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Should I mention this ? (Rather than giving advise)

(45 Posts)
InOzMIL Fri 09-Oct-20 09:02:25

Hi all

Quick history, I have 1 grandson, just 2. My son & his wife have very different ideas about bring up baby, plus they are very isolated family & they don't socialise with anyone (other than in the workplace) & her parents live overseas.

Some things have been distressing to watch, like force feeding him bottle when he wouldn't finish it @ 10 months)
Feeding him Chilli hotpot meal. He cried & started hitting himself on his face & mouth. He's was older, maybe around 18 months
He's up till 10.00-11.00pm & gets up around 9.00-10.00am (which worked before he started day care.) On daycare days now, he's there at 7.30-8.00am & missing out on hours of sleep before he gets there.
I realise, even in writing this, & I do agree it is the parents choice. Even tho its hard at times & Ive learnt to breath deeply & sometimes make an excuse to leave the room.

But my reason for asking ? now, what if you think it could be harmful?
He's now getting a small bowl of whole nuts each day (almonds, cashews pistachios, macadamia - not peanuts)
& parents tell me its "ok, because he can chew"
Personally I think its not about the chewing, its more about if something gets stuck in the throat & lung capacity to cough it up.
a). I wouldn't mention it to DIL, but is it ok to mention it to my son?
b) honestly, would other grandmothers be upset about anything Ive mentioned here?

Galaxy Fri 09-Oct-20 09:06:05

I would be very concerned about what you are describing.

GagaJo Fri 09-Oct-20 09:13:18

I saw something similar with my daughter once.

GS is a notoriously picky eater and refused to eat something he'd previously liked. D was so angry she forced it into his mouth. He wasn't chewing and swallowing so his poor little mouth was so full I worried he would choke.

It was a difficult situation. D was so angry but my GS was so upset. I very tactfully intervened and took over. I had to tread on eggshells because I risked making her even more angry.

Poor little boy.

Marydoll Fri 09-Oct-20 09:13:53

I too would be very concerned.

It sounds as if they actually don't understand about what a baby needs and need support.
This is a safeguarding issue.
Is there not a health visitor involved?.
I'm horrified at what you are saying?

Hetty58 Fri 09-Oct-20 09:20:30

I'd just have to intervene, if not directly - by calling social services. It amounts to child abuse (although it seems to be pure ignorance). He could die from choking on a whole nut!

Oopsminty Fri 09-Oct-20 09:21:13

The sleeping thing obviously suits their lifestyle and isn't too problematic. I'd have thought the little chap would end up dozing off even if not in bed.

Nuts, I agree with you. I'd have had heart failure but I do know many parents who allow their children to munch on things from quite an early age.

Chili hotpot is just cruel as is force feeding.

Are they very young? Not that that's an excuse but may be they just don't know how to deal with young children

My brother in law, ( no children) was a nightmare. Once my 8 month old son was sat in his high chair and BiL decides to rest his mug of hot tea on the tray. I zoomed over and this lunatic man was genuinely surprised and told me I should be teaching him not to pick cups up if they weren't his o-0

Very difficult for you. If you think having a word with your son would be beneficial then go ahead.

If it continues you may have to take further action

Sarnia Fri 09-Oct-20 09:24:09

Certain foods make a very effective plug in the throat. When my grandchildren were toddlers I hated seeing them with whole grapes. I would get a knife and cut them lengthways, accompanied by much eye rolling from my sons and daughters.

silverlining48 Fri 09-Oct-20 09:59:33

I can never forget a friends 2 year old choking on a small boiled sweet, it was truly terrifying.

Maggiemaybe Fri 09-Oct-20 10:05:05

No wonder you’re concerned, OP. I was going to say that the family, along with many others, is probably suffering from the absence of health visitor/child clinic support and guidance at the moment, but then I noticed your username and assume your not in the UK anyway. There must be a similar service to help young families - are they getting all the support they can?

Maggiemaybe Fri 09-Oct-20 10:07:07

assume you’re, not your. Must remember to preview!

InOzMIL Fri 09-Oct-20 10:18:05

Thanks for your feedback.
I am concerned about GS & his well-being and I try not to get too upset.
It’s a relationship that’s wildly out of balance
Sleeping pattern is because mother likes to sleep in, she’s a nurse & does afternoon shifts. So up late & sleeps til 9 or 10 am
I will mention it to my son mmm from history it won’t change anything He’ll agree with her, maybe it’s to keep the peace.

