Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: LilacGirl1983 on February 03, 2013, 09:59:27 AM

Title: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: LilacGirl1983 on February 03, 2013, 09:59:27 AM
This kind of simular to the other post about the child's winter activities but a bit different. My IL wanted to take dd up to a cabin 3 hours away for a full week during the summer time to spend time with "all" of their grandchildren. I told them maybe but if we did it probably won't be for a full week (dd is 4 and 1/2 will be 5 at the time) They keep bring up oh how I will want it once the new baby is born and will be glad for the down time. I kept saying maybe but not for the full time. Well we just found out that the Kindergarten we wanted her to get into (it was lottery) she was accepted but this school has odd calender. It starts the last week of July and ends in the first week of June..so she wll not be able to go. When I let them know that her school schedule they got really quiet and upset she wasn't going. They even brought up she miss a week of school to go and I told them no she is not missing school.

Now the question..was there a better way of handling it? What should I say when its brought up again? I offered her to go up the weekend..Friday after school to Sunday. We could meet them 1/2 way..still a long drive though..Her school is an all day school from 9am-3:30pm so she would miss a lot of info if she missed a full week.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: MrTango on February 03, 2013, 10:06:52 AM
I think you were fine.  You told them that it wasn't possible, and even offered alternatives.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: Hmmmmm on February 03, 2013, 10:08:01 AM
N, I don't think there is a better way. I wouldn't want my child to miss a full week of K at the beginning of the year. 

But I would also wish she could have the time with her cousins so I'd probably drive her up on Thursday after school but that's just me.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: Luci on February 03, 2013, 10:21:22 AM
The first week of kindergarden is one of the most important times of a child's life! It sets the stage for the rest of the year, starts good habits of attending school and later work, gives the child respect for her obligations, and orients her into the particular school, class, and teacher.  She should start out with the idea that school is fun! and important! The child will get a lot more out of that first week of school than too much time with grandparents and cousins, especially since she can go for part of the time. I am appalled that any responsible adult would suggest the child start off with the attitude of blowing off something like that. But, you already said no. (You hit a real hot button with me on the grandparent's suggesting skipping school.)

You just need to keep saying no, and now that you have explained it all to them, quit justifying.

Good luck!

(And best wishes with the new little one on his way, and hope your daughter loves school!)

Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: JenJay on February 03, 2013, 10:28:24 AM
There was really no other way you could have handled it. It sounds like they were quite insistent and, in situations like that, the only way to make yourself heard is to be very firm. I think it's really generous of you to offer to make a 90 minute drive to get her there for a long weekend!
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: LizC on February 03, 2013, 12:21:36 PM
It's not rude to make an educational decision for your child, and stick to it, even if others are disappointed. Going down for a long weekend seems like a really good option.

(Our attitudes about school times vs travel are different, but only you can determine what you prefer for your child, so my (or other people's) preferences don't really factor in, do they? :) )
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: SPuck on February 03, 2013, 01:01:53 PM
You handled the situation fine. If anyone is getting toasted by the flames of etiquette hell, it is your IL's because they keep bringing it up after you said no and when you gave them a perfectly reasonable explanation of why she can't go. Just be be firm, say no, drop the subject if the bring it up, and don't feel bad.

I'm kind of confused about the program though. Is this some kind of pre-summer program or a summer camp?
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: Sharnita on February 03, 2013, 01:05:53 PM
You didn't say no to the trip, the school calendar did.  You were  willing to allow an abridged version until you became aware of her new school obligations.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: GSNW on February 03, 2013, 01:08:20 PM
Echoing the others - you are 100% in the clear.  Imagine your poor DD showing up to K after everyone else knows the rules, routines, expectations.  That would be traumatic enough!!!
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: doodlemor on February 03, 2013, 01:16:36 PM
Your IL's seem very pushy and entitled, and I am saying that from a grandparent's perspective.

When my children were that little I would never have let them go so far without us for so long.  Just say no to these people when you don't feel comfortable with their ideas.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: Daffydilly on February 03, 2013, 02:07:15 PM
If they start pushing, I'd simply say, "No, this topic is not open for discussion." They have no right to override your educational decisions for your daughter. There is no need to revisit a decision that has been made.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: Sara Crewe on February 03, 2013, 02:10:46 PM
I agree with the PPs who say you have nothing to apologise for.  There is no way a child should miss one of the first weeks at a new school (my response might be different later in the year).   Even if I didn't feel this, this is a parenting decision and once made, it should be final.

Also, I don't have any children but is sending children away as soon as a new baby comes into the house (which is what the grandparents seem to be suggesting as a positive thing) really a good idea?  Wouldn't it lead to the older child feeling replaced and pushed out?
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: LilacGirl1983 on February 03, 2013, 02:35:27 PM
SPuck: This school has alternative scheduling so the school year starts the last week of July and goes through the year until the first week of the next June. It also goes 45 days on (minus weekends) and 15 days off..offers all day Kindergarten..and very hard to get into..its determined by lottery if your name gets drawn you get in if not you re apply for the following year and hope to get in.

Tiamet: I agree with you. We will be keeping her home as much as possible. I know the first 2 weeks we will have her in 1/2 day daycare so I can recover but other then that we intend to keep her home besides the odd off day trips with the grandparents..

