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  1. #11
    Liziz is online now Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    It sounds like your focus is on how to nicely combat negative comments from someone who means well/picks up on social cues, but also sometimes says the wrong thing. In that case, you often can respond to what the person says with a comment that somewhat agrees with them, but pointedly states that you see it differently -- like, "yes, you're right, DS does relate so well to adults, and he also gets along so well with kids his own age - he's great at interacting in many different social situations!"

    I don't think that's the best advice if you're dealing with someone who persistently says rude things/makes disparaging comments/acts maliciously, but from what you're describing that's not the case with MIL. If it's not a mean-spirited or repetitive attack, I care less about confronting the person (reality is someone is always going to say stupid stuff at some point) and mostly just care about making sure my own child hears me defend them/stand up for them/know that I don't agree with the statement made.

    If there's a repetitive issue (like MIL is always pointing out stuff about only children, etc.) then I think it's best to address at another time - "hey, I notice you comment frequently about things related to the fact DS is an only child. We love our family the way it is and those comments are frustrating to us to hear. Can we please stick to other topics moving forward?"

    Sending good wishes for a fun and uneventful visit!
    Lizi

  2. #12
    niccig is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Default How to shutdown critical comments with grandparents

    Quote Originally Posted by Liziz View Post
    It sounds like your focus is on how to nicely combat negative comments from someone who means well/picks up on social cues, but also sometimes says the wrong thing. In that case, you often can respond to what the person says with a comment that somewhat agrees with them, but pointedly states that you see it differently -- like, "yes, you're right, DS does relate so well to adults, and he also gets along so well with kids his own age - he's great at interacting in many different social situations!"

    I don't think that's the best advice if you're dealing with someone who persistently says rude things/makes disparaging comments/acts maliciously, but from what you're describing that's not the case with MIL. If it's not a mean-spirited or repetitive attack, I care less about confronting the person (reality is someone is always going to say stupid stuff at some point) and mostly just care about making sure my own child hears me defend them/stand up for them/know that I don't agree with the statement made.

    If there's a repetitive issue (like MIL is always pointing out stuff about only children, etc.) then I think it's best to address at another time - "hey, I notice you comment frequently about things related to the fact DS is an only child. We love our family the way it is and those comments are frustrating to us to hear. Can we please stick to other topics moving forward?"

    Sending good wishes for a fun and uneventful visit!
    Yes, this! For the most part, MIL is fine with the occasional critical comment. I don’t want to ignore the comment like I have in the past, but I also don’t want to be triggered and react as if it was my mom. And now I know why what MIL said and how I reacted has bothered me all day. It triggered me, it’s something for me to work on.


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    Last edited by niccig; 06-12-2021 at 11:58 PM.

  3. #13
    mommy111 is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    I think responses that are too detailed or show that you are offended/defensive will not help. My general rule around negative comments (in my line of work we have to teach these immediate response formulas) is this: 1. ignore the negativity THEN 2. say something relatedly positive THEN 3. pass the bean pot. So in this situation the response would be: 1. Do NOT look or sound offended THEN 2. Say ‘We are so lucky, DS is incredibly self possessed and knows his own preferences, he doesn’t just follow he crowd’ then 3. ‘So how was your visit to Auntie Anne’s last week?’

  4. #14
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    Default How to shutdown critical comments with grandparents

    Quote Originally Posted by hbridge View Post
    I usually wait and talk to DC, then let family know it is inappropriate and how they overstepped. If it is blatant, I will shut it down with as few words as possible. For example when the older generation asks if she has a boyfriend, I will respond with something like “that is not important, please let her be”. DC and I will then discuss what happened later and I will ask how they want me to respond.
    My grandmother used to ask me that all the time. “Why don’t you have a boyfriend? You have such a good figure.” I told her that I wouldn’t want a boyfriend who liked me for my good figure.

    Is DS around when your MIL makes those comments? Can he respond? “It’s just a myth only children get along better with adults.”

    I also have trouble with grandparents making critical/annoying comments. Sometimes I ignore it and other times I respond too sharply. It’s a struggle when the comment feels personal. I try to remember they are old and have weird views on things. Ideally, I’ll roll my eyes internally and talk about it with my sister later.


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  5. #15
    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    If he is in earshot, does he really care about those sorts of comments? If not, just follow his lead and don't speak for him. To him it could just be a simple shrug while it could be needling you a lot more. If he has some good coping skills in place, that's fantastic.

  6. #16
    hbridge is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by mommy111 View Post
    I think responses that are too detailed or show that you are offended/defensive will not help. My general rule around negative comments (in my line of work we have to teach these immediate response formulas) is this: 1. ignore the negativity THEN 2. say something relatedly positive THEN 3. pass the bean pot. So in this situation the response would be: 1. Do NOT look or sound offended THEN 2. Say ‘We are so lucky, DS is incredibly self possessed and knows his own preferences, he doesn’t just follow he crowd’ then 3. ‘So how was your visit to Auntie Anne’s last week?’
    That is a wonderful way to respond, especially if it is a one-off type comment. However, if it becomes a habit or is causing the teen to avoid the grandparents, don't be afraid to be more direct. It is really important that the teen feels supported, even if the granparent's comments are from a "different time".

    However, I love how you worded this and quickly changed the subject Great idea for the random relative who you see occasionally.

  7. #17
    niccig is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Default How to shutdown critical comments with grandparents

    Thanks all, these are good suggestions. I spoke with my sister who understand my reaction was more due to issues with our mom. She feels the same about stopping negative critical comments, rather than ignore as that can continue the comments. We need boundaries that show we are not receptive to negative comments. Her go to is “everyone is doing their best right now. Let’s be kind and give support” then immediately change the topic.


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    Last edited by niccig; 06-13-2021 at 02:36 PM.

  8. #18
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    KpbS is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    In the specific situation you mentioned, I would just correct her and then move on, “Oh DS has many wonderful friends both boys and girls—we’re very proud of him!!” “How is your trip planning/gardening/Aunt Marge coming along??”
    K

  9. #19
    bisous is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    OP, just wanted to say, I understand where you are coming from with these little comments. My mom does these too. Pointedly, she's a somewhat judgmental woman but a very positive influence in DSs life. I have such a low tolerance for these comments these days though! I appreciate you posting here because I need a reset on how I handle this. In my case, it is less a protection for DS1 (who isn't hurt by these things) and more a bristling on my part that ends up saying something a little brusquer than appropriate. I have no problem advocating for my kids and feel like sometimes the situation calls for a sharp rebuke....but I'm not doing it well or appropriately. It is super helpful to hear these responses! Good luck OP!

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