General Etiquette > Family and Children

Being polite when saying no to grandchild vacation

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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 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.

I think you were fine.  You told them that it wasn't possible, and even offered alternatives.

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.

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!)

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!


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