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SD confided in me and now I dont know what to do

this_is_me's picture

My SD is 9 and she lives with us full time. She has in the last 2 weeks asked to stop going to church with my MIL and asked not to go over to MILs house on the weekend at all. Iwas very confused as to why because that's not normal behavior for her. 

Anyways today we were alone in the car and she said mom can I tell you something? I said of course and she proceeded to tell me that the reason she doesn't want to stay with MIL anymore is because she is constantly nagging the kids about what is going on here, how we buy things like groceries, (she is trying to find out if I have assistance which I don't) and how much money do we really make because she just doesn't see how we pay all our bills and live like we do. SD goes on to tell me she doesnt think that is any of her grandmothers business and doesnt want to talk to her about it anymore. 

I told SD she was right and it wasnt MILs business because she doesnt pay our bills and that she can tell grandma its not her business if she wants. FDH and I both work full time and make good money but that is not her concern. We don't owe her any money or any explanation of how we spend our money. I really have no idea why she would talk to an 8 year old and 9 year old about our finances since they have no information on the subject anyways. Did I handle this correctly? Should I say something to FDH or MIL about it since SD was telling me "a secret"? 


Evil3's picture

I agree with mapitout that your SD shouldn't be put into the position of having to respond to your MIL. Your SD should also not have to be subjected to your MIL's digging for info. My own mother was that way, because she wanted any reason to judge others and deem them as a distant second to her. She had a major inferiority complex and would resort to almost anything to judge and minimize others. I was in your SD's shoes and it's painful to have someone you love and want to spend time with question you on other people you love. I strongly recommend putting an end to visits to your MIL for now. You can humour your MIL by giving a different reason so that you don't inadvertently out your SD to your MIL. You don't have to end the visits. You can simply shorten them and perhaps make them less frequent for now.

momjeans's picture

I agree with the above posters. I have nothing to add, but what a wretched MIL. And poor SD. It’s wonderful she feels safe enough to trust you with such information. 

I love dogs's picture

How strange a mother would down her own son to her granddaughter. I agree to limit contact with MIL and don't feed SD any info to give MIL ammunition. But then again, what would she do if she had the information she's prying for?

this_is_me's picture

I honestly believe she is just noise and controlling and wants any information she can get to hold over us. This is not the first time I have heard of her making comments to the kids about our money. For example she told the kids we wouldn't be able to afford to buy a home (which we did in February) I purchased a car in October. Paid cash for it but she didnt know that and said something about making car payments until I finally just said its paid for. She is going to flip when she finds out we got FDH a new truck this weekend (again paid cash so no payment) but she will have something to say. I'm also in the market for a bigger car now because our needs have changes so I am selling my first car. 

We have also started limiting time spent with MIL quite a bit part on the kids request and part because I feel she needs to remember she is grandma not mom. She has called every few hours today because she "needs" xyz but its honestly just her trying to find out what is going on here. She tried to guilt FDH into bringing the kids over to help his dad with something. He told her we werent home which we were but didnt want her showing up.

I still cant figure out why she would think a 9 year old would have that kind of information anyways? We could be a million dollars in debt and wouldn't be telling the kids. I don't know any adult who would..... 

Goodluck's picture

Soooo sorry your boyfriends daughter was asked such intrusive questions by her Mothers mom. 

Is it possible Granny asked "Do you get enough to eat at home"....

I would give Granny a warning...I mean you boyfriend should or could tell his former Mother in law to refrain from asking HIS daughter personal questions about private adult matters. Dont tell Granny the what will happen if she oversteps again. Which I will assume your boyfriend will end the visits.

You should not say a peep to Granny...UNLESS Granny does this in front of you.

Dad can tell his daughter how to handle this..."From now on, please tell your Grandmother that I said that she, GRANNY should ask your dad'. OR op, if you really wanted to take it a higher level. Your boyfriends daughter call tell Granny to please stop asking me questions about my dad and girlfriend.

We teach our kids this age to say STOP being mean to kids at school, or STOP pulling my hair...or STOP playing with my new barbie. We can also teach them to address Granny with respect and the word STOP, ask my dad.

**for the record you do not owe Granny any info about anything about YOUR private affairs**

When Granny calls for your boyfriend to do xyz...he can tell her NO. As Dr. Laura said "NO is a complete sentence" explination necessay. OR as an act of compassion give her the phone numbers to people who can help JOES Lawn mowing service...or JACKS auto repair or SAL's plumbing.

JMO---and Good Luck

this_is_me's picture

Its his mother not former MIL. And yes I'm sure it wasnt a simple are you eating enough. I have heard her with the money questions before. And yes I did tell SD it was perfectly acceptable to tell grandmother she doesn't know and its not any of her business anyways. 

secret's picture

I agree with what you've done. I was in a similar place with my ex-MIL, and I gave the green light to the kids to tell her to stop asking them questions about my home, that if she wanted to know so badly, to call me and ask me. I also told their dad that I'd appreciate if his mom would keep her nose out of my affairs (we were divorced by this time btw)

She only tried a few times after that, and she was told "why do you keep asking me if there's enough food at mom's" in front of their dad, and their dad told his mom to stop pestering the kids about me.