I think part of the problem is that they are used to me saying yes most the time to when they want her..usually once a week and occasionally over night..and have pushed to have more over nighters..Which I have said no to..I just wanted some ideas to say to them if they push again for having her miss a full week of school. What if they move it to June-ish when she could go but we wouldn't want her to go especially for that long of a time..a weekend I am ok with not a full week away from us. If she was older I would be ok with it but she is only 4 and half..soon 5..
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: magician5 on February 03, 2013, 03:09:39 PM
Do not ever be drawn into justifying your parenting decisions. You might be careful to be polite: "I wish that would work, but it's simply not possible. Thank you for such a kind offer." But the answer is still "nope".
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: squeakers on February 03, 2013, 03:59:50 PM
You do not have to give in to what the grandparents want but do keep in mind that some kids do enjoy spending that much time away "on vacation", so to speak, with their grandparents.

My oldest started out staying the night before he was a year old (combi fed then went all bottle) the other 2 not until they were 2 (breastfed until then).  They have went for week-ends and week long trips with their grandparents.  But I trusted my in-laws a great deal. 

I have nieces and nephews that used to spend the whole summer with my other sister from the time they were born practically up until she took custody of them.

Same sister would take my boys for the week-end during the school year so I could have some one on one time with my newborn(s). It gave the older boys a chance to not be around a "stinky baby" while also bragging to their cousins about said baby LOL

Kids are resilient and although this latest request won't work out scheduling wise .. you may want to reconsider it in the future. 
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: weeblewobble on February 03, 2013, 04:03:49 PM
Under no circumstances should your daughter miss her first week of kindergarten.  It sounds like your inlaws thought they could steamroll you and your "silly reasons" for not wanting DD to accompany them, but not that there's a "real reason" they're pouting over not getting their way.  I hope your husband is on your side on this issue.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: SamiHami on February 03, 2013, 05:03:13 PM
School is really not the issue here. You are the parent, you made a decision, they have to accept it, period. You are not obligated to hand over your child on demand and they do not get decide whether or not your reasons are good enough.  If they bring up the issue again, give them a puzzled look and ask them if they had forgotten that you had already given them the answer and that the answer was no.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: TootsNYC on February 03, 2013, 06:15:27 PM
If they bring it up again, say, "I really wish you would stop bringing this up. It's really upsetting for me to keep having to say no to you. I don't like denying you time with your grandkid, you *know* how important I think it is that she have a great relationship with you. Every time you bring this up, it puts me in a really uncomfortable position. Please stop doing that to me. I'd like *us* to have a good relationship too."

Though I really, really do like SamiHami's:
... give them a puzzled look and ask them if they had forgotten that you had already given them the answer and that the answer was no.

If that doesn't work, maybe THEN try mine.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: SPuck on February 03, 2013, 08:49:53 PM
If they bring it up again, say, "I really wish you would stop bringing this up. It's really upsetting for me to keep having to say no to you. I don't like denying you time with your grandkid, you *know* how important I think it is that she have a great relationship with you. Every time you bring this up, it puts me in a really uncomfortable position. Please stop doing that to me. I'd like *us* to have a good relationship too. DD will not be able to miss her first week of kindergarten."

I'd actually take any emotion out of the equation. If she mentions her they might take it as an excuse to mention theirs.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: TootsNYC on February 03, 2013, 09:54:32 PM
Well, actually, that was totally my point--that they should realize they're making it difficult for her, that they're putting her in a tough spot.

This assumes that they're the sort of people who wouldn't WANT to make someone else uncomfortable or unhappy. I guess I'm projecting--my ILs would do exactly what hers have done. And if I said, "you're really making me uncomfortable," they'd realize what they were doing.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: Deetee on February 03, 2013, 11:13:45 PM
School is really not the issue here. You are the parent, you made a decision, they have to accept it, period. You are not obligated to hand over your child on demand and they do not get decide whether or not your reasons are good enough.  If they bring up the issue again, give them a puzzled look and ask them if they had forgotten that you had already given them the answer and that the answer was no.

This. You are the parent. If you want to keep your kid home to chew bubblegum and raise champion racing turtles, that's your complete and utter right. Just because I may think that's a total waste of time that doesn't matter because it's not my kid.

And I say this as someone who would be very willing to take my kid out of school for a week or two for a week of travel (but even I would not miss the first week)
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: bopper on February 04, 2013, 08:38:10 AM
As a parent of highschool/college age kids, I think that missing school in Kindergarten is not a big deal.  If it were the first week I would say no because she needs to make friends, learn the routines etc.  But if it were a few weeks into the year and I wanted her to spend time with grandparents then I would say yes.  Grandparents won't be around forever but school will. :-) 
However, if you don't think the grandparents are up to supervising a 5 year old then use school as the excuse.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: auntmeegs on February 04, 2013, 08:57:32 AM
As a parent of highschool/college age kids, I think that missing school in Kindergarten is not a big deal.  If it were the first week I would say no because she needs to make friends, learn the routines etc.  But if it were a few weeks into the year and I wanted her to spend time with grandparents then I would say yes.  Grandparents won't be around forever but school will. :-) 
However, if you don't think the grandparents are up to supervising a 5 year old then use school as the excuse.

