{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Visiting my MIL and she keeps throwing herself a pity party about how my 3.5 year old doesn't want anything to do with her (which isn't really true, she's just not super lovey with her). We see her like twice a year, and she refuses our requests to FaceTime. I don't even know what to tell her but my toddler is definitely feeling the tension. Any advice?", "post_id": "6106cf36b75ec8002ac6f9f2", "reply_count": 4, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "58f81646ae9f610010f869be", "bowl_name": "Consulting Moms" }

Visiting my MIL and she keeps throwing herself a pity party about how my 3.5 year old doesn't want anything to do with her (which isn't really true, she's just not super lovey with her). We see her like twice a year, and she refuses our requests to FaceTime. I don't even know what to tell her but my toddler is definitely feeling the tension. Any advice?

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If she isn’t pleasant to visit then it’s time to visit even less. Same with any guilting or other manipulation of the 3.5 year old. That’s what I’d tell her.

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Tell her that you are raising your daughter to set boundaries and acknowledge her own autonomy so she knows what that looks like as she continues to grow. Ask if your MIL could model what a positive (adult) response looks like, as someone respecting boundaries that your daughter is setting.

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If you only see her twice a year, I’d try to keep the peace as much as you can. But I would NOT let her guilt your toddler. ‘Okay, Jack, you don’t have to give grandma a hug. Do you want to do a puzzle all together?’ But I personally wouldn’t have a showdown with MIL unless you can’t help it. If she’s all like ‘you will make grandma sad if you don’t XYZ’, I’d just interject with ‘Jack can pick what he wants to do. Let’s let him show us what he wants/is comfortable with/ is interested in.’ I think sometimes it can be kind of an old school mentality. It’s weird.

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Ugh I can definitely relate. It’s really hard to set those boundaries for your kid when adults are saying things like “boo-hoo I’m going to cry if you don’t give me a hug” like please please stop.

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