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3 Bumps

What happens at Grandma, stays at Grandma -- really?

I'm aware of the adage; "What happens at Grandma, stays at Grandma'. But just how much well-meaning secrecy should a parent accept?

Here's the skinny: My 3 kids came home from an otherwise enjoyable 4 day stay with my in-laws - enjoyable for all parties, not least for us who were able to recover and recharge in this rare, temporary moment of childfree bliss. Upon their return my youngest daughter had a cut one the side of her face. My oldest son immediately told me about the accident, which had happened two days earlier. He was obviously distraught that he had been instructed by the grandparents not to call and tell us about it with the explanation that we (us parents) would worry if we knew before they were back home. Worry? No kidding! I couldn't call the pediatrician before after the weekend (they came home on a Friday evening), and the nurse confirmed our real worries: that it was now too late to prevent an unsightly face scar because the skin had started healing without the skin on each side of the cut fusing properly together. It's not a huge cut, and it's possible that we would have been adviced to treat it at home instead of with stitches. The problem is that we were not included in the decision not to treat it and that she now will get a permanent scar that might have been prevented with proper treatment. The grandparents had put antibacterial on, but not used a strong bandaid that could have kept the skin endings together.

I do understand that accidents happen and I am thankful that our grandkids have grandparents who want to be with them. The is problem is what seems to be an habitual lack of honesty on their part. This is not the first time they are making safety compromises or poor judgement behind our backs. In fact I am glad I'm only writing about a scar formation and nothing worse. I have talked to hy DH several times about addressing these issues with them, but he doesn't always "get through" to them.

What should I do? I don't want to be the "disagreeable DIL" and criticize them unnecessary, but these are my kids and I want to know that they are safe! Will it be perceived as overreacting if I write a polite email to MIL about this? I feel that I have had to "correct" MIL so often, but safety standards have indeed changed since she had kids. Or should I not let the kids over there unsupervised anymore? Aside from the recurring dishonesty (which is big issue to me!) the kids love going there and we don't have any other help as my family is far, far away)

Very thankful for your advise!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 7:47 PM on Jan. 3, 2011 in Kids' Health

Answers (17)
  • If you arent comfortable sending them then its your right not. However, sh** happens and a cut on the face may seem like a big deal but may not have been something that was worth calling you for. If stitches were involved then thats a diff story. Otherwise I wouldnt be so paranoid. JMO GL

    Answer by Steph319 at 7:52 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • not to*

    Answer by Steph319 at 7:52 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • Just make it clear that you need to be notified immediately if another injury like that occurs. I would want to know if it was me. But I wouldnt take that step of cutting off any unsupervised visitation w/ them. I'm sure they didn't think it would be a big deal & wanted to give you the well-deserved time off. Try not to be too hard on them. Having a good relationship w/ grandparents is an important part of their overall development. The love I had w/ my grandparents helped mold me into who I am. When I lost them almost 2 yrs ago, a part of me went w/ them. Dont deny your children that special bond.

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 7:53 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • You may have to take matters into your own hands. These are your kids, you're the one who has to stick up for them whenever necessary. If your husband isnt getting through to them, respectfully but also firmly lay down the law

    Answer by My2boys0523 at 7:53 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • did you try calling MIL to ask what happened? Even though ds told you

    Answer by Steph319 at 7:53 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • I don't want to be the "disagreeable DIL" and criticize them unnecessary, but these are my kids and I want to know that they are safe

    this is a good line to start with. its nonjudgemental and voices your true concern without placing blame.

    Answer by jennifer588 at 7:54 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • I would respectfully tell the in-laws that you wish to be informed if your children get sick or hurt while in their care. I trust my in-laws fully, and my kids spend the night there at least once a month. The last time they spent the weekend there, ( we went away for our anniversary), my oldest son got sick on Saturday night/early Sunday morning with a stomach virus. My MIL called us first thing Sunday morning to tell us.

    Your inlaws need to tell you if your kids are sick or hurt, period!!

    Answer by Bethsunshine at 7:55 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • Can I get a copy of the email you draft?! I need to send the exact same email to my MIL...LOL! She never ever calls me when my son stays there...I hate it. I've had enough. He got burnt there once and I didn't get a call. She broke her ankle once and made my son sit in the ER all day and I didn't find out until the next day. I am however in the same boat as you b/c my son LOVES to go stay with her and I don't want to be the evil DIL. I'm sorry you are in this situation...I would be taking it worse than you.

    Answer by MommyH2 at 7:55 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • My mother was once in a car accident with my dd and they (my mother and dd) kept the secret for almost 20 yrs. When I was finally told and I knew something was up for many years but didn't know what, it wasn't that big of a deal. My mom knew me and how protective I was and thought I would never allow her to watch or drive my dd again so they had this "thing" between them. The truth was I would have over reacted at the time. 20 years later it wasn't a big deal. You say that the probability that you would have been advised to treat it at home was pretty likely so give grandma a break.
    Things happen, grandma loves your kids and did what she would have done with her own. Things happen. If you feel that they are real concerns that your inlaws are not competent then don't let them spend as much or any unsupervised time with them. But I wouldn't address how you are feeling, it will hurt them, and as you say maybe safety measures

    Answer by sue118 at 7:55 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • cont. are just different now than they were before.

    Answer by sue118 at 7:56 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

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