Total POD with this.  I also think spending this kind of quality time with one's family is just as imporant if not more important than a week of Kindergarten.  But at the same time, it really doesn't matter what we think.  If the OP does not want her daughter to miss school then its her decision not to send her daughter on the trip.  I just wanted to POD this because the grandparents might be more in line with our way of thinking and may be wondering if there is something else wrong.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: Roe on February 04, 2013, 09:02:11 AM
I don't think kinder is the "end all, be all" of a child's education.  However, the school issue is besides the point.  You said 'no' they need to respect that decision...period.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: artk2002 on February 04, 2013, 10:15:21 AM
I'm kind of confused about the program though. Is this some kind of pre-summer program or a summer camp?

OP explained the mechanics, but it comes under the heading of "year-round school." Sometimes there are physical reasons for this -- too many students in a school, and sometimes there are educational reasons. With shorter breaks between sessions kids tend to forget less. My ex taught in a year-round school for several years. It's not a bad schedule, except that the rest of the world takes the summer off and it can be hard to find child care or other activities.

On the "missing Kindergarten isn't a big deal." The PP are right that missing a few days of finger painting won't hurt a child. But "begin as you wish to continue" is a good philosophy and ditching school right at the very beginning sets a poor precedent, both for the child and for the family.  In addition, the first few days of any school session are important. Kindergarten is transition and it could be very upsetting to get dumped in with a bunch of kids who already know where their table is, how to get the crayons, and who their new friends are. IMO, it would be a bad idea to put a kid into that position for something that isn't urgent. The child is 4! There's absolutely no reason the grandparents have to do this with the child this year.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: Twik on February 04, 2013, 10:16:58 AM
 :-[ I ... I was a kindergarten dropout.

In my defense, I got sick every single time I went, so it was medically advised.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: wolfie on February 04, 2013, 10:17:33 AM
If I was the OP the part that would concern me would be taking all their grandkids to a cabin for a week. How many grandkids? and how old are they? Depending on the answer to that this could be one big nightmare.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: LibraryLady on February 04, 2013, 10:18:41 AM
Where is Dad's part in the equation? What does he say?
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: Daffydilly on February 04, 2013, 11:10:12 AM
Perhaps it's time to start saying no to the inlaws more often. If they are used to having their way every time they ask for her, it could create an unhealthy dynamic. Plus lilacgirl is growing up and will need to enjoy time with her parents more when she's off from school.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: laceandbits on February 04, 2013, 12:04:46 PM
Two things, one as others have said she really doesn't need to be shipped away from home soon after a new baby arrives, even being out all day at school at the same time will be bad enough.  Make sure you tell her lots how much you've missed having her there, and that baby missed her too so you explained to 'it' that she's a big girl and has to go to school now but how lovely it will be when she gets home each day.

The other is that for the first few weeks at school she will be really tired (and possibly emotional) at the end of each day.  She will need quiet downtime at weekends enjoying the routine she is used to.  To rush her away for a couple of days is just too unkind so stick to your guns.  When she and the babe are a bit older, and she's fully confident at school, then might be the time for her to go and visit - but a week is still a long time away when you're that young unless it's with grandparents you see all the time and who are close enough to bring you home immediately is there is a real upset of any sort.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: weeblewobble on February 04, 2013, 12:49:52 PM
Someone mentioned precedents above and I would like to add my POD.

I wouldn't want the inlaws to think it's OK for them to tell you when/how to direct DD's education for their convenience.  I'm not saying this is a sinister plot to control her schooling, but telling them now that NO, school is more important that voluntary plans (vacation) could prevent demands in later years in which they want to pull her out of school for vacations, family reunions, sporting trips, etc.  If you say yes once, you will have difficulty enforcing a no later. 

The fact that they're not hearing your no and telling you what you'll want when the baby comes is a little disturbing to me. They may not realize it, but they're coming off as bulldozing controlling louts.

ETA: Vacating DD from your house right after the baby is born also may disrupt your family bonding.  The books we read about bringing a second baby home all stated that the older sibling should be made to feel like they are integral part of the family unit and the baby's homecoming.  They are to feel useful, loved and very grown-up.  Heck, we read that it was a bad idea to let the older sibling walk into the hospital room to meet the new baby and see the mom holding the new baby because it would make the older feel displaced. (Not sure if that one's right.  It just so happened that when my beloved MIL brought DD to the hospital, my dad was holding the baby.)

But what kind of message would it send to your DD that as soon as the baby is born, she gets sent off to the grandparents? 
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: artk2002 on February 04, 2013, 01:01:54 PM
Very good points, weeblewobble!
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: GrammarNerd on February 04, 2013, 01:30:32 PM
I have two questions (tried to post before but then my computer ate my post...ugh!): 1) what does your DH think of this; what are his feelings? 2) you mentioned that they wanted to have 'all' of the grandchildren with them for the week.  How many is 'all', and how old are they?

My personal experience is clouding this a bit, but I don't think I would have sent my 5 year old off to the GP's house (or vacation house) unless it was going to be just the kid and the GPs.  In my case, my ILs knew the other grandchildren better, and would cater to them more.  Unconsciously.  So I was always afraid of my kiddo(s) being 'handled' as the other kids were, instead of for themselves, if that makes sense.

And honestly, how much quality time can the grandparents spend with the grandkids if they're all there at the same time, for a week? During a whole week, they'd fall into the role of caretaker, so it wouldn't be all fun and games.  There would still be dishes, cooking, laundry, messes to clean up, etc.   

