Author Topic: Yes, you did something nice but you pushed your way in  (Read 4064 times)

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mj

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Yes, you did something nice but you pushed your way in
« on: August 10, 2010, 10:00:57 PM »
bg/ DH and FIL made plans to build DD a playhouse.  They went and bought materials together and came up with the plan of the playhouse.  DH went over last weekend to start the building on it and finished up until the painting.  FIL said he would finish up the paint, he had some colors he liked in the shop and he had an idea he wanted to do.  bg\

DD, DH and I went over to pick up the playhouse.  DH's sister was there and started in immediately to come look at her paint job on the playhouse.  How much time she spent doing it, look at what she did here in this room etc.  DH and I were kind of confused b/c FIL said he had his ideas and was pretty excited to do it, but FIL didn't say anything to us so we just kind of brushed it off.  We said thanks, showed DD around it, packed it up and went home.

FIL asked DH a few days later this week if we got the playhouse safely home and the paint fiasco came up.  Apparently SIL thought FIL was doing a bad job with the paint and literally took the brush out of his hands and pushed him out of the way.  FIL told DH he was hurt about it, he didn't understand why she did it and he's a good painter, he's been painting 30 years longer than her!  He didn't tell DH so that he would do anything, he just told him what happened.

I don't understand why FIL lets SIL do this, but it is repeated pattern with her and her treatment of just about anyone in the family.

So, with that said DD is about to start writing FIL a thank you note.  Would you have DD write SIL one too?  I think DD is too young to understand the dynamics above but she does know that SIL did the paint job.

RainhaDoTexugo

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Re: Yes, you did something nice but you pushed your way in
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2010, 10:06:18 PM »
I think you have to go with the public information on this one.  SIL painted the house, you and your daughter know she painted it, so yes, your daughter has to send her a thank you note.  It's rarely a good idea to put yourself in the middle of family drama.  If he's bothered by SIL's behavior, it's his responsibility to deal with it.  You can, however, make sure the thank you note to FIL is extra nice, so he knows you appreciate his effort, even if he wasn't able to follow his plan.

ipsedixit

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Re: Yes, you did something nice but you pushed your way in
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2010, 10:15:39 PM »
I think you have to go with the public information on this one.  SIL painted the house, you and your daughter know she painted it, so yes, your daughter has to send her a thank you note.  It's rarely a good idea to put yourself in the middle of family drama.  If he's bothered by SIL's behavior, it's his responsibility to deal with it.  You can, however, make sure the thank you note to FIL is extra nice, so he knows you appreciate his effort, even if he wasn't able to follow his plan.

I agree, especially to the bolded.  It doesn't matter if SIL does this to everyone.  If she does, then it's up to that person to deal with it and step up and say NO. 

If DD knows that SIL painted, then she should include her in a TY note....but maybe something along the lines of "thanks for helping FIL paint..."  So then she gets credit for helping, but not for taking over the entire painting project.  And I agree that FIL should get an extra special nice note  ;)

Balletmom

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Re: Yes, you did something nice but you pushed your way in
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2010, 10:20:38 PM »
As best as I understand, the OP's DH wasn't around when SIL jumped in. Then, she tried to take the credit for the success of the entire project.

There is a whole lot of baggage  here, as made obvious by the fact that FIL didn't shut SIL down when she started up her act.

I have mixed feelings about the OP's DD writing the SIL a thank you note. Yes, the SIL did help, but in such a way that it hurt the FIL's feelings. On the other hand, the FIL could have shut SIL down in a heartbeat.

The OP says that the SIL often acts this way to the entire family, so basically, she seems to be getting a pass on her bad behavior. She seems to be the "Oh, she's just that way" relative.

I'm hesitant about the OP's daughter writing a thank you note because it enables and e ncourages her to act badly. On the other hand, this may not be the hill the OP wants to die on--it sounds like SIL will give more opportunities in the future to make clear what is nice and what is not.

