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I don't understand.

Started by 1Glitterati, June 08, 2010, 03:33:17 pm

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BG...Every summer my ils take a trip across the U.S.  We're on the East Coast and they usually go way down South or to the Mid-West.  This year it'll be all the way to the West Coast. They're typically gone about 3 weeks.

I cannot figure out why they keep asking to take the kids.  They've been told no.  They've been told they'll be told no.  Why keep asking?

The kids visit, and the kids spend the night.  They do day activities together, too.  Sometimes they will go somewhere away overnight if DH goes.  We don't want them gone for weeks.  Even if we were okay w/this...we are not okay w/this w/them.  They don't supervise the kids the way we like and they don't pay attention to some of the safety rules we have.  We might let them go when they hit the teens and can watch out for themselves.

They've been told all this.  Why do they keep asking for something they know we'll ('s not just me) turn down?

(And, no...we wouldn't let them do this with my parents, either.  In fact...there are more restrictions on even overnights with my parents as my parents have health issues.)


What part of "no"they dont understand.    My father was this way.  He would never let us go to slumber parties (pajama parties).  We would rather have all our friends come to a sleepover at our house.   

They love your children very much and would like very much to take them on the trip.  Just tell them once more that you dont like your children being gone for such a long time.  End of the story. 

Hope everything works out fine for you. 

I, as a mil am very careful with these issues.  I always address myself to dil in regard to a permission and say "What do you think if I take Alex and Mariela tomorrow to........"    If she is not comfortable with it she tell me "no"in a very nice way and explains to me why .  It is fine with me.  She is the mother. 

Good luck!
Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove:


No matter who you are, or where you go, or how hard you watch out for children or grandchildren, bad things do happen...I knew a woman, who years ago, had her son in the car....somehow, he managed to get out of his car seat, open the back door, as she was going around the cornor, and she ran over her own child and he died...terrible...I can't imagine what anyone would be able to live with that...I would literally fall apart....

as far as grandparents taking they're grand children on trips, vacations etc....I see nothing wrong with must be the mother's decission, and if she isn't comfortable with it, that decission must be respected....sadly it's true...I feel any child, every child, shold have as many experiences as possible, not to mention, influences, children should have many influences in they're lives so they get to pick and choose who they want to be....children are very impressionable, and realize, good things in people........we can be overprotective...due to worry...I'm not suggesting the OP in this thread is being overprotective....she knows her inlaws better then anyone....

I was lucky...I was allowed to go on vacations with friends parents, aunts, uncles and neighbors...our parents never went anywhere and they wanted us to experience travel and fun things....I cannot tell you where I've been and the fun I've had due to friends parents and relatives taking me as a child....and because of it, I've had a wonderful life full of travel and experiences....

I agree with Anna, and I know many DIL's who allow they're children to's kind of a shame when parents stagnate they're kids experiences out of fears or jealousy....I also know granparents who get they're grand kids for the summer, and visit they're parents on the's all up to the individuals....but children should experience everything' makes for a happy child hood...

when you fear, you instill fear...and when you hold your kids back from influences, it stagnates them, they're growth and realization of the opportunities out there....
my mother feared doing many things, and she missed out on so much's sad....her world was very small...thank God she left us go....however, my one sister fears going anywhere and spending money...just like my mom...she has never ever gone on a vacation?  I can't fathom that? 


Three weeks?  That's CRAZY!  There's no way I would want my DD (5) away from me for 3 weeks.  She's never even slept 'away' from me for 1 night.

My Mom has a cottage about 1.5 hrs away from where we live.  I've considered that, if she wants to, DD could spend a week up there without us.  But even then, that would be from Sunday afternoon to Friday night.

Yeah, I'm hip to where you're coming from.  Three weeks away, when you won't even be sure where they are, is too much to ask.

So, in the spirit of "If you don't like something, change it.  If you can't change it, change the way you think about it."  - can you change the way you think about it? 

What if this was the year that you had decided to say 'yes', but they didn't invite your kids, and the IL's missed out and you (and the kids) were disappointed?  They can't risk that, so they keep asking. 

Also, for some people it's a way to make you feel included.  My cousins live "back home" (about 6 hrs drive away) but they still send us invitations to their major life events, usually with a note saying "We know you likely can't make it, we just want you to feel included".

As your kids get older, IF you actually don't mind for them to be away with the IL's, then tell the IL's straight up and get your "say" in the planning of the trip.  That way, you can cut out the objectionable parts (maybe only 1 week versus 3 weeks, maybe at 1 known location instead of driving all over, whatever troubles you the most) and the IL's and GK's can have their trip.


As a Mother, I completely understand if you have reasons to fear for her safety, not letting her go.  As a Grandmother, I completely understand that they keep asking, hoping one day you will say yes.  I understand your frustration that they keep asking, but I bet they are just as frustrated that you keep saying no.  You have every right as a parent to say what is right for your child and the final decision should always be yours.  Are you telling them that you might when she is older?  Because maybe that is why they keep asking every year, thinking she is older every year?