And how do all of the kids get along?  How would they plan to manage it when the inevitable "I don't feel like doing that" comes from one child, where everyone else is ready to do something?  Can grandma and grandpa keep up with that many kids for an entire week?  Face it...grandma and grandpa haven't actively parented several younger children for any length of time in a LOT of years. (And I say 'parented' because that's essentially what they're proposing to do for the week.)

In reading about this grand plan of theirs, it just seems more like they want the bragging rights of being able to say that they took all of their grandkids to a cabin for a week.  "Yes, Marge, it was wonderful!  We had ALL of the grandchildren there!"  "Oh, Jane, you are just such a lucky woman to have all of your grandchildren around you like that!  I envy you so much!"

And actually, since you're having a baby, that would mean that ALL of the grandchildren won't be there anyway, right?
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: TootsNYC on February 04, 2013, 01:37:16 PM
Perhaps it's time to start saying no to the inlaws more often. If they are used to having their way every time they ask for her, it could create an unhealthy dynamic. Plus lilacgirl is growing up and will need to enjoy time with her parents more when she's off from school.

I did have to warn my MIL and FIL that as the kids' ages and schedules changed, they would have less time with them.

Once my kids got into middle school, their homework load went up, they had friends and after-school or weekend-night activities. My MIL had a bit of a hard time adjusting--I had to keep reminding her. She adjusted--but it was clear that it was hard for her. I didn't worry about her feelings, though--those were HER problem, not mine. I didn't do anything ot her.

As for "all the kids together," my own experience is coloring this for me, and I would see it as a GOOD thing.

My mother had "Grandma Camp," for which her MAIN goal was not for the kids to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa, but for all the cousins to spend time with ONE ANOTHER. It really should have been called "Cousins Camp."

I would see that gathering at the cabin to be something very, very valuable, and I'd be asking Grandma and Grandpa to consider moving it to a different week to see if something could be worked out.

But I would also see the first week of Kgarten as crucial.



In reading about this grand plan of theirs, it just seems more like they want the bragging rights of being able to say that they took all of their grandkids to a cabin for a week.  "Yes, Marge, it was wonderful!  We had ALL of the grandchildren there!"  "Oh, Jane, you are just such a lucky woman to have all of your grandchildren around you like that!  I envy you so much!"


WOW! That is one hell of an interesting assumption!

There is NO way any of us have evidence that warrants this sort of negative judgment about the grandparents.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: wonderfullyanonymous on February 04, 2013, 05:06:22 PM
Being the odd man out here, and aside from the fact that you don't want her to miss her first week of kindergarten, why don't you want her to spend a week with her grandparents?

I can understand you not wanting her to miss school, that is a definite not going to happen.

My oldest started spending the weekend with my in-laws when she was 2. As she got older, the time spent with grandma increased.  When DD brothers came around, she would take them too. During the summer, she would keep them for a few weeks on end. My kids loved this time with her. My mother in law, was great with the kids, and once told me that if they were in trouble at home, and were grounded from doing something, to let her know, and she would carry out the punishment with her. I told her that wasn't necessary, as this was their free time also, but to feel free to punish as needed also, on her end.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: Deetee on February 04, 2013, 05:28:30 PM
In reading about this grand plan of theirs, it just seems more like they want the bragging rights of being able to say that they took all of their grandkids to a cabin for a week.  "Yes, Marge, it was wonderful!  We had ALL of the grandchildren there!"  "Oh, Jane, you are just such a lucky woman to have all of your grandchildren around you like that!  I envy you so much!"


WOW! That is one hell of an interesting assumption!

There is NO way any of us have evidence that warrants this sort of negative judgment about the grandparents.

I agree. A grandparent can be easily be pushy and overenthusiastic without any peculiar or unworthy motives.

There are plenty of good reasons for a parent to decide what is best for their kid without ascribing unpleasant motives to other people.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: blarg314 on February 04, 2013, 06:52:42 PM

I don't think the grandparents and grandkids week is necessarily a bad idea, depending on whether the grandparents can cope with all the grandkids at once. It could be an enormous amount of fun for the kids, and a great chance for family bonding.

But the age of the OP's kid is a tricky one for that. Some 5 year olds would happily go and have a fantastic time. Others would be miserable and miss their parents. Still others would be happy, but their grandparents wouldn't be up to watching them for a week (my nephew at that age springs to mind - strong willed, stubborn, really active, and not inclined to listen to or follow instructions).

Plus, throw in a new baby and starting school, and it might be one too many new experiences in a short time.

But all of that is a moot point - her school starts, and missing the first week of kindergarten is a bad idea. She'll miss the orientation and settling in and explanations of routines and so on. Plus, it will leave a poor first impression for the teacher (skipping the first week of a new school for a vacation).
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: auntmeegs on February 04, 2013, 07:12:17 PM
Where are people getting that this is the first week of school?
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: squeakers on February 04, 2013, 08:08:22 PM
Where are people getting that this is the first week of school?

OP mentioned it in the first post. 
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: Deetee on February 04, 2013, 08:14:56 PM
Where are people getting that this is the first week of school?

OP mentioned it in the first post.

I just reread her first post and I don't see it stated outright. I see that other people posted in the third post and the op didn't contradict that.

