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Mollycoddled children

(64 Posts)
maxgran Wed 22-Aug-12 13:06:19

I had a bit of a disagreement with both my DIL and my DD at the weekend because I said I thought they were overprotective of their children.
My DD has 4 children, aged between 5 and 15 and my DiL has a son from her first marriage who is 14 and my own 2 GSs with my son.

My DD has only recently allowed the 15 yr old to go out with his mates - and my Granddaughter the 8 yr old is not allowed to play out at all. The 8 yr old is always pleading with me to 'make' mummy let her play out !

My DiL will not allow my step-grandson to walk home from his Grandad's, which is less than a 3 minute walk away, if it is dark and he is not allowed to cut the grass or use an iron, amongst other things.

Our disagreement got a bit heated and then I told them both that they were being a bit selfish and it was all about 'them' and not their children because were more bothered about their own fears than they were about their children having some freedom.
Usually I keep my mouth firmly shut but I was absolutely fed up of them wittering on to each other about 'the dangers out there' !!

I think I was being unreasonable to stick my nose in,.. but I still think I am right in my view!.. ha ha

Greatnan Tue 28-Aug-12 09:42:31

I am sorry to say that some French restaurants are now offering children's meals - i.e. chicken nuggets and chips. Traditionally, once weaned French children eat the same food as adults, just smaller portions.
There seems to be a McDonalds
on the outskirts of every town (but they are useful for me because they have free toilets, and nobody challenges me when I use them. I would rather starve than eat their food.)
When I went to live with my daughter, I found that the children were making their own meals - each one different. I quickly established that we had one family meal,all at the same time, which saved a great deal of money and was much healthier. They did seem to like having a proper meal, instead of noodles, frozen pizza, microwave chips, etc.
They did not even have a dining table, so everybody sat with a meal on their knee - I soon put that right.

Nanadogsbody Tue 28-Aug-12 11:02:28

That's a shame great as I've always admired the way French children are brought up. I was amazed when staying with French families how the children tucked into their vegetables. And how they were able to converse with adults.

rosiemus Tue 28-Aug-12 11:17:28

We have just returned from France with the family and DGD (4) and found that hardly any restaurants we visited offered children's meals. We didn't want the usual fare that one gets over here - just smaller portions of whatever (rather unwilling to spend 15 euros or more on a plate of food that's way too big for her so half going to waste)

Two restaurants did. Both had a choice of pasta or steak hache and frites. The latter was very nice - clearly fresh meat not a processed burger in a bun that one might find here) but not a vegetable in sight. In fact DGD actually asked for fruit and veg so we ended up buying some for her in the local supermarket.

I was secretly delighted

Gagagran Tue 28-Aug-12 11:27:40

We've just had a week away in a holiday house with all four of our DGC plus DS and DiL. My DD had to work so we took her two, in loco parentis.

They have been brought up to sit at table for their meals and not get down until the meal is finished - if they want to leave the table they can do so ask but then that is it - they don't come back for more. If they are hungry between meals they can have a piece of fruit and or water to drink. They have beautiful manners and eat a wide range of food at ages 10 and 7.

DiL has a different take with her two, aged 9 and 7. She is forever giving them snacks "to keep their energy levels up" so they are never really hungry for a meal and consequently complain they "don't want it", or they "don't like it". Snacks can be all sorts of things including crisps, biscuits, hot chocolate and marshmallows (yes - given an hour before the main meal). They are active girls but getting rather solid and it is not surprising!

I say nothing though, not wanting to cause any argument or upset but when they stay with me on their own, I am much stricter (?sensible?) and follow DD's system, which in fact was mine too when bringing up our two. DS did broach the subject slightly with me but said he and DiL were not on the same page on this , and other disciplinary matters so I said he had to sort it with her and I couldn't comment. It is a concern though I really don't see what I can do if I want to keep a harmonious relationship going - as I do.

Nanadogsbody Tue 28-Aug-12 12:42:51

rosie when we stayed in France, albeit ten years ago, vegetables were served as a separate course.

JO4 Tue 28-Aug-12 12:44:37

Tell DS he has got to sort it out with her. You can't have your grandchildren being brought up to be unhealthy. That's not fair on them.

Is your DS a man or a mouse? They are his children too.

Nanadogsbody Tue 28-Aug-12 22:57:42

Is that JO or Yeo?

JO4 Tue 28-Aug-12 23:01:33


Nanadogsbody Tue 28-Aug-12 23:12:28

You not seen the news tonight? Tim Yeo......

dorsetpennt Wed 29-Aug-12 09:38:35

My son and his wife are firm rather then strict with their very small girls. Food is always at the table, TV off, a reasonable amount has to be eaten before dessert. At weekends they will have at least one evening meal with all the family. [As I said the children are young at 10 months and 3, so bed is at 7pm.] The 3 year old eats so well when she is with as she puts it 'my family'. If they go out for lunch they are expected to behave, no running around being a bother to the staff and other customers.
We had a party at a local restaurant for a 90 year old lady. There were 6 children present from 7 years down to 9 months. All behaved beautifully, I was very proud of them.

youngatheart123 Wed 29-Aug-12 09:48:56

My granddaugher, who's 5 now, has been a sickly child on and off. Nothing serious or diagnosable, just more colds than she should have, more bugs than she should have, that sort of thing. The solution was simple but tok my daughter a long time to see - she sterilised EVERYTHING! Abby wasn't allowed to 'catch germs' so her immune system was weak. Recently, and because as Abby gets older she's naturally exposed to more muck (!) she's a much healthier little girl. Many parents mollycoddle for all the right reasons - my daughter got her sterilising-overload advice from a mothering book!
PS my daughter is a wonderful mum!

Yummygran Wed 29-Aug-12 10:03:11

I haven't had chance to read all the messages but I completely agree with you Maxgran, I had a similar conversation with my DS and DIL only a couple of weeks ago, and they were aghast that I should suggest they let my 9yr old GD play outside (within sight) and to let her walk to her Grandfather's house which is in the same road!!

She has recently had her birthday and was given a notepad (not the paper sort lol) which means she has access to the internet, I think this is far too young, on the one hand they say they are keeping her safe by not letting her go outside alone, but then letting the whole world into her bedroom when on the seems completely back to front to me.....but what would I know? confused

Nelliemoser Thu 30-Aug-12 20:11:16

Youngatheart123 I so agree. Just look at all the television ads for "kill every germ" cleaning products, and "OMG" bacteria! Everything has bacteria on them our digestive systems are full of them. No wonder anti biotics are failing to work. Yes basic proper hand washing after using the toilet and being careful about food safety is important. But television advertisers are contstantly brain washing younger women with guilty messages which imply you are failing to care for your children properly by not using their products. Just watch these adverts carefull and look at the expression and tones of voices used by the actors. Its very insidious advertising and quite frightening.