I am puzzled and confused. My MIL visited me just last month and now she wants me to send my kids to her for a week. I am very uncomfortable. I feel I will miss them. However I do understand that she misses them. What should I do? My youngst son who is two might miss his siblings too. I want to do the right thing but am feeling it's very hard to do.

asked 09 Dec '10, 04:10

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Sam
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+1 For sharing your thoughts and wanting to do the "right" thing. How many children do you have, and what are their ages, may I learn?

(09 Dec '10, 06:21) Emi

I agree with Emi, we need a little more information. For me it would depend on the children's ages, and how well they know and see their grandmother already.

(09 Dec '10, 12:26) Tammy ♦♦
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They are eight and six year old and my youngest who would be staying without them is 2. They see their grandma every two three months. They are very close to her.

(10 Dec '10, 04:39) Sam

My two older boys started spending the first two weeks of July on my parents farm from the time they were 5 and 6. They're 17 and 18 now and still try to find time to spend at least a week with their Nana in the summer (my Dad passed away 10 years ago).

My Mom was in her mid-fifties when my oldest was born, and my Dad was in his late sixties, so I was always aware that chances were my kids wouldn't have him in their lives as adults and let my parents take them whenever they wanted for as long as they wanted. There were things that only their Poppa could teach them, I was never going to be able to tell them what it was like to farm with horses instead of tractors like he did when he was a boy, and I could never tell them what it was like to be a little girl during the war like my Mom could. I felt that those stories and the skills my parents had were more likely to be shared if they had time to themselves without me around. The boys tell me things even now about my Dad that I never knew. Which is really cool.

I missed them fiercely when they were away, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat, I think the Grandparent/Grandchild relationship is special and precious and as parents we should do as much as we can to foster it. (After all, there may be grandchildren we'd like to have come and stay for a week when our kids are parents, and it's nice if there is a precident set!)

All that being said, if there is a real reason not to send them, don't. My younger two children (they're 2 and 3) sometimes spend a week at their paternal Grandmothers house with thier Dad on the condition that they are never left alone with her (she has a problem with alcohol). She knows that as long as she doesn't drink around the kids they can come there, but I just don't trust her not to if their Dad isn't there at all times, and neither does he.

Try to think of the whole thing as an adventure, not necessarily comfortable all the time, but important and worth it in the long run for everybody involved and I know you'll make a good decision that fits your family.

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answered 11 Dec '10, 15:35

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Neen
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Thank You for that. I will think more deeply about it. I really appreciate you opening your heart to me. Hopefully I can make the right decision.

(11 Dec '10, 18:21) Sam

+1 For emphasis on Grandparent/grandchild relationship

(12 Dec '10, 08:08) Emi

Our daughter spent about 10 days with my parents over the summer, just before she was two. She seemed to have no problem with it (she'd had overnight stays before).

Is it possible to try out a shorter duration stay away from home? Can you first send them overnight to a relative who lives close by? That seems like an easier way to transition into being away from home.

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answered 10 Dec '10, 05:30

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edited 11 Dec '10, 00:27

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Tammy ♦♦
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+1 Definitely agree with starting out with overnight stays.

(12 Dec '10, 08:05) Emi

I was 8 when I went to my grandparent's house in another state without my parents for two weeks. But prior to that I had spent the night at the homes of friends and weekends with my in-state grandparents. I had a small bout of homesickness the first night, but that was it.

When I was a camp counselor I had 6, 7 and 8 year old girls who had never spent a night away from home without their parents and they had a really rough time with being gone for a week because they were not used to it.

My kids (2 and 5) have spent up to a week with their grandparents in another without us. In my experience, it is harder on the parents to send the kids away than it is for the kids to be away at this age. I also think that it is necessary to start with shorter stays at this age so that when they reach grade school and want to go to a week or two of summer camp, they are ready for the separation.

You are right that you will miss them. As for the son who will stay behind, he might miss them too, but he will also greatly enjoy having more one-on-one time with you and your spouse.

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answered 10 Dec '10, 19:01

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mkcoehoorn
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+1 For point about "girls who had never spent a night without their parents" and of course the "one on one time" with spouse.

(12 Dec '10, 08:07) Emi

All the answers are so full of great tips and advice, so I would like to try and help by focusing on your feelings too.

I live in a different country to my parents and family, so I only have my husbands "family" that are close by. When my MIL wanted my daughter to stay with her, I felt hopelessly confused, and anxious for many many reasons. My concern was always that I should do the right thing for all concerned, just as is mentioned in the answers above, Grandparent time, and quality Spouse only time. Part of my problem was the fact that we didn't have a build up of overnight stays, because they live close but not so close. So in a way I always felt pressured and this augmented my anxiousness. My daughter is now 6 and I feel more comfortable and confident, but getting used to it took time.

Plan how you could spend your time, and look at it as if it were a mini break. My daughter calls me at least once a day while she is staying with them, so I am sure that your little ones would do that as well. (Having a conversation with your child on a phone is delightfully special I reckon. As long as you trust your Parents in law and they are clear about things that are and are not acceptable for you, I believe that you should give it a try.

Good luck!

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answered 12 Dec '10, 08:35

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Emi
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Thank you. I will keep your advice in mind.

(13 Dec '10, 16:55) Sam
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Asked: 09 Dec '10, 04:10

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Last updated: 12 Dec '10, 08:35