Can I ask something without you thinking I am being a smark aleck?  Because I can't figure out how to ask without it sounding that way.  So please don't think I am, I really want to know.  Is it truly that big of a deal for you to have to say no every year?  I would think it would be a bigger deal for you if they didn't want to spend time with the GC?
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


June 09, 2010, 07:40:34 am #5 Last Edit: June 09, 2010, 08:04:37 am by cremebrulee
If my DIL allowed me to have my GD even overnight one night, I would have my Grand daughter callher in the morning and in the evening after supper....I would let her know at all times, what our itinerary was going to be for the day...and I'd have a cell phone on me at all times....and I believe most grand parents would do that....and if my DIL would say, I don't want you to take her there, then I wouldn't. 

My gosh, My girlfriends family are very successful and prominant people in the business world...and they all allow her grand children to come for as long as the kids want to stay, 1 week, two weeks and three weeks...
I don't think it's so serious....children need to learn to communicate with others, other then they're immediate family....those grand kids of hers were calling as soon as they could talk, and she has watched some of them all summer off and on....3 weeks is not even a month?  Holding on to hard to kids is not good...healthy and diverse for the children....I'm sorry and I apologize, but it's not...some parents allow they're kids to fly to other states to be with grand parents...or mom's and dads....

There is nothing wrong with it, again, it's all in how you think and feel....but I tell you this, the longer you hold onto your children....the harder it is going to be when they do go overnight...children need to interact with they're grand parents and they're grandparents they are not shy or afraid to be with a large group of people and can not only behave, but interact.

My cousin's children were always so respectful and nice....everytime they had a picnic those two kids, would walk around and mingle with the older adults...I admire the job she did with raising them...they are able to interact with every age of person, any culture and are very personable and thoughtful to this day....she says my son is as well....yes, it's hard to let go...very hard, and you do worry, a lot....but you've got to leave them go....I'm sorry, but we can be over protective to the point that we will stagnate our children's growth and skills of interacting and also learning, that every single household has it's own rules....a child that you let go, has an easier time in kindergarden and 1st grade....

I'm sorry, I am, but what if you had grandparents who didn't want to spend time with your children...let em go for goodness sakes and let em all have a ball together....they won't forget you, or love you less, but it gives them something great to look forward to, "Oh boy, summer with grand ma!"    I remember those days, and many girls I work with talk about they're close relationships with they're grandma's...some love them as much as they're what....let them...alllow them happiness together....give that gift to your child....

again...sometimes the greatest gift of love you can give someone is to let them go, let them go on without you and be successful, and happy....they'll always come back and they'll always remember you even more so, if you encourgage they're happinessness and experiences....they's they're life....not ours....they need to develop and proceed on they're were simply the vessal that helped them enter into this life....however, it is not a good thing to stagnate children b/c of your fears....


I would have loved it if my dad and his wife would have offered to have my kids spend time with them. Because I know their limits regarding children I would have balked at 3 weeks, but a few days would have been fine. Unfortunately they were not interested. They took DS once overnight and DD once for a day. My kids were extremely well-behaved, so that wasn't an issue - my dad and his wife are very self-centered; her personal blood GC are the only ones that matter.

The week or so I spent on the ranch with my GPs when I was a young girl is still one of my top 5 memories of all time. I assumed my kids would have similar experiences, but it sadly was not to be.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb



You don't say how old your children are.  That would make a huge difference in my decision.

Three weeks IS a long time.  But I used to go for nearly that long to stay with my cousins and their two adoring, elderly aunts, in a small town on a lake. These were some of the happiest times of my entire childhood.  At that point, I could BE a pure child, not a daughter.  There were no expectations or roles except for us to be polite and follow the rules and have a good time together.  I am still extremely close to my cousin today, and I bless my mother for allowing me to have these experiences away from my nuclear family and to develop and deepen my love for my cousin; our relationship has been so important to us both in our adult lives.  I was about eight when I started leaving on these summer trips away, and when I was twelve, I went to California where my cousin actually lived and spent a month.  It's incredible now to look back on that month and realize I got to know a state, and a city---San Francisco/Berkeley---that otherwise I never would have known so closely and so well.

Those experiences were particularly important to my cousin, a shy, withdrawn little girl who had a lot of trouble making friends.  She and I were born one month apart; we have middle names for each other's mother, as our mothers were very close as sisters.  Even at a young age, I knew I was supporting her and that we had a special bond I did not share with my sisters.  When her family moved to California, it really got rough and that's when I came to be with her that summer.  My aunt felt my cousin was really only close to me growing up.  She is still shy and quiet.  I love her dearly.  It was a bonding experience to share the same bed with her in that pretty little white house, to go to county fairs and movies---one week we saw the same movie three times!---to walk to the fields and feed the horses, just to BE. When my mother died, it was not to my sisters that I went, but to my cousin.  She was and is there for me.   If we had not been allowed to spend time together at the little white house near the lake, I don't think we would be this close or supportive of each other today.  So think what long-term benefits your kids could get by bonding in a special way with their grandparents (and perhaps others?)  It's not  just about taking a trip; it's about creating lasting memories and closeness with loved ones. I hope your children can have such experiences.

