then it's up to them to decide if they only want to visit for 2-3 days or not.

pixielady's picture

The work excuse won’t work because inlaws would jump at the chance to stay with SS by themselves. DH would have to use the nuclear option and say no to visiting unless there is a clear understanding of our wishes.

Myss.Tique D'Off's picture

I can understand this from the "wrong" side. My one brother is divorced, and until he pointed out that I was over compensating with his son, with gifts and spoiling and affection, I didnt see it. I saw my nephew three times a year and went over board with him. (I needed to squash a year's worth of love into a week!)

Parents like you and your DH need to set boundaries and rules for interacting with their children, because the child will not, They revel in the attention, the gifts, being the centre of attention. And they take advantage.

Like my brother did with me, a talk about the rules was required with him saying he did not approve of what I was doing and how it went against how he was raising his child. I respect that. I have rules for my own son and my overcompensating in a short visit does not fix the fact that his parents are divorced or that I am auditioning for the role of greatest aunt on the planet.

If your ILs can not respect the way the want to raise your SS then the visits should be curtailed.

pixielady's picture

It seems you understood and respected his wishes. In-laws have shown themselves to not care about DHs wishes but more about their own hurt feelings, and of course, poor SS. You’re right- if they can’t respect us, then we can’t allow visits. Becaus DH is so passive and has never before this asked for help or support from them regarding his divorce or SS, I think they don’t take him seriously. And SIL doesn’t help either. She’s of the mind that BMs attempted intrusiveness is acceptable because of SS, and she has FIL and MILs ear because they live I. The same town.