Need advice with a situation with my MIL. She has always been our babysitter. She is extremely lenient, and I have said from day 1, that it is ok to say no to DS1. It's not so much the spoiling, but rather the response to misbehavior.
Lately DS1 has been rude, violent, and destructive with her. When she is here for a visit, I simply remove him and he has to lose time visiting with his Grammy. However, when she is babysitting, I'm not here, and he takes it to a whole new level.
To add to the issue, FIL and MIL have been telling DS that MIL does not get angry. I think DS is trying to push her to get a reaction. I have been explaining to DS that every single human being in the world feels anger. It's a normal emotion, though we all express it differently. We have read books that discuss emotions and how it is ok to feel a certain way because we all do. I talked to my friend whose a therapist, and she agrees that DS probably senses that MIL is angry but is not observing typical behavior that goes along with it, and it's disconcerting to him. I really believe the root of the issues is the lack of MIL responding to rude behavior. At times, she has laughed off things that he has said that he knows are unacceptable (and she wonders why he acts like a NUT!). So, I don't know what to do with this situation. DS's behavior is the worst with her. He adores her, though.
Her solution is to give quarters when she visits. I am 100% against rewards, and we try to follow natural consequences. For instance, like I said, if he cannot treat others respectfully, then he cannot visit with them. My MIL tried to introduce some gumball machine where he can fill it up and get a reward at the end. He ripped it up. Now she is asking about quarters since it is more immediate. I am still against this for 2 reasons - 1. It does nothing to teach a child how to act appropriately...it only teaches them that I will only behave if I get a reward. 2. MIL will not follow through....I know it. She used to give a certificate after visiting, and he could be awful for all but the last 10 minutes, and she would still give in. I know DS would do the same. He is smart enough to know that he can misbehave the whole time, and just act better once we get home and she almost leaves. I feel like a quarter is just a band-aid on the problem.
My solution is that if MIL can not handle him or if DS cannot get it together with her, then I will simply hire a babysitter when needed and she can have visits with him when I am around to help him manage his behavior (which with our moving and my working almost 40 hours from home while being a SAHM will not be until mid to late July).
OTOH, we do need a lot of help tomorrow since we will be at inspections for 4 hours, and then we have 2-3 days of moving and settlement, and it would be pricey to get a sitter, and my time is limited to interview for one.
Thoughts? AM I expecting too much from her? If it was a typical babysitter, I'm assuming I would have fired her by now.