Mother-in-Law Demands 15-Year-Old Accept 'Body-Shaming' Gifts

Gillian Sisley

How much power should in-laws have over their grandchildren?

Though this may not be everyone's experience, some people may have the opportunity in their lives to have grandchildren and find out what it's like to be a grandparent.

With that said, not every parent is necessarily super excited at the prospect of their in-laws being highly involved in their children's lives. This is especially the case if an in-law is considered toxic or problematic.

This sort of situation was highlighted in a recent online post in which a father protects his daughter from receiving what he classifies as 'body shaming gifts' from his mother-in-law.

How much power should in-laws have over their grandchildren?

A Reddit post published on September 17th, reported on by Matt Keeley from Newsweek, has gone viral with 15,900 upvotes and 1,500 comments.

The author starts off his post by explaining that he's been married for 15 years now, and he has a 14-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son with his wife. While things in their household are fairly healthy, this is not quite the case when his mother-in-law gets involved.

An example that he specifically highlights is that 2 years ago his mother-in-law sent a ‘crash dieting book’ to the author's 14-year-old daughter for her birthday. The young teen was devastated by the gift because she ‘understood the underlying message’, and the author even clarifies that his daughter wouldn't eat a whole plate of food for dinner again for another month.

He adds that his daughter is healthy, active, studious, and most importantly to him, she is happy with herself. There is absolutely no reason to have any concern about her health or her weight, especially considering that she is just a 14-year-old girl.

When the author confronted his mother-in-law about these inappropriate gifts, she told him that she feels her granddaughter is 'not reaching her full potential', and that 'if she lost some weight she could be a model'.

The author then explains that ever since the situation two years ago with the diet book, it has become his 'mission' of sorts to 'block any unsupervised contact' between his mother-in-law and daughter, as well as 'intercepting any gifts'.

Eating disorders are becoming more prevalent among young girls.

The family has recently moved, and just before his daughter's birthday, the mother-in-law asked for their new address. He gave her a fake address without consulting his wife, because he wasn't sure he would 'be home to intercept any gifts' that arrived, and was sure that his daughter would open anything addressed to her.

However, the author's plan blew up after the package was returned to the mother-in-law. He claims that his mother-in-law and his wife are now furious with him, and his mother-in-law stated that the gift was a 'completely innocent package'. But when the gift finally arrived, the author got to it first only to find that it was a uniform for his daughter's hobby—baton-twirling—but the uniform was two sizes too small.

He sat his wife down to have a serious conversation about her mother's actions, but the wife refuses to acknowledge that these moves were intentional or malicious. The author ultimately threw the uniform in his neighbour's garbage, and now his wife and mother-in-law are even angrier with him.

What do you think? Is the father just being a good dad and doing what he can to protect his daughter from harmful messaging coming from her grandmother? Or is he directly sabotaging the relationship between his mother-in-law and his daughter, and he needs to stay out of it?

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