Post # 1
Lately my mother has been on an anti-gay-marriage tangent. I support gay marriage 100%. She’s telling me stuff like “make sure to eat at Chik-fil-a on Wednesday, Huckabee said everyone sould eat there to support Christian values!”, “being gay isn’t natural and it’s against the Bible”, etc. I don’t know why this is her current obsession, she’s brought up the topic every time I’ve seen her for the past 6 months it seems.
And she KNOWS I disagree with her, it seems like she thinks she’ll change my mind if she keeps bringing it up (all it does is piss me off); I really don’t want her taking that same approach with my kids when they are young and impressionable.
I do NOT want her saying anything bad about gays in front of my kid(s). I don’t want my kid(s) raised homophobic, or to feel like if they are gay they have to hide it because they will be judged by family members. Darling Husband and I want to raise our children that gay or straight doesn’t matter, both are equally acceptable.
Has anybody handled a similiar situation? How did you go about telling your parents that some topics are off-limits without offending your parents? (My mother tries to be very controlling of both my sister and I, not in the “all mothers are like that” sense, she is really overboard! Which adds an extra layer of challenge to making her realize her grandkid is DH’s and my kid, not hers!) Or is this just something that you’d be firm and straight-up about, and she’ll just have to deal with being offended.
Summary version: On sticky topics, are you blunt and straight-up with your parents even if you know they’ll be offended, or do you try to soften the blow and ease into it?
Post # 3
@abbyful: I don’t have kids, but I think I’d take the firm and straight up approach. Reiterate your beliefs and tell her basically exactly what you told us! Let her know that she is under no circumstances to mention anything regarding her feelings towards gays, not even in a passing comment, and that the consequence for exposing the kids to her hatred beliefs will result in less time spent with them/no time spent with them alone. It’s harsh, but you need to protect your children. I’m sure you could manage to say it in a firm but kind way. Good luck!
Post # 4
Honestly? I would keep my children away from her.
Post # 5
I agree with telling your mother that those are not your beliefs, and you will be promoting equality with your children. I think it’s perfectly fine to set boundaries and tell her that topic is 100% off limits. No questions, no exceptions.
Post # 6
I had very much this problem when my kids were little. I found that having your spouse say something to them about topics being off limits with the kids worked very well. My parents were better about being respecting of the limits when they came from my husband and vice versa. His parents flew right when I set the boundries but would push back when the request came from my husband. Hope that works for you.
Post # 7
@abbyful: Firstly I am sorry you have to deal with this. Very sorry. As harsh as it would seem I would honestly sit her down and in a non-aggresive way tell her that this is not something you want passed onto your kids and if you hear her speaking like this to them/around them then you will sever her contact with them. I know this sounds extreme but if she is used to controlling you she may not respect your wishes unless it is a very serious concequence.
Post # 8
I would definitely either get your spouse or you should talk to her about airing her opinions infront of your children, when they’re older they will be able to take on her opinions but with the ability to see the good and bad in it. But when they’re young they will just soak up what’s said like a little sponge. Our baby is just starting to try and talk and my Future Mother-In-Law always swears infront of her and calls her think like “Little twit” “Bugger girl” etc, she means it in a fond way apparently but I don’t want her going to school saying “Hello I’m Bugger girl!”
Post # 9
I would tell her that her access to my children is dependant on her not talking like that around them. I simply do not let my children around people who regularly say hateful and mean-spirited things.
Post # 10
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
Be honest and up front about how you are raising your children. Put consequences in place, be firm and use them if she violates the agreement that she not discuss those topics in front of your children. I definitely would get your spouse involved and have a specific, single topic conversation in regards to this issue so she is aware of how strong your opinion is on this topic. Most grandmas would rather spend quality time playing with their grandchildren than taking the chance that they might not see them for holidays.
Post # 11
Any comment she makes that you disagree with just say “I understand those are your beliefs but please do not speak like that in front of my child”. If you start this as an infant age then hopefully she will start repsecting your parenting by the time your LO can really hear or understand what she is saying. If this continues then I would just tell her that if she continues to state those values when LO is around the unfortunately you won’t be able to come around anymore and she especially will never be able to stay over.
Post # 12
Typically, if my parents start going down a path I know will lead to a conversation we have differeing views on, I will change the subject. Being proactive keeps the majority of comments away.
However, occasionally they do sneak in a comment here or there and I address those issues as they come up, in front of the kids. If my parents make a homophobic comment, I want my children to see me taking a stance on the issue. I want my kids to know that they can stand up to anyone to defend their beliefs, and I believe that I have to model this behavior myself if I expect them to learn it.
Post # 13
Be proactive. I already had the discussion with my 9 year old about why we won’t be patronizing Chik Fil A and silimar establishments. If anyone says anythign to her inthe furute, she already knows how her parents feel about it.
Post # 14
We were talking about this just today–my mother and sister are extremely PRO Chik-Fil-A now, and Darling Husband and I are not. We usually use the change the subject method.
If that doesn’t work, we try to gently discuss differing issues with them.
If THAT doesn’t work, Darling Husband and I join together and take a firm stand.
Case in point: My Mom’s kids, and my sister’s kids were HUGE eaters. My daughter is not. She eats plenty, and in the 50th percentile for height and weight, and she is a very healthy little girl. We have to feed her on a schedule, because otherwise, at 4 months, she only eats 2 to 3 oz at a time, which the doctor says is completely unnecessary. But every time she cries, they keep trying to shove more food down her, and say things like “OH, your mother is just starving you!” It irritates me–we feed her on a schedule, and these little snack feedings throw everything off. We tried to be nice about it, but now we just tell them if they can’t support our schedule, we are happy to take her with us instead of having them babysit. And then if she will not hit a feeding time while we are gone, we include a bottle and the formula for one bottle, in case of whatever, in order to make sure that there aren’t too many feedings.
Post # 15
I wouldn’t say anything about it until your baby is old enough to understand language. At that time, I think you have to be blunt.
Do you plan on your mother spending a lot of time with your child without you there? If not, your child will likely get his/her values from you. You will be there to educate and instill morals. If your mother will be with your child a lot, I think there is a danger there. Even if your mother doesn’t purposely try to indoctrinate your child, there may be things she says/does or that the child will overhear that will rub off. I think that kids pick up on a lot more than we think.
Post # 16
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
I set VERY firm limits with my parents when DS was younger. And if DS had come home parroting crap my Mother said, they would have lost the privledge of spending time with him. I just don’t play that game.
Now that DS is a teen with his own views on things, he will argue with my Mother about her bassackwards views. And I still have no issue telling my Mother when she is being inappropriate. I swear, she gets worse every year.