My Grandma-in-Law Made an Offensive Comment to My Six-Year-Old Daughter, and I Don’t Know What to Do

A Mamas Uncut community member needs advice about how to handle a tricky situation involving her grandmother-in-law making an offensive remark towards a six-year-old girl.

Over on the Mamas Uncut Facebook page, our robust community of moms is always having a conversation about topics that matter. We like to highlight those conversations from time to time. Important questions. Thoughtful answers. This is our Community Questions feature!

A member of our community asks:

So, tonight we brought dinner to my husband’s grandmother’s house for Easter. She has a mirrored wall next to her table. While we were eating, my 6-year-old daughter was staring at the mirror and making silly faces. My husband’s grandma asked my 6-year-old why she was staring into the mirror. My daughter answered, “because I’m beautiful!” My husband’s grandmother’s said, “You’re lying. I’m looking at you and you’re not.”

I was honestly so shocked, and my poor little girl just got quiet and looked at her plate. I looked at my husband and let him know he needed to handle it, because I knew I would be mean if I had to address her since I had already had to tell her earlier in the day to stop harassing my daughter about not eating enough. He wouldn’t say anything (not surprising), so I told him to pack up our things because we were leaving.

We packed up and headed to the car. I got my daughter and myself in while he said goodbye and hugged her behind the car. Am I wrong for being mad? I just feel like a comment like that about a 6-year-old is just unnecessary and mean. I also feel like I lost a ton of respect for my husband for not standing up for our daughter. How would you handle this situation? She did say it like she was joking, but a 6-year-old can’t tell the difference, and I know my daughter’s feelings were hurt.

– Mamas Uncut Community Member

The Mamas Uncut Facebook community rushed in with a ton of good advice. We’ve highlighted several answers below.

It Would Have Been OK to Say Something

“Family or not, if it involves my child I’m saying something. You are their advocate, and, obviously, you could tell it hurt her feelings. So why not stand up for her? I’m just saying I wouldn’t have been quiet.”

It’s Your Husband’s Responsibility to Handle It

“if it’s his family, he should be the one to say something.”

A Possible Reason to Let It Slide

“Well if shes super old and maybe losing it up top then I would let it ride. Might not be her fault.”

You Have Every Right to Be Mad

“I would be