The only thing I can think of that would be e-hell approved would be to send FIL a video, photo, or taped message of DD saying thank you, etc. SIL gets a short one sentence thank note, along the lines of "Thank you for helping FIL with the paint."

There has got to be a way for a smart person to be polite and yet not reward the bad and scene-stealing behavior of the SIL.


mj

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Re: Yes, you did something nice but you pushed your way in
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2010, 10:21:53 PM »
Thanks RainhaDoTexugo and ipsedixit.  I'm thinking what you're thinking.  DD isn't old enough to understand family dynamics and I think she should say thank you to someone for doing a nice thing for her.  

DH thinks NO.  A big fat no.  He said she pushed her way in, it was a project for DH and FIL to do together and she does this all the time.  He thinks SIL's behavior is driven by attention she gets from doing things and he thinks the thank yous are the icing on the cake.  He said she keeps up the behavior because she gets her reward from it eventually.  

I do agree with him about that part, but the lesson DD will learn is worse imo.

I've tried saying to DH that he gave up the part of the paint to FIL to do on his own, so that they didn't really go into it doing that part together.  And that point, SIL honed in on FIL's part of the project and it is up to FIL to deal with it.

mj

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Re: Yes, you did something nice but you pushed your way in
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2010, 10:23:48 PM »
As best as I understand, the OP's DH wasn't around when SIL jumped in. Then, she tried to take the credit for the success of the entire project.

There is a whole lot of baggage  here, as made obvious by the fact that FIL didn't shut SIL down when she started up her act.

I have mixed feelings about the OP's DD writing the SIL a thank you note. Yes, the SIL did help, but in such a way that it hurt the FIL's feelings. On the other hand, the FIL could have shut SIL down in a heartbeat.

The OP says that the SIL often acts this way to the entire family, so basically, she seems to be getting a pass on her bad behavior. She seems to be the "Oh, she's just that way" relative.

I'm hesitant about the OP's daughter writing a thank you note because it enables and e ncourages her to act badly. On the other hand, this may not be the hill the OP wants to die on--it sounds like SIL will give more opportunities in the future to make clear what is nice and what is not.

The only thing I can think of that would be e-hell approved would be to send FIL a video, photo, or taped message of DD saying thank you, etc. SIL gets a short one sentence thank note, along the lines of "Thank you for helping FIL with the paint."

There has got to be a way for a smart person to be polite and yet not reward the bad and scene-stealing behavior of the SIL.



This is pretty accurate.  There is a lot of baggage.

You have some great ideas and I'm going to tell DH now.  Take some video of DD playing in the house to send along with a really nice card.  And send SIL a one liner.  I think that's a great compromise, thank you!

RainhaDoTexugo

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Re: Yes, you did something nice but you pushed your way in
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2010, 10:28:18 PM »
I think you need to consider who you're more responsible for, which you hit upon in your last post.  If not sending a note would actually teach your sister something, and help your FIL, it might be a good idea.  But, your daughter is more important.  You're responsible for her learning valuable lessons, like how to show thanks.  Your sister in law isn't your job, but your daughter is.  Worry about your daughter, and let your father in law worry about his, and save the SIL lessons for a time when it won't give your daughter the wrong idea.

mkkristen

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Re: Yes, you did something nice but you pushed your way in
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2010, 10:36:40 PM »
At first I agreed with other posters that you should have her send SIL a thank you note because you are trying to teach her right. But then I thought about it. The SIL seems to always act bad and ruin things and then gets positive attention from it. I think that I would respect DH's wishes and NOT send a thank you note. You are teaching your daughter not to reward bad behavior and to stand up to bullies.

Elfmama

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Re: Yes, you did something nice but you pushed your way in
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2010, 10:55:23 PM »
Do it both ways?  Have DD write the thank-you note, but don't deliver it.  >:D
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DangerMouth

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Re: Yes, you did something nice but you pushed your way in
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2010, 10:58:59 PM »
Well, if the house was presented a gift from daddy and grandpa, that's who she should thank. Maybe in her note to grandpa, she could include the line "and tell Aunt Mary thank you for helping with the painting"?

