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Author Topic: Have I goofed/How to deal with MiL?  (Read 16089 times)

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Re: Have I goofed/How to deal with MiL?
« Reply #75 on: May 09, 2014, 10:11:01 AM »
some further thoughts on these two points of mine:

Keep saying, "This is not a big issue--it's just some scheduling logistics."

If you try to persuade her that it's not "you taking her for granted," etc., you will only reinforce the idea that she *is* right, that this could be on the table as a motivation, etc.

What this is doing is "refusing to let MIL define the conversation, or dictate the stakes."

You say (mentally), This is just a logistical problem. This is not the big thing she thinks it is. It's just logistics.

And then you simply keep insisting on that. By never participating in the conversation about the other point. Not even to argue that it's not the point.
  If you ever try to refute it, you are giving her point validity, you are saying, "this is the topic of conversation."

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Re: Have I goofed/How to deal with MiL?
« Reply #76 on: May 09, 2014, 10:15:19 AM »
A thought just occurred to me.....

OP will see the recital on Saturday.  Special performance on Sunday was arranged, for the most part, by MIL and for MIL, if I'm reading that correctly, even though others will attend.  OP has already said that the girls will be there, but possibly not OP/DH.  Not an ideal situation with the double booking, but OP is trying to make it work.  But MIL is still bent out of shape.

Since the dancing was all MIL's idea in the first place, I just wondered if MIL might be one of those types that will have a hidden agenda, and will be planning to make the Sunday recital all about her, and how wonderful she is for paying for the lessons for the DDs and taking them to the classes, yada yada yada.  All and sundry will hear about her sacrifices, and how wonderful she is for giving her granddaughters the opportunity that they never would have had without her!  So she wants OP there to be an audience to this testament of how wonderful MIL is.

There seems to be a reason for MIL to be a little miffed, but not so bent out of shape that she would want OP's sister to cancel a christening!  The circumstances don't seem to warrant the reaction.  So I was trying to think of another reason that she could be SO upset that the OP wouldn't be there, and that's what popped into my head.  It could be way off base, but I have seen things like this play out.

I think its possible MIL overplayed "We need a Sunday recital" IE ..."  Me, my DIL , SIL and  all sundry WILL BE THERE so you're NOT having a second show just for me , its lots of people. Now if since OP confirmed Sunday is good for me , MIL wouldn't have been lying but if thats what happened MIL would look like a snowflake in the first degree if only she shows up for the girls.


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Re: Have I goofed/How to deal with MiL?
« Reply #77 on: May 09, 2014, 10:58:12 AM »
OP, based on your MIL believing it was appropriate to request a second recital to meet her schedule (not only impacting your schedule, the teacher's schedule, and the other families' schedules) it appears your MIL is used to making some pretty demanding requests. I'd have a hard time dealing with someone who was so focused on her own needs.

In your shoes I wouldn't so much resent the taxing the kids on Saturday as I woudl the fact that dance is prohibiting the one day a week that your family can plan full family events, especially if this is a year round or 6 month program. One of the reasons I loved Little League was not every Saturday had a game. Most games were during the week. One of the reasons I didn't like soccer was every weekend had a Saturday game.

If your girls enjoy dance and you really want to keep Saturdays open for family activities, I'd start looking for another program. Just let your MIL know that while you appreicate her wanting to support her long time instructor the schedule doesn't meet your family's schedule and you need a program that has weekday lessons. Maybe your MIL has enough "pull" to get the classes rescheduled.

Bolded: I agree. I refused point blank to sign my kids up for any activities that met regularly on a weekend as I like to have those days free. They attend scouts on a week night and go on lots of weekend camps and activities (with DH) which would've caused a problem had they had a regular sporting (or whatever) event on Saturdays.

Italicised: I'm not sure if you're serious or not, but why should the other students and teacher be inconvenienced and/or have their current satisfactory schedule changed because MIL has the influence/is self centred enough to want things her way?
I was saying it tongue in cheek. But I could imagine the MIL trying to force the instructor to change days if OP makes it clear she's moving the kids to a different program where the MIL has not control.


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Re: Have I goofed/How to deal with MiL?
« Reply #78 on: May 09, 2014, 02:40:27 PM »
I'm kind of surprised so many people support leveraging the children's hurt feelings and disappointment against the MIL in order to try and control her behavior and get her in line with the OP's preferences

These are the OP's kids and the OP's responsibility. She agreed to the dance classes at very little expense and trouble to her (and yes, 30% of the weekends is what I would call little trouble for an enriching extracurricular activities for three girls). She agreed to the date of the recital. But somehow the MIL is the unreasonable one when the OP tries to pull out of the obligation?

The girls should go to the recital. The OP should go to the baptism. This was an error in communication, but the girls should absolutely fulfill their obligation to their fellow dancers and the school.

I agree.

I also agree with the poster about the OP being careful about expressing her disdain for the dance activity. This is one of the things that you do as a parent -- enthusiastically support some activities that you don't like, but your kids do.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.


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Re: Have I goofed/How to deal with MiL?
« Reply #79 on: May 10, 2014, 10:08:47 AM »
One thing I thought of is that me, as one of the other parents, would be pretty upset if I committed to another day for this extra recital and the the girls, the very people this extra recital was scheduled around, didn't even show up.  What's interesting to me was how Grandma was able to pull an extra day out of this instructor.  This on top of expecting the baptism date changed makes me wonder if she's particularly good at getting people to bend to her wishes, so when someone actually says no, that it really doesn't go over very well. 

I would be upset if grandma promised to deal with the driving to and from these classes and then dropped the ball on this a majority of the time, but I would probably not have allowed the classes to continue after the first few months if it was that difficult for me to deal with the driving.  The OP allowed this to continue for two years.  I'm wondering if Grandma would be willing to cover tuition for a dance classes (or other activity) that worked better with the OP's schedule.  The only way my kids have really gotten to get involved in activities is because of the generosity of their grandparents, so I would loathe to turn anything down and try to make it work, but this whole situation sounds so complicated, it hardly seems worth the headache.

I don't think there's anything more to do at this point beyond apologizing for the mistake in scheduling and figure out how to get the girls there.  Hopefully Grandma will calm down a little with some time.  There are a couple of months to work with here.