Even if it isn't my answer doesn't change. Parents get to decide.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: ladyknight1 on February 04, 2013, 08:15:14 PM
My DS is the only grandchild on either side, but we have had issues with both sets of grandparents wanting more time with DS than they could reasonably accommodate. DS did have overnights with his grandparents beginning at age 4, but those were few and far between. He did not stay with either set of grandparents more than a few minutes away from us until he was 8.

My in-laws are frequently pushy and unreasonable. I would find later that they had called DH because I said no, and we had to put together a battle plan.

OP, I think you are making the right choice for your family.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: squeakers on February 04, 2013, 08:26:19 PM
Where are people getting that this is the first week of school?

OP mentioned it in the first post.

I just reread her first post and I don't see it stated outright. I see that other people posted in the third post and the op didn't contradict that.

Even if it isn't my answer doesn't change. Parents get to decide.

You are correct .. we just all assumed the grandparents wanted the vacation to start at the same time as the first week of school.  OP just said that the grandparents wanted her during the summer and then said school starts during the beginning of summer.

Which, while the parents do get to decide, does make me lean even more toward letting her go. All depending on how the DD does away from the parents, how many other kids will be there, how well the kids get along and if the grandparents can be trusted/can handle that many kids at one time.  Missing a week of kindergarten (not a first week.. but a regular week) won't hurt in the long run and the memories made will last a lifetime.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: SPuck on February 04, 2013, 08:38:03 PM
Missing school isn't the issue here. It is the grandparents who are repeatedly asking for the sleep over, and the OP is saying no. Whether they are nefarious boundary stompers or overly excited does not matter. In the end of the day it is rude to keep asking for something after the request is denied. The OP should stand firm in her decision, and maybe be more decisive if they ask again. A simple "This matter is no longer up for discussion" should do it.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: Venus193 on February 04, 2013, 08:39:45 PM
Missing school isn't the issue here. It is the grandparents who are repeatedly asking for the sleep over, and the OP is saying no. Whether they are nefarious boundary stompers or overly excited does not matter. In the end of the day it is rude to keep asking for something after the request is denied. The OP should stand firm in her decision, and maybe be more decisive if they ask again. A simple "This matter is no longer up for discussion" should do it.

This.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: Deetee on February 04, 2013, 08:40:24 PM
Which, while the parents do get to decide, does make me lean even more toward letting her go. All depending on how the DD does away from the parents, how many other kids will be there, how well the kids get along and if the grandparents can be trusted/can handle that many kids at one time.  Missing a week of kindergarten (not a first week.. but a regular week) won't hurt in the long run and the memories made will last a lifetime.

Personally, I would totally let my kid do this trip/visit over a random week of school. But that's my kid. I simply wouldn't make (or voice my opionion on) that decision for someone else's kid.

(If someone were wondering and asked me, I would cheerfully voice my opionion on my own pet theories on education and intelligence and school and learning and travelling. But different people have different priorities and I find I interact very well with parents of different parenting styles by legitimately respecting those opinion. For example, in Canada you can get schooling in English or French. People have different views on whether an English speaking kid should go to French immersion as it can confuse them versus it can enrich them. In my circle of friends, there are kids that go to both)
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: LeveeWoman on February 04, 2013, 08:47:59 PM
Being the odd man out here, and aside from the fact that you don't want her to miss her first week of kindergarten, why don't you want her to spend a week with her grandparents?

I can understand you not wanting her to miss school, that is a definite not going to happen.

My oldest started spending the weekend with my in-laws when she was 2. As she got older, the time spent with grandma increased.  When DD brothers came around, she would take them too. During the summer, she would keep them for a few weeks on end. My kids loved this time with her. My mother in law, was great with the kids, and once told me that if they were in trouble at home, and were grounded from doing something, to let her know, and she would carry out the punishment with her. I told her that wasn't necessary, as this was their free time also, but to feel free to punish as needed also, on her end.

From LilacGirl's No. 12:

SPuck: This school has alternative scheduling so the school year starts the last week of July and goes through the year until the first week of the next June. It also goes 45 days on (minus weekends) and 15 days off..offers all day Kindergarten..and very hard to get into..its determined by lottery if your name gets drawn you get in if not you re apply for the following year and hope to get in.

Tiamet: I agree with you. We will be keeping her home as much as possible. I know the first 2 weeks we will have her in 1/2 day daycare so I can recover but other then that we intend to keep her home besides the odd off day trips with the grandparents..

I think part of the problem is that they are used to me saying yes most the time to when they want her..usually once a week and occasionally over night..and have pushed to have more over nighters..Which I have said no to..I just wanted some ideas to say to them if they push again for having her miss a full week of school. What if they move it to June-ish when she could go but we wouldn't want her to go especially for that long of a time..a weekend I am ok with not a full week away from us. If she was older I would be ok with it but she is only 4 and half..soon 5..
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: gramma dishes on February 04, 2013, 09:59:14 PM
If I was the OP the part that would concern me would be taking all their grandkids to a cabin for a week. How many grandkids? and how old are they? Depending on the answer to that this could be one big nightmare.

That was my concern too.  We have five (ages 2-10) and we love them to pieces, but we honestly wouldn't want to have them ALL  at once with no additional adults around.  That's a HUGE responsibility.