Teenyweeny

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Re: Yes, you did something nice but you pushed your way in
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2010, 10:59:54 AM »
Quote
Do it both ways?  Have DD write the thank-you note, but don't deliver it.  Evil

I like it. No, really.

How old is your DD? To me, that makes a difference.

If you'd be actually writing the note, and she'd be accompanying it with a picture and writing her name, then you could write:

"To Granddad,

Thank you very much for building and painting my playhouse! I'm going to have a lot of fun in it. My friends Susie and Jimmy are coming to play at my house next week, and I can't wait to show it to them. Here is a picture of me in my playhouse:


PICTURE

Also, please say thank you to Auntie Pushina for helping you with the painting!

Lots of love

Little Mj

xxx"





mj

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Re: Yes, you did something nice but you pushed your way in
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2010, 12:48:03 PM »
Well, if the house was presented a gift from daddy and grandpa, that's who she should thank. Maybe in her note to grandpa, she could include the line "and tell Aunt Mary thank you for helping with the painting"?

Talked to DH some more last night and he said this part of the problem he has with SIL, DD wasn't told about the playhouse and it was supposed to be a surprise. When we arrived over there SIL took over showing DD, showing off her paint job etc.  She took his spotlight.  DH and FIL didn't have first chance to tell and show DD the playhouse.  DH said to him, it felt like SIL took credit for the entire thing and took away the nice thing both he and FIL did in coming up with the idea etc.  And she wasn't invited to be involved in the first place.

And DH is still saying no to the compromise.  No thank you note at all to SIL. 

DangerMouth

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Re: Yes, you did something nice but you pushed your way in
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2010, 12:55:20 PM »
Something about this situation reminds me of my mother.

When I lived at home, she would take it upon herself to iron my clothes. I hate ironing clothes, and I dislike even wearing clothes that have been ironed. I asked her not to, but she kept doing it, and I kept thanking her, because that was the polite thing to do. I finally got sick of it, and told her pretty bluntly that I did not appreciate it. She finally stopped, mostly.

To this day, when I visit, she will sometimes sneak a pair of pants out the laundry and iron them. Some people are just nuerotic ::)

rhirhi

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Re: Yes, you did something nice but you pushed your way in
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2010, 02:38:30 PM »
Well, if the house was presented a gift from daddy and grandpa, that's who she should thank. Maybe in her note to grandpa, she could include the line "and tell Aunt Mary thank you for helping with the painting"?

Talked to DH some more last night and he said this part of the problem he has with SIL, DD wasn't told about the playhouse and it was supposed to be a surprise. When we arrived over there SIL took over showing DD, showing off her paint job etc.  She took his spotlight.  DH and FIL didn't have first chance to tell and show DD the playhouse.  DH said to him, it felt like SIL took credit for the entire thing and took away the nice thing both he and FIL did in coming up with the idea etc.  And she wasn't invited to be involved in the first place.

And DH is still saying no to the compromise.  No thank you note at all to SIL. 

If he didn't want her to get away with it, why'd he let her show off the surprise? Why not stop her?

'Sis, what do you think you are doing? This is from Dad and myself to DD. Please step back and let us give her the present.'

I get family dynamic and all, but allowing her to present their present was just enabling her behavior. It seems like even the smallest of things should not be allowed if she is going to continue this.

still in va

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Re: Yes, you did something nice but you pushed your way in
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2010, 03:57:47 PM »
Talked to DH some more last night and he said this part of the problem he has with SIL, DD wasn't told about the playhouse and it was supposed to be a surprise. When we arrived over there SIL took over showing DD, showing off her paint job etc.  She took his spotlight.  DH and FIL didn't have first chance to tell and show DD the playhouse.  DH said to him, it felt like SIL took credit for the entire thing and took away the nice thing both he and FIL did in coming up with the idea etc.  And she wasn't invited to be involved in the first place.

And DH is still saying no to the compromise.  No thank you note at all to SIL. 

then that's the end of it. your DH has a better idea about his sister than you do.  let him make this decision.