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What would you have replied to this?

My son was throwing a fit and threw his bag of animal crackers all over the place...cookies EVERYWHERE. He'd been throwing mini fits all day and i couldn't get him to just lay down and relax so i was hoping he'd just kind of fall asleep...

Well, I'm over at my grandparents with him and after he flung the bag of snacks, I told him to go lay down. My exact words were "Go lay down now, you have a terrible attitude because you're tired."

My son knew I meant business so he went to lay down. My grandmother scolded ME! She said "You can't talk to him like that! There is never anything terrible about your child, he's perfect!"


Asked by metalhealthmom at 5:41 PM on Mar. 10, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 16 (2,817 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (21)
  • First, you said nothing wrong. There's a big difference in "you are terrible" and "Your actions / behavior / attitude is terrible." Children *can* learn the distinction if they are given the chance to do so. There is nothing wrong with saying "I love you, but right now I don't like the way you're acting." It's also ok to say "Your *behavior* is terrible / unacceptable / pick your adjective."

    That said, I also agree with myheartx4. I'd even say, "I appreciate your love for [child.] Every kid needs at least one person who sees them as perfect. They also, however, need parents that can see them objectively. We're a good balance for him." ;)

    My parents dote on my kids and spoil them rotten. However, they also know DH and I are the parents. They might not always agree with our choices, but they do respect them. I appreciate that. I'd hate to think my parents were undermining me and threatening "my way or else" like some do.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 2:18 PM on Mar. 11, 2011

  • I would have let grandma know that he was my child and I was raising him and did not need her input with the situation.

    Answer by scout_mom at 5:43 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • Um, I probably would've said basically the same thing you did. You didn't call your son terrible, you called his behavior terrible. And I don't care if their 2 months old, 7 years old, or 19 years old EVERYONE has terrible behaviors. That doesn't make them a terrible child. In my opinion what you said is just fine and your grandma overreacted.

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 5:44 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • one word...GRANDPARENTS

    Answer by Chloesmom1126 at 5:44 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • Hey sweets, all you can do is blow it off! Nothing you said was inappropriate, you weren't belting him, you asked him to lie down. Grandmothers forget what kind of Mom's they were. And it wouldn't matter what you replied you'd be wrong. Just smile sweetly and say "thank goodness I have you to guide me". And avoid visiting at crap times - when he's tired etc is not good, take him straight after breakfast, step in and refuse all snacks before she puts them near him and limit your visit to an hour or so, anymore than that and any 3 yr old is gonna get crazy

    Answer by myheartx4 at 5:56 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • I would ignore it, or tell her flat out that as much as you love her, you are the mother and you love your child enough to teach him from an early age on that there are appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, and that there are consequences to our actions and choices, and that you would rather him learn that lesson now, when the consequences are relatively harmless, than later, when the lesson is taught by someone else and the consequences are much worse (going to bed to take a nap when you're a child and throwing things and acting up, or going to jail because you're 18 and throwing things and carrying on because you're mad...)

    Also, frankly, I would tell her that as much as you love her, if she can't respect your parenting choices, you're going to have to limit her time with him. And do NOT have her babysit, if she's already undermining your parenting when you're there, think of when you're not....


    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 6:21 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • Great Grandma sees no wrong. Sometimes grandparents and extended family feel very sorry for little guys and girls. It happens. My son cries and what does my MIL do? She bribes him if he stops crying she will buy him a toy. ??? And she did - but he didn't stop crying. I shrug and know that he has Grandma tightly wrapped around his little finger. But when he gets to come over her house and he is a little wild or thinks he can have his way - gee, I wonder where he ever got that idea? My philosophy is I don't get in between their relationship. Children know you they can be one way with mom, another way with dad, and another way with other people. They are adaptive that way. If my child is with me and his grandparents, and he is acting out, I will redirect him. If my four year old threw his animal crackers I would walk over, gently touch his shoulders, look in his eyes


    Answer by frogdawg at 12:12 PM on Mar. 11, 2011

  • wow, well i would be like g-mom no disrespect but he is my son and i will not have him acting out and getting away with it and u didnt call him terrible u said his attitude was terrible.

    Answer by prettymamiof2 at 5:46 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • In those circumstances I usually just smile and nod, especially if they are just making comments to me and not necessarily interfering with my parenting. I would have said the same thing to my child if they acted like that, in fact, I do say the same thing at times.

    Answer by JamieLK at 5:47 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • Oh, I should also mention the time I was berated for telling me kid to knock it off when he was acting like some sort of feral child and just running around screaming. "You don't tell little babies to knock it off. That sounds like something your grandfather would have told his boys on the docks."

    WTF, lady. Just shut up and go back to your soaps and let me raise my kid. Seriously, I didn't give up my 20s to have some sort of disrespectful wild child when I'm 35!

    Comment by metalhealthmom (original poster) at 5:48 PM on Mar. 10, 2011