I also agree with the several posters who have mentioned that it would be almost cruel to send your DD away - anywhere - so soon after the birth of her baby sister or brother.  They need time to bond to each other just as parents do.

Later in the year she could miss a few days of Kindergarten (she will anyway because of sickness, etc.), but I would strongly recommend that she get "settled" there for at least a few weeks before she misses intentionally.  She needs the same start as all her classmates and she is likely to feel left out of she comes in after they all know the teacher's personality, the "rules", and each other and have formed friendships.

So just say "No, DD is not going to be able to join you this time."
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: anonymousmac on February 05, 2013, 09:36:32 AM
I offered her to go up the weekend..Friday after school to Sunday. We could meet them 1/2 way..still a long drive though.

For those who are emphasizing how important it is for children to spend time with their grandparents, I just wanted to point out that the OP is offering to bring her daughter for a long weekend at the cabin with the grandparents and cousins, just not the entire week.  It sounds to me like the daughter has lots of opportunity to spend time with the grandparents throughout the year, and part of this trip as well, and the only thing the OP is objecting to is taking her out of school for that week.

OP, good luck in standing your ground politely.  You're in charge, and you're not telling them anything terrible, just that they'll see her for 2-3 days during that trip instead of 7 days.  That should make it easier for you to hold firm without justifying or feeling guilty.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: Lynn2000 on February 05, 2013, 03:31:19 PM
In reading about this grand plan of theirs, it just seems more like they want the bragging rights of being able to say that they took all of their grandkids to a cabin for a week.  "Yes, Marge, it was wonderful!  We had ALL of the grandchildren there!"  "Oh, Jane, you are just such a lucky woman to have all of your grandchildren around you like that!  I envy you so much!"

WOW! That is one hell of an interesting assumption!

There is NO way any of us have evidence that warrants this sort of negative judgment about the grandparents.

I have to admit this assumption about the grandparents occurred to me, too. It is uncharitable. But, in my experience, when I have had people tell me they want "all my grandkids" or "all my cousins" or "all my co-workers" to be present at something, it's not because they want me personally, as an individual, but because they want to have everyone in the group together at the same time, to all be treated the same way. Like Grandma saying she wants all her children and grandchildren to come to someone's wedding, so they can have a family picture taken there--it's more about the appropriate warm body being there for the photo, with little to no concern about whether that individual can or wants to attend the event. I have heard people have, or repeat, the exact conversation GrammarNerd imagines. Again, that is just my (unfortunate) experience.

If DD has plenty of other opportunity to see her grandparents, and the cousins who would also be at this gathering, I don't know why the grandparents would be so pushy/disappointed that she couldn't attend this particular gathering, unless they were placing disproportionate emphasis on the "all" part.

Anyway, the OP has offered to bring her DD to the gathering for a long weekend--did the grandparents accept that offer or not? That should be perfectly sufficient to fulfill their wishes of having "all" the grandchildren there at the same time, for two or three days.

If it were my child, I would also be concerned about just the grandparents, with no other adults, looking after all the grandchildren. I would want to know (well, I suppose I would know) how many kids that would be, what the spread of ages was, if any of them had special needs, general health/competence of the grandparents, etc..
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: onyonryngs on February 05, 2013, 04:11:17 PM
I think that you have a lot of relationship issues when dealing with your inlaws.  I'm not sure any of them have to deal with etiquette as they just seem to be questions on how to interact normally with family members.  I think it would be a great help to find someone you can talk with to help you find a way to better interact with those around you.  It really does not sound like your inlaws are bad people.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: LeveeWoman on February 05, 2013, 07:26:23 PM
I think that you have a lot of relationship issues when dealing with your inlaws.  I'm not sure any of them have to deal with etiquette as they just seem to be questions on how to interact normally with family members.   I think it would be a great help to find someone you can talk with to help you find a way to better interact with those around you.  It really does not sound like your inlaws are bad people.


Your bolded sentence is what this folder is all about: how to interact with the family in a polite manner. Lilacgirl's in-laws might not be "bad people", but as I--and others--in this thread have said, they seem quite pushy.

Many members of this forum need help dealing with our families. Surely you would not advise all of us to find someone with whom we can talk about our strategies to avoid getting into a rude interaction.

Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: gramma dishes on February 05, 2013, 07:45:49 PM
I think that you have a lot of relationship issues when dealing with your inlaws.  I'm not sure any of them have to deal with etiquette as they just seem to be questions on how to interact normally with family members.  I think it would be a great help to find someone you can talk with to help you find a way to better interact with those around you.  It really does not sound like your inlaws are bad people.

Your post is puzzling to me.

I don't think the OP has any more issues with dealing with her in-laws than many of us have (or have had) from time to time.

Yes, they ARE about etiquette, because we like to handle these personal issues as tactfully as possible to make things better and or avoid making them worse.

She HAS found "someone" she can talk with to help her by either suggesting new strategies or by supporting those she's already implementing. 

That "someone" is us! 
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: BusyBee on February 06, 2013, 09:40:26 AM
Plus, throw in a new baby and starting school, and it might be one too many new experiences in a short time.