They’re both 37 & do love him, but it’s very tough love at times. Other friends & family have said it’s abuse too. They act, not really out of ignorance, it’s more they act out of arrogance. Parents who think they know it all but miss a lot of the basics.
I didn’t think being grandmother would be so hard. To be honest, it’s done my heart & head in equal amounts.

GagaJo Fri 09-Oct-20 12:33:42


Certain foods make a very effective plug in the throat. When my grandchildren were toddlers I hated seeing them with whole grapes. I would get a knife and cut them lengthways, accompanied by much eye rolling from my sons and daughters.

Yep, me too Sarnia. Blueberries too, which is fiddly as hell but...

Toadinthehole Fri 09-Oct-20 12:39:22

Yes, very concerning, and I’m thinking in this case, you should say something before something drastic happens. I wouldn’t normally advocate interfering in everyday matters, but if something happens to would feel so bad. Nuts are a definite NO. It sounds horrendous OP.

crazyH Fri 09-Oct-20 12:41:45

Yes Sarnia, years ago, my little granddaughter was choking on a grape - I slapped her back and she coughed it out. Thank God. The thought still scares me .

Smileless2012 Fri 09-Oct-20 12:52:37

I agree with everyone that you need to do/say something about this InOzMIL.

Forcing a child to take a bottle when they don't want it, feeding them hot spicy food when they clearly don't like it and not ensuring he gets enough sleep is abuse.

AGAA4 Fri 09-Oct-20 16:37:37

I am shocked by what you have said InOzMIL. As Marydoll said this is a safeguarding issue and needs to be addressed before any harm comes to the child.
This is a time when you should step in and tell your son you are concerned and get advice from whatever organisations you have available.

Delila Fri 09-Oct-20 16:55:10

Yes, I would very upset and concerned by what you describe. InozMIL, you say you think your son and his wife act out of arrogance rather than ignorance, and you doubt they will listen to you. If you have the slightest doubt that you can influence the situation I think you should inform the relevant agencies of your concerns, for your grandson’s sake. Surely he is what matters here?
I really feel for you witnessing this treatment of your Grandson, and feeling so helpless, but don’t make an excuse to leave the room. Be there in case you’re needed.

Antonia Fri 09-Oct-20 17:06:00

I agree with everyone else, these issues are very concerning and I think you need to say something. If the parents won't listen then I would definitely take it further.

EllanVannin Fri 09-Oct-20 17:22:26

Gee whiz this is tantamount to cruelty. Chilli-whole nuts ?
Children have choked to death on a slice of apple !

I'd be speaking to a family support officer before something serious happens then at least you've told someone should anything go awry.

Callistemon Fri 09-Oct-20 17:51:46

There must be a similar service to help young families - are they getting all the support they can?

I don't think they have Health Visitors in Australia, it would be up to the parents to take a child to a clinic and probably pay for it through their insurance.
As the parents are the problem this is difficult.

I cut grapes in half too but I do remember the days when peanuts were considered ok to give to young children because my DNephew announced he'd stuck one up his nose and SisIL had to take him to A&E.

It's difficult to say anything to get your message across without being seen as critical but I think you should.
Could you enlist the help of the nursery director in strictest confidence. Perhaps they could send out a general list to all parents of do's and don'ts with regard to the correct diet for young children.

Callistemon Fri 09-Oct-20 17:55:19

On daycare days now, he's there at 7.30-8.00am & missing out on hours of sleep before he gets there.
When my DGS was at daycare in Australia they had little camp beds and the younger ones were supposed to have a sleep in the afternoon so perhaps that's why he doesn't go to bed until late

Doodledog Fri 09-Oct-20 18:26:37

I like the idea of asking the nursery to intervene. I would worry that saying something might result in having contact with your grandson reduced, which as well as being upsetting for you could be counter-productive.

Hetty58 Fri 09-Oct-20 18:42:44

If they are both arrogant, I feel that talking directly to them would be useless. Doodledog's idea of approaching the nursery is good. There are various agencies (depending on region) responsible for child protection. The relevant one should be made aware:

Hetty58 Fri 09-Oct-20 18:43:11

Doodledog Fri 09-Oct-20 18:51:00

It was Callistemon's idea smile.

I would probably fight shy of reporting them to the authorities, particularly as a first step. If my MIL had disapproved of something I did, and called Social Services, I would never have forgiven her.

It may well be that the concerns are valid, but if they can be dealt with without a scorched earth approach, I think it would be a lot better for the family all round.