Name Calling

My In-laws are overall wonderful grandparents.  They adore my kids, they love to spoil them, always want them to come over for sleep overs etc.  However, my MIL keeps saying things that are hurtful/ harmful to my oldest child, and it’s driving me mad.

Henry has always been an easy going kid.  He’s very “go with the flow,” laid back and calm.  He was like that as a baby too.  If he was playing with a toy and it rolled out of range, he’d just pick up another toy to play with.  And, if all toys eventually rolled out of range, his toes were always nearby to play with.
Some of you may also remember that Henry didn’t become mobile until a year old (low muscle tone), after he started physical therapy.  He also didn’t walk until he was 17 months old – again with the help of physical therapy.  Because he wasn’t mobile my MIL, and Grandmother In-Law (GMIL) would call him “lazy,” “unmotivated,” “skittish,” “cowardly,” and “timid.”  They said these things about a 1 year old….And, they still say these things still today.
Henry has always been a cautious child.  He didn’t (until recently) like to go too high on the swing set, he doesn’t like large slides at parks, he’s not the type of kid to run and jump off of every piece of furniture.  He’s calm (most of the time), assessing and cautious.  I don’t view any of these things as negatives.  But my MIL and GMIL do.
Last week was Grandparent’s Day at Henry’s school.  His grandparents and great grandparents all came out to see and support him.  After the program, they all came back to the house, and in front of Henry, my MIL started calling him names.  “He’s skittish, and timid and shy.”  Henry was obviously hurt by these remarks, and left his family to go over to our 80 year old neighbor’s house where he felt loved and welcomed.  I unfortunately was at work when this happened, but you better believe that I would have said something if I had been there.
The other day I posted a picture of Ben pulling recipe cards and pots out of kitchen cabinets on Facebook.  My MIL commented that “Henry was always too skittish to do anything that like.”  Which is completely  100% false.  I have pictures of Henry doing the exact same thing!!
J and I need to talk to her about these comments.  These are hurtful to Henry.  He notices that he’s being called names.  He’s noticing that is grandmother is picking on him, and finding him lacking.  I just don’t have words….Grandparents are supposed to love unconditionally, and always lift the kids up!  They aren’t supposed to tear them down!  They aren’t’ supposed to shred their self confidence…..

4 thoughts on “Name Calling

  1. Some kids are just more cautious than others. My son was like this when he was very young but became more outgoing.
    As a parent, it is always good to encourage our kids to be the best that they can be. However, that best is different for everyone.
    Using positive words and correcting a child should be done in a way that the child knows that you have their best interests in mind.

  2. I would be very upset if my in-laws were saying things like that about my daughter. Some kids aren’t the type to climb and jump out of trees or to be loud and scream. I was a cautious child and it didn’t mean I wasn’t adventurous. I would definitely mention something to them about how it hurts his feelings and you don’t appreciate it. If they are just going to continue picking on him there isn’t a reason to have them around him other than to benefit them.

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