This is an excellent point.  The start of school is an easy and more than enough explanation for not sending her on this vacation.  However I hesitate to leave it at that - what if they want to reschedule everyone for early July, and hope to obligate you to let DD attend.
With her new school and new baby, it's just not a good time for the added stress of a week-long event.  As much as she loves and enjoys her grandparents and cousins, I agree with you that it's too much.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: onyonryngs on February 06, 2013, 12:17:16 PM
I think that you have a lot of relationship issues when dealing with your inlaws.  I'm not sure any of them have to deal with etiquette as they just seem to be questions on how to interact normally with family members.  I think it would be a great help to find someone you can talk with to help you find a way to better interact with those around you.  It really does not sound like your inlaws are bad people.

Your post is puzzling to me.

I don't think the OP has any more issues with dealing with her in-laws than many of us have (or have had) from time to time.

Yes, they ARE about etiquette, because we like to handle these personal issues as tactfully as possible to make things better and or avoid making them worse.

She HAS found "someone" she can talk with to help her by either suggesting new strategies or by supporting those she's already implementing. 

That "someone" is us!

Continued issues relating to family members crosses out of etiquette boundaries. 
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: gramma dishes on February 06, 2013, 12:28:08 PM
I think that you have a lot of relationship issues when dealing with your inlaws.  I'm not sure any of them have to deal with etiquette as they just seem to be questions on how to interact normally with family members.  I think it would be a great help to find someone you can talk with to help you find a way to better interact with those around you.  It really does not sound like your inlaws are bad people.

Your post is puzzling to me.

I don't think the OP has any more issues with dealing with her in-laws than many of us have (or have had) from time to time.

Yes, they ARE about etiquette, because we like to handle these personal issues as tactfully as possible to make things better and or avoid making them worse.

She HAS found "someone" she can talk with to help her by either suggesting new strategies or by supporting those she's already implementing. 

That "someone" is us!

Continued issues relating to family members crosses out of etiquette boundaries.

I feel that my family deserves to be treated with tact, diplomacy, thoughtfulness and consideration more than - or certainly at least as much as - coworkers, friends, neighbors or strangers.  I would presume that most of us feel that way about our families.  Just because we are genetically or maritally related doesn't mean we just throw etiquette out the window.

If other posters' family related questions make you uncomfortable, perhaps you could skip them.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: LeveeWoman on February 06, 2013, 12:31:56 PM
I think that you have a lot of relationship issues when dealing with your inlaws.  I'm not sure any of them have to deal with etiquette as they just seem to be questions on how to interact normally with family members.  I think it would be a great help to find someone you can talk with to help you find a way to better interact with those around you.  It really does not sound like your inlaws are bad people.

Your post is puzzling to me.

I don't think the OP has any more issues with dealing with her in-laws than many of us have (or have had) from time to time.

Yes, they ARE about etiquette, because we like to handle these personal issues as tactfully as possible to make things better and or avoid making them worse.

She HAS found "someone" she can talk with to help her by either suggesting new strategies or by supporting those she's already implementing. 

That "someone" is us!

Continued issues relating to family members crosses out of etiquette boundaries.

Says who?
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: LilacGirl1983 on February 06, 2013, 01:12:53 PM
OP here...sorry about the delay in the responses to questions

Hubby's opinion: He doesn't care he leaves those decisions up to me

School: She starts kindergarten the last week of July. They are going up in August. Either way it for me is to long of a time and to far away. It is 3 hours up north in a Cabin not close to anything and she has asthma.

Other Grandchildren: There are 3 other children all older teens so she will be the youngest there (5 at that time)

Grandparent's health/stamina: They both have medical issues and gma gets tired easily. Gpa more stamina but I think that watching 4 kids for 7 days would be to much

I haven't heard anything for a little bit. Hopefully they will let it go and enjoy time with their older grandchildren. She won't be going. I don't want to take her out that long plus this school tends to be very academically focused so she could easily fall behind (Yes even in kindergarten)

Our daughter hasn't been away from us for more then 48 hours. I don't know how she would do for a full week..Once she gets older yea I can see a week vacation at some point but right now in my eyes she is to young. I can just see the vacation coming out in an anger outburst from the gparents on how I am controlling or something or other..
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: LeveeWoman on February 06, 2013, 01:18:21 PM
OP here...sorry about the delay in the responses to questions

Hubby's opinion: He doesn't care he leaves those decisions up to me

School: She starts kindergarten the last week of July. They are going up in August. Either way it for me is to long of a time and to far away. It is 3 hours up north in a Cabin not close to anything and she has asthma.

Other Grandchildren: There are 3 other children all older teens so she will be the youngest there (5 at that time)

Grandparent's health/stamina: They both have medical issues and gma gets tired easily. Gpa more stamina but I think that watching 4 kids for 7 days would be to much

I haven't heard anything for a little bit. Hopefully they will let it go and enjoy time with their older grandchildren. She won't be going. I don't want to take her out that long plus this school tends to be very academically focused so she could easily fall behind (Yes even in kindergarten)

Our daughter hasn't been away from us for more then 48 hours. I don't know how she would do for a full week..Once she gets older yea I can see a week vacation at some point but right now in my eyes she is to young. I can just see the vacation coming out in an anger outburst from the gparents on how I am controlling or something or other..

Of course you're controlling--you're the parent!
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: gramma dishes on February 06, 2013, 01:23:18 PM
LilacGirl ~~  I think you are handling this just fine.  It's not what the Grandma wanted, but I suspect that in honesty, if the other kids are all teens they probably are secretly a little relieved that your DD isn't coming.  Teens often want and like to do things that are safe enough for them, but would definitely not be for a preschooler.

