Concern is not rude. Unwanted and critical comments, however, are.
I just cannot agree with this. It seems to me to be saying "No one should tell me anything I don't want to hear."
It's not that you can't be told what you don't want to hear, but it still shouldn't be done rudely. First, we are talking about a vacation or a house downpayment. For some us, it's obvious which one we'd choose, but that doesn't make choosing the other wrong, crazy, or silly. The FIL has every right to be concerned and express concern. But he's being overly critical and intrusive in the process. That is rude. There are polite ways to show concern. Calling her plan crazy and silly is not it. And I would think that if you (general) love someone enough to be concerned about whether or not they save money for a house or take their kids to Disney, then I would also assume that you love them enough to try to approach them in a loving and kind manner...one in which you may actually get some results. This seems like being critical for the sake of criticizing. And not likely to get the OP to consider his POV.
As for the whole discussion/commentary about when kids should go to Disney, what is and isn't considered extravagant, etc. It doesn't matter. At all. The OP and her husband have made a decision. They are going to Disney. She didn't come here asking any of us to tell her if we think it is or isn't a good idea. She asked for advice on how to respond to someone who's making her business, theirs. Responding with your own opinions about how sound her plan is, is doing exactly what the FIL is doing. It's not our business. Her kids will still have a place to sleep and food to eat. They are not homeless and starving because of one vacation, so why should any of us care if chooses a vacation over a downpayment? Why does it matter that she wants to take her 6 year old this year? Who cares if the 6 year old can enjoy the park when she's 56 too? None of that means that the OP can't take her now. Why can't the kids have a childhood memory of going to Disney with parents? Becuase it's not a choice you (generic) would make?
Some have pointed out that he called the plan "crazy" and "silly." However, he also called her "crazy." And, it sounds from LilacGirl's first post that he came over to her house to do so. ("He came over and pretty much tried to convince me to wait.")
Good point. And it makes me even more surprised how many posters are continuing to justify FIL's behavior and chalk it up to being a concerned parent (at least that's how it seems to me). I really feel that some are pushing their own opinion on what choices they'd make if they were in the same financial position as they think LilacGirl is in. And that's not fair.
Maybe its not fair but it is a pretty normal reaction. And those that agree with FIL's opinion probably really do see his behavior as that of a concerned parent.
FWIW, I agree with the FIL's opinion. I still think he's rude. Going to someone's house and calling them crazy for making a decision that I don't like (Concerned or otherwise) is rude. He's not financially responsible for her family, he's not raising the kids, nothing. If he can't figure out how to express his concern in a "concerned" manner, without insulting the OP and telling her what to do, then he does need to keep quiet about it. PErsonally, I think that he can tell her what his concerns are in a way that isn't insulting, intrusive, and won't put the OP on edge. He just didn't do that.
And sorry, I don't agree that it's a normal reaction. I don't agree with a lot of what my family and friends do. I might even think they are crazy sometimes. But me feeling that way doesn't give me the right to express it so bluntly.
No, it doesn't give you the right to express it so bluntly. But the fact that it's expressed bluntly shouldn't give someone internal justification for ignoring the content of what was said either.
My father is a brusque and socially clumsy man who is sometimes even a bit of a thoughtless jerk. However, he loves me very much and only wants the best for me, and he's pretty darn smart about a lot of things. Occasionally throughout my life he has been concerned about some life decision of mine, and he has invariably expressed that concern brusquely and clumsily and sometimes even a bit thoughtlessly jerkily. While some of those times he's been way off the mark, and needed to back off because he didn't understand what he was talking about, many more of them have been times where his assessment and advice was spot on correct, and I just didn't want to hear it
He doesn't "have a right" to be so brusque and clumsy with me, but trying to change that behavior is a long term struggle in our relationship
. He should be working on it more. However, regardless of how brusque and clumsy he is about it, I would be a *fool* to dismiss every single one of his concerns simply because he expresses himself badly. If my dad really thinks I'm about to do something disastrous, I'd rather him express it badly than keep his mouth shut and watch me hurt myself.
If someone rudely tells you that you're about to drive your car into a brick wall, you should probably listen.