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3 Bumps

What do I do about a controlling daughter-in-law?

I have a step-daughter-in-law who dislikes my husband and I. She says that we don't do enough for them, we do not do enough with the grandkids, we do not see enough of the grandkids competitive games (they are 4 and 6).

My husband has a 13 year old daughter that we are still raising and I have a 17 year old special needs son who has impulse control issues and is mentally retarded. He is very hard to get out in public. When we go to a game I am constantly having to chase my son and keep him under control. It is more trouble than it is worth.

I feel like we can spend more quality time with the grandkids under other circumstances than around lots of people.

I am sorry her father-in-law married a woman with a special needs kids but that is our situation and she is going to have adjust to it.

I don't know how to make her happy. After reading in-law posts, i would think she should be happy as we are not controll


Answer Question

Asked by Whattodo101 at 12:57 PM on Sep. 10, 2010 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 3 (17 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • Why would you want to control her????
    I would explain the situation and let her not you do want to spend time with the fam and then set up some alterative times to do so.

    Answer by skittles1108 at 1:02 PM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • I don't want to control her. She wants to control us. She wants to tell us what to do and when to do it without any regard to us or our schedules or our work. She is wanting everyone to drop their life so they can do what she wants them to do.

    Comment by Whattodo101 (original poster) at 1:09 PM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • Hugs! I think your dil needs a lesson in reality-- and what it is like to care for a special needs child (as a mom of a special needs child I understand what you deal with in public). I think you need to tell her that you and your husband love the grandkids, BUT with children at home and a special needs child it is hard for you to keep up with and attend all the things the grandkids do. If she is so 'hell bent' on you and your husband attending the events then maybe she should pay for a respite care sitter to watch your son, or she should be the one attending to your son at the event. Maybe you can buy a video camera and ask your son to video tape the grandkids events, and then have them over to watch it with them. She should be give thanks that her kids have grandparents that want to be a part of their lives, and that love them. Some kids are not that fortunate.

    Answer by MizLee at 1:13 PM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • Could you split the difference. Maybe have your DH and his daughter go to a game one time then you and the daughter go the next. That way you still get to see everyone play but you don't have to worry about your son in public. Have you tried sitting down and talking to her about your concerns... maybe something along the lines of... We would love to be able to see your kids games and cheer them on but here are our concerns (then list them) and ask for ideas from her on how to make everyone happy. If she feels like she's part of the discussion maybe she'll be more open to what you're saying.

    Answer by terpmama at 1:20 PM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • Love the above comments....will definitely put them to use. Regarding sitting down and talking with my of about a week ago we were oblivious to there being any problems at all. We thought everyone was happy and everyone got along. We were so surprised when our DIL called my husband and said we all needed to sit down and talk about a situation that is really bothering her and it has to do with the grandkids. I guess I am nervous about this meeting. Probably sitting down and talking it out is going to be the best answer. I am just afraid that she is going to want me to do more than I am capable of doing and I'm not real sure how best to handle that other than just let her know my limits and this is all I can do. Thanks so much to MizLee....I don't think there is anyone else on this earth who understands the challenges of a raising a Special Needs Child.

    Comment by Whattodo101 (original poster) at 1:41 PM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • I would think about ways to make it work and have some ideas ready when you do sit down with her. It seems that she has tried to put her feelings aside to make it work but she can't deny those feelings so instead of letting it become a huge issue she wants to talk it over and come up with a solution. I can see being nervous about feeling like you will be asked to do more than you can. Maybe try to figure out what you can do (ahead of time) and where you can push yourself if needed. I think if you all go into this with a lets find a good solution and focus on the kids then you will find something that makes everyone happy. Try to stay calm and try not to get defensive (please note I said try).

    On another note... THere are other mom's who understand what it's like to raise special kids!

    Answer by terpmama at 2:06 PM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • OMG is that my DIL's sister or something, some of it sounds like my DIL, we just never seem to say the right thing or watch the kids, blah blah. The sit down talk sounds like a good idea, but don't let her take control. I'd ask her if she has * ANY IDEA * what your days & nights consist of, or how they're spent. Maybe suggest YOU watch the GR-Kids one weekend, & SHE watch your two? Where is your son in all of this, surely he must have some idea of your family life, or is he like my son, & lets her control their lives and wreck the family relationship as we once knew it to be. I wish you luck, but go with some prepared answers, you seem to have some general ideas of what she it going to complain about. Keep calm & tell her if she can't handle it & can't resolve some of the problems, with a resolution to suit all 4 of you, if it were me my SON he would probably wish he hadn't asked for the sit down in the 1st place.

    Answer by MyAngel003 at 8:16 PM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • Oh lawsy woman, she sounds like she'll never be happy unless you are paying exclusive attention to her children and disregard everything dealing with your other 2 children. Just smile and know that the real doesn't work that way.

    Answer by twinsplus2more at 8:49 PM on Sep. 10, 2010

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