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D-o-l taking mickey out of little ones

(15 Posts)
granal Sun 14-Oct-12 11:49:27

Is it unreasonable to see red when my dol puts my dgcs down - eg saying dgs has a big head or is a plonker - seems to happen more to gs than gd, but can only speak for when I am there. Also, she puts my son down by referring to things that really should not be topics in conversation.
This has been happening for 4 or 5 years - the little ones are currently 4 and 6.
We do not have a great relationship - she is very 2 faced about lots of people in her life, so cannot imagine that when she is being nice to me, she isn''t having thoughts or making remarks to someone else.
Part of the problem may me that she thinks she is fooling me, but certainly not.
Do I say something to her (and how do I approach it), to my son (ditto), or try and carry on ignoring it? Dilemma. Don't want to make our relationship worse, or create a wedge between me and my son, but it makes my blood boill!

absentgrana Sun 14-Oct-12 11:54:54

I think you would probably be sensible to bite your tongue and ignore it. Interfering in other people's relationships (mum and wife) is very dangerous territory and can make a bad situation worse and a difficult situation impossible.

crimson Sun 14-Oct-12 12:26:10

Yes; definately bite your tongue. But, perhaps make a point of talking to the grandchildren in the respectful way that children should be spoken to [which I'm sure you do anyway] albeit not in a way that annoys her. You're treading on eggs here. Vent your spleen by having a moan to us; we've been there, got the t shirt and don't mind listening wink.

Grannyknot Sun 14-Oct-12 12:26:46

I can't stand that. It is so damaging to small children putting them down like that. And granal you're right, I've learnt that if someone who gossips to you about other people, they probably also gossip about you to someone else. I'd really struggle to bite my tongue. I'm sorry I can't be more helpful. I think absent is right, if you say something, not sure it will help and may make things worse.

annodomini Sun 14-Oct-12 12:27:44

Agree with absent (creeping!) but also suggest that you make it your job to to boost your GCs' self esteem when you are with them. Someone has to.

wisewoman Sun 14-Oct-12 12:28:56

That must be so difficult for you. As someone who was always put down as a child I always told (and tell) my children and grandchildren how great they are. I don't know what I would do in your situation but others are right, it is such a fine line and you don't want to make things worse. Sending you supportive thoughts.

Grannyknot Sun 14-Oct-12 12:32:33

Agree with both anno and crimson if she says GS has a big head, say "that's to make room for that big and clever brain" if she says someone is a plonker then say " ... and everyone's loves a plonker cause they're kind/funny/fun to be with". I would try and turn everything she says into something positive until she got the message.

gracesmum Sun 14-Oct-12 13:04:23

I like grannyknot's strategy and take comfort form wisewoman who seems to have survived "put downs" as a child and grown up all the wiser for it. (Not saying it should be done, but it can depend if it is said with a smile and love in the voice?)

Mishap Sun 14-Oct-12 13:49:31

I remember walking along the street one morning and seeing a mother taking her child to school - child said "I need the toilet." Mother went ape and gave her a b******ing - "For goodness sake - there's no toilet here; why didn't you go before we went out?.....etc"

I couldn't help thinking that if an adult had said they needed the loo, how different the response would have been. Mind you the poor mum probably had PMT and had ahd a sleepless night.

I can't bear to see children being put down - maybe, without directly contradicting something that has just been said, you could take your own opportunites to boost their self-esteem in front of DiL so that she can see how it helps them. What a trying situation for you.

Elegran Sun 14-Oct-12 14:02:54

Many years ago I saw a chid in a supermarket being mildly bad - forget what he was doing. Mother said, "Mummy won't love you if you do that"

glammanana Sun 14-Oct-12 14:13:36

Elegran how sad to hear such a thing said to a child,that is something that cannot be retracted and depending on the age of the child could stay with him/her for the rest of their life.
granal I would tend to ignore you DIL or as others have suggested make light of the comments as I'm sure there is nothing worse than a DIL scorned.

annodomini Sun 14-Oct-12 14:36:38

When we did something naughty, my mother's line was to say, 'What have I done to deserve this?' Instant guilt trip.

granal Sun 14-Oct-12 14:46:13

Thanks to all.
I am concerned about them growing up with, to quote someone from Mumsnet "ishoos" - I myself have very low self esteem, and can see it all happening again.
Yes, I will make a big thing about praising them, as advised - there's plenty to praise, they are both adorable, good looking, funny - in short, the best gcs in the whole world!
They both have their own talents, and are quite different personalities, which is challenging - but really don't deserve this.
I agree that however nicely I might approach the subject with dol, it will be misconstrued and may be used against me should I later......oops, wrong situation.
Taking deep breaths and planning new strategy!

annodomini Sun 14-Oct-12 15:13:07

granal, they are lucky to have you. smile

maxgran Wed 17-Oct-12 16:18:47

Families are all different.
It depends how your DiL says these 'put downs'

My family are all close and love each other but even from early ages we have really ribbed each other and used 'put downs' but in an affectionate way! I know to some people hearing us may be shocked or concerned but we really are a confident and happy bunch !
It is not always a terrible thing,.. unless it is done with real anomosity or to hurt each other.

I know families who are really lovely to each other, polite etc etc - who are really not close at all.