They would probably vacillate from enjoying the novelty of playing with the "little" one for awhile, but then resenting her a little too for the extra attention she would need and the likelihood that they might not be able to do all the other things they wanted to do because of her presence.

I think you handled it fine.  You stated your case politely and you're sticking with it.  Grandma will get over it.  Sounds like there's plenty of time for your daughter to have more prolonged visits with Grandma and Grandpa in the future -- if DD wants that.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: Lynn2000 on February 06, 2013, 02:55:15 PM
This might get into weird territory, but you said your husband leaves these decisions up to you, and presumably leaves you to explain the decisions to his parents--is it possible their pushiness and refusal to take no for an answer might be related to this? In addition to continuing to say no yourself should they bring it up, perhaps another tactic would be to also have your husband tell them (his parents) no (assuming they ask again).
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: squeakers on February 06, 2013, 03:23:15 PM
I think that you have a lot of relationship issues when dealing with your inlaws.  I'm not sure any of them have to deal with etiquette as they just seem to be questions on how to interact normally with family members.  I think it would be a great help to find someone you can talk with to help you find a way to better interact with those around you.  It really does not sound like your inlaws are bad people.

Your post is puzzling to me.

I don't think the OP has any more issues with dealing with her in-laws than many of us have (or have had) from time to time.

Yes, they ARE about etiquette, because we like to handle these personal issues as tactfully as possible to make things better and or avoid making them worse.

She HAS found "someone" she can talk with to help her by either suggesting new strategies or by supporting those she's already implementing. 

That "someone" is us!

Continued issues relating to family members crosses out of etiquette boundaries.

Says who?

The mods, when they lock threads that have more to do with relationships than etiquette.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: LeveeWoman on February 06, 2013, 03:55:46 PM
I think that you have a lot of relationship issues when dealing with your inlaws.  I'm not sure any of them have to deal with etiquette as they just seem to be questions on how to interact normally with family members.  I think it would be a great help to find someone you can talk with to help you find a way to better interact with those around you.  It really does not sound like your inlaws are bad people.

Your post is puzzling to me.

I don't think the OP has any more issues with dealing with her in-laws than many of us have (or have had) from time to time.

Yes, they ARE about etiquette, because we like to handle these personal issues as tactfully as possible to make things better and or avoid making them worse.

She HAS found "someone" she can talk with to help her by either suggesting new strategies or by supporting those she's already implementing. 

That "someone" is us!

Continued issues relating to family members crosses out of etiquette boundaries.

Says who?

The mods, when they lock threads that have more to do with relationships than etiquette.

The poster whom I addressed is not a moderator. Besides, this thread is all about etiquette.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: onyonryngs on February 06, 2013, 04:21:54 PM
I think that you have a lot of relationship issues when dealing with your inlaws.  I'm not sure any of them have to deal with etiquette as they just seem to be questions on how to interact normally with family members.  I think it would be a great help to find someone you can talk with to help you find a way to better interact with those around you.  It really does not sound like your inlaws are bad people.

Your post is puzzling to me.

I don't think the OP has any more issues with dealing with her in-laws than many of us have (or have had) from time to time.

Yes, they ARE about etiquette, because we like to handle these personal issues as tactfully as possible to make things better and or avoid making them worse.

She HAS found "someone" she can talk with to help her by either suggesting new strategies or by supporting those she's already implementing. 

That "someone" is us!

Continued issues relating to family members crosses out of etiquette boundaries.

Says who?

The mods, when they lock threads that have more to do with relationships than etiquette.

The poster whom I addressed is not a moderator. Besides, this thread is all about etiquette.

No, I'm not a mod, but this topic seems like a relationship issue similar to a few of those have gotten locked/moved lately because they really were more about dealing with an inlaw rather than etiquette. 
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: Venus193 on February 06, 2013, 04:24:21 PM
OP here...sorry about the delay in the responses to questions

Hubby's opinion: He doesn't care he leaves those decisions up to me

School: She starts kindergarten the last week of July. They are going up in August. Either way it for me is to long of a time and to far away. It is 3 hours up north in a Cabin not close to anything and she has asthma.

Other Grandchildren: There are 3 other children all older teens so she will be the youngest there (5 at that time)

Grandparent's health/stamina: They both have medical issues and gma gets tired easily. Gpa more stamina but I think that watching 4 kids for 7 days would be to much

I haven't heard anything for a little bit. Hopefully they will let it go and enjoy time with their older grandchildren. She won't be going. I don't want to take her out that long plus this school tends to be very academically focused so she could easily fall behind (Yes even in kindergarten)

Our daughter hasn't been away from us for more then 48 hours. I don't know how she would do for a full week..Once she gets older yea I can see a week vacation at some point but right now in my eyes she is to young. I can just see the vacation coming out in an anger outburst from the gparents on how I am controlling or something or other..

All of these are valid reasons for you to say no.  You don't even have to cite them.
Title: Re: Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation
Post by: zyrs on February 06, 2013, 04:27:13 PM
OP, I think you have made the right choice for your daughter in keeping her home, especially with the update.  I hope your In-laws have taken your polite no to heart.