Hey ladies, how would you handle a MIL how CONSTANTLY makes snide comments about how you secure your children in the car? How you are "crushing" or "smushing" your child with the harness and how "it must be SO uncomfortable/hurt" when you are just tightening it to where you can no longer pinch slack. And how ridiculous you are for RF your child past one? I tried to calmly explain the safety benefits/reasons and she just waves them away. In every other way she is an amazing grandma but this is driving me crazy. She insists that my (very wiggly and rowdy) almost 5 y/o should already be in a booster and that its OK to turn my 10 m/o FF (NO WAY!)


New member
My mom wasn't snide about it, but her thing was "You kids were never..." Buckled in that tight, car seats weren't that hard to use, rear faced that long, etc. I finally went with, "Well, it's a good thing we were never in an accident." She never said it again.


New member
Nod and ignore.

My husband sometimes does it and I have started to ignore him and only address my daughter.

DH: are you sure her straps aren't too tight?
DD: my straps are tooooo tiiiiiighht!!
Me: N, we buckle up to stay safe on the car. Lemme check you straps. *fake checks and adjusts straps*


CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
If she couldn't be polite, I think I just wouldn't have her in/near the car with/while I transported my kids. And I'd make that clear. It's not her choice, it's yours, and she doesn't get a say in it. I'd let her know that you know her opinion, and it is damaging your relationship with her as well as your children's to hear her say it over and over, so she needs to stop or she won't be riding with you any more.

That is, of course, what I would do. Your choice might be different.


New member
How do you think you would feel if they were killed in a crash because they were not retrained properly???

That is my go to line. There is no answer for it. It simple states that you are doing all you can to keep them safe in a crash.


New member
"Back in your day, many more children died because we didn't restrain them properly."

"There are some countries (like Sweden) where virtually no young children die from car accidents because of how much attention they spend on placing them in the right car seats."


New member
MIL, you're a great grandmother, and I appreciate how awesome you are with the kids. Car seat usage is something that has changed a lot since you had young kids, and the negative attention you are giving is undermining my parenting. I know you don't want to cause problems between me & the kids, so please keep your car seat comments to yourself. You're way better at baking brownies anyway! :)


New member
To me the most important part would be if she's doing this in front of the kids. If that was the case, then I would have a serious conversation with her (Not in front of the kids) and make it clear that whatever her misinformed feelings, she is to keep them to herself. She's wrong and you're backed by science, but on top of that, she's undermining you in front of your children and that is unacceptable. HTH. Good luck!


Well-known member
Yeah, I would ask that she not mention it in front of the kids.

I've also brought up (privately) children we knew who died as a result of less restraint in the car--even though it was legal at the time, and who might have survived those crashes with today's restraints. I've also reminded them that they've known adults who died as a result of not being buckled up appropriately. I may play hardball, but these are *my* babies.

They've given up on the kid's seats by this point. My current battle is making sure older adults buckle up in the back seat. You're not allowed to be an unrestrained projectile in my car, thank you very much. I don't care if carseats didn't have belts when you were a kid/driving adult. They do now and we know how important they are.


New member
I lucked out in the MIL department, and even when she totally disagrees with something she doesn't tend to go on and on about it. But she has been doing the "oh, still rear facing? When are you going to flip him?" shtick since J2 was a year old. DH actually piped up on that one finally (even though he also rolls his eyes and asks when I'm going to flip J2). One of his longest standing and closest friends died in a car crash a couple of years ago. Shortly before J2 was born actually (he's named after DH's friend, in fact). DH told him mom "I don't ever want to go through what I went through when my friend died, with my sons. If keeping him like this lessens that chance, that's what we're doing."


New member
I have this issue with my father. But not just about car seats, about everything. Co-sleeping, pacifier use, etc. I just flipped DD1 at 3y8m but he's been making comments about "her legs are too long" since she was a year old. And he constantly offers to get her a backless booster available through his car insurance. No thanks. I just tell him I've done the research and that's the decision we have made as her parents. I have a newb now so I anticipate the comments will start anew in 12 months.

Luckily we only see them a handful of times per year. My mom and stepdad, on the other hand, are all for doing what's safest.


Well-known member
I, too, would ask... no... insist... that she not say anything within earshot of the children. If she can't handle that then she loses her privilege of being around them. Same thing goes with any questions or criticisms she has of anything you do as a parent.

If she wants to discuss it when the children are not around, that's different. You can choose any strategy from "nod and ignore" to "snippy comeback" to "present your evidence and hope to change her mind." Whatever suits your personality and your relationship with your MIL.


New member
tell her that all of these crazy things that are now recommended have cut child car-accident deaths in half from 30 years ago. And that we all parent with the best information we have today and that your pediatrician told you to (whether or not they did.)


New member
Sometimes things just come down to saying "I'm the parent, this is the decision I have made, please do not question it in front of the children. If you would like to hear my reasons for this decision I will be happy to share those reasons with you later". This says in no uncertain terms that your decision is made. Take the time later to share the information if she asks later. Do not offer up front to discuss the reason for the decision because that makes it seem like you are open to discussion about changing your decision.


Ambassador - CPS Technician
I just sarcastically agree with her. :rolleyes: (at her, not you! ;) ) "Yup, he'll rear face 'til college!" "Yup, I'm crushing him to death!" "You read the law was what? Good thing I know better."

The ILs are completely uninterested in being educated, so I shut the conversation down.


New member
He's riding the way I choose. End of discussion. If it is mentioned again, the visit is over/leave the room/no more riding with us/etc.

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