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MIL expects too much from my 2 yr old!

My MIL always compares my son, who is 25 mos, to his cousin, a 27 month old girl. She says all the things his cousin does, and doesn't exactly say anything BAD about my son, but makes it obvious that she expected him to do the same things. Like, when his cousin got off the bottle or started sleeping thru the night, she boasted about it to us, and then asked my son when HE was gonna do those things (he was like, a year old at the time). Now, her thing is talking on the phone to him. She constantly tells us that his cousin "calls" her, and talks to her, but the most my son ever says on the phone w/out prompt is Hi. So when we do have him "call" her, she acts hurt that he doesn't talk to her! I'm worried that her expectations will eventually start making him feel bad about himself! Any advice?

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:18 AM on Nov. 25, 2009 in Relationships

Answers (10)
  • sounds like my MIL... my son is 4 months old and her other grandson is a few days shy of 2. she ALWAYS compares what he could do to what my son can do. my son was told by the doctor that he was edvanced for his age. but when my SO called her to update her, she says something like "oh well "L" could do those things and on top of that do this"... she's even trying to convince me that he was crawling at 3 months (I know for a fact that it's not true). I just try to brush it off . nothing you can really do :(

    Answer by Domsmom2009 at 11:25 AM on Nov. 25, 2009

  • The next time she starts asking your son these questions, say to him "Tell grandma I have plenty of time to grow up, I'll be ok!" I would probably say something like "Wow his cousin must be a genius!" but that's just me. Tell her he is right on target for his age and not to worry about him. I might also say something like "His cousin may hold conversations but my son learned how to change a tire." Again, that is just me!

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:25 AM on Nov. 25, 2009

  • Explain to her that buys and girls and all babies develop at different rates and he is doing great for his age. Tell her if she can not stop the comparisons then you may have to stop seeing her as much as you do because you do not want your son to start feeling bad about himself, he is at an impressionable age and her words could hurt. My MIL is awful and she use to comment on how my 2nd dd doesn't look like my first, she looks like me my oldest looks like her daddy, she said this so much my 2 year old dd asked me if she was really mine since she didn't look like sissy! So yes words can hurt so you need to talk to her and try to put a stop to it NOW or it will only get worse as they get older.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:28 AM on Nov. 25, 2009

  • I agree with anon 11:28... Tell her that there isn't two children in this world that develop at the same rate. It isn't fair to you or your son.

    Answer by momma_marian at 11:36 AM on Nov. 25, 2009

  • Your mil could be my mother!!! Just don't put ds on the phone with him. In the realm of the world kids conversing comfortably and spontaneously or scheduled on the phone is not that much. Tell her to come lunch once a month with the two of you to enjoy just the two of you. When mil is there, whatever she asks him if he doesn't get upset, don't let your pride of being his mom being doubted by her last more than a second. She's with him far less than you are. You'll do more good as his mom forever than she will in periodic short visits. He lives with you not mil.

    Answer by lfl at 11:39 AM on Nov. 25, 2009

  • Children live up to expectations. If you expect him to excel he will. If you/she expects him to fail then he will. So tell her to be careful what she lets him hear.

    Answer by admckenzie at 12:03 PM on Nov. 25, 2009

  • Just tell her this: Our pediatrician has told us that _______ your son's name has achieved all of his developmental milestones. At this stage a couple of months make a huge difference, so please don't concern yourself with what ______ is or isn't doing.

    Every child has his own schedule and our son is just right on target in his own time frames. I need a favor from you, Could you stop making comparisons between our son and _______? It's becoming bothersome and aggravating, so please refrain from doing that in my son's presence. Don't debate her, don't argue simply say to her if she wants to keep it up or explain something: I spoke my mind, take that information and do as you will with it but I am done entertaining this conversation and walk away.

    Answer by bebita at 12:44 PM on Nov. 25, 2009

  • Comparing babies is the road to madness. Tell her so.

    Answer by gdiamante at 3:21 PM on Nov. 25, 2009

  • That is so annoying! My MIL used to criticize my baby even when she was a newborn. She was a very cranky newborn (colic) and my MIL would always say things like 'She needs a better personality" etc. It bugged me big time. Now that she is older and more fun, my MIL adores her. I would politely remind her that all babies develop differently. The compulsion to compare babies to one another is something everyone seems to do. My daycare does this with a boy in the infant room. He is 1 and hardly does anything and they're always like 'Poor evan will be in the infatnt room forever.' I think people tend to forget that all of this doesn't mean anything. It's not a measure of how smart or motivated he's going to be as an adult at all! SHe needs to be reminded of it.

    Answer by danielp at 5:36 PM on Nov. 25, 2009

  • I'm bothered by the comparisons as well. I would just tell her that all children develop their skills at different rates. My eldest DS is autistic, so I was REALLY pelted with "he's not doing ___________" yet?  Just express your annoyance nicely! lol Perhaps she doesn't realize she's doing it or how it makes you feel.


    Answer by Austinsmom35 at 7:08 PM on Nov. 25, 2009

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