One thing---I know I am digressing, but this is somewhat of a point---my cousin desperately wanted friends in California.  It was very difficult. There were actually "sororities" in the junior high and high school she attended, large snobbish cliques.  To take a girl from the midwest who is shy to begin with and stick her in this environment was a recipe for disaster.  Before I came for that month in Berkeley, she decided that she would give a luncheon party when I was there.  She thought the popular kids would like me, and she could thus be liked herself, so she invited the popular girls (oh, the pain, when I think of it now; it was so sad.) When I arrived, the party was already being planned, but we spent one entire day fixing the table together, making the cake, the sandwiches, setting out little nut cups. The day of the party arrived.  Every one of the eight girls she invited said they would come.  They were supposed to be there at noon.  12:15.  12:30.  The clock began to move ever more slowly.  1 PM.   I sat at the table, miserably staring at the beautiful settings, feeling the minute hand of the clock go around and around. At 2 PM we quietly and silently removed all the items from the table.  At 4, my aunt came home.   I will never forget her leaning against the sideboard, saying, "You wish so much these things would happen to you, not your children," a stricken look on her face.  She was white.

To this day my cousin and I have never spoken of that awful day.  All the girls accepted, and then deliberately stayed away, just to hurt her.  But I was there for her.  And I learned greatly from the experience, because my mother allowed me to have it. 

Your in-laws keep asking because they very much want to do this, I expect, and hope someday you'll say yes.  I hope you'll evaluate what positive experiences they could have, and that even in a negative situation they would learn a great deal.

Growing up, also, I spent one weekend per month with my paternal grandmother.  The rules were all different and my mother would have been unhappy about the laxity.   There was plenty of candy at all times, and movies my mother (and father) would not have wanted me to see.  But thank God I did; it would be hard to imagine missing "An Affair to Remember," weeping in the balcony.  That grandmother became the greatest support of my life outside of my father; the person who loved me completely and unconditionally.  My mother was a control freak and a stickler, but I am so glad she let down and allowed me to have these relationships and experiences.   She didn't always approve of my grandmother, or even particularly like her, but she let us be together.  What a priceless gift to give your child; it's true love.  OK, my grandmother should not have spoiled me so much.  But I bless her for it.  The rules at home were rigid and inflexible and any movies of any adult nature were forbidden.  With Grandma, I learned to grow up a little, and certainly how to relax.

I was equally close to my maternal grandmother.  That's because my mother liked to travel and NOT take her kids, so we would go there and stay.  I loved that environment as well and was extremely close also to that grandmother, plus all the aunts, uncles, and cousins always flooding the house.  Thank you, Mom, for all you did in this regard to give me such a happy childhood, with some time away from you to act and react differently.

Also, as a parent of adult children, two of whom we are very close to, I have to say that I think it's wise parenting to let go.  How will your kids learn to fly if you are always there to hold up their wings?  How will they learn to follow guidelines and rules you have set down, when they are on their own, if they never are free of your aura of control?  They have to learn to make choices and decisions and they WILL make mistakes.  And that is how they truly will learn. 

If I were you, I would consider how your children may feel about you someday if you deny them the opportunity to take trips and travel with their grandparents, that is, assuming your children wish to go, another thing you haven't said.  They may resent you and rebel.  (They'll rebel anyway, but I'm not in favor of giving them excuses.)  You don't say that the grandparents are abusive or negligent.  If not, I think you should re-think this.

At the same time, I understand your concerns.  I would negotiate something with your in-laws.  You could tell them that you feel that three weeks is too long a time period for your children to be away. That's a very reasonable reaction.  Could they take a shorter trip?  If the children are under ten, they aren't going to travel well long distances in the car.  Would the grandparents be willing to rent a cabin on a lake somewhere for a week, to share with the kids?  What would make you comfortable about the kids being in the situation of travel/away with their grandparents?  I think if you could spell that out to yourself and then to them, you'd have a good chance to work out a relationship that is good for all.  You could also share with them how important safety rules are to you and to the kids, and ask for their support.  Putting it all in positive terms, they may see where you are coming from and react positively.  I hope.

Good luck,



Thank you for all of the replies.  It does give me something to think about.

The children DO currently spend the night with their grandparents.  Dh's parents more so than mine.  Ods particularly enjoys the farm and the animals.

The kids are 5 and 10.  One of our biggest issues is that they don't supervise the way we want.   They don't keep track of  kids  well when out and about.  (These are things I've observed them do w/the other gcs.  Sil is okay w/it.  We're not.)  I don't trust them to keep my kids safe.   And it's not just me...dh feels the same way.

I understand that the kids are going to make mistakes...I just want them to be a bit older than they are now so that if they screw up because my inlaws aren't watching them (which is what I think will happen) they won't end up seriously injured, dead, or abducted.

I do however, understand better why they keep asking.

And, Pooh...I took no offense to the way you asked your question.  ;)



It is so clear from your reaction to all the posts that you love your kids and place them first.  You will make all the right decisions.



Sheww...thanks Glitter.  I couldn't for the life of me figure out a way to phrase that where it sounded nicer.  It sounds like you are wonderful mother and just want what it best for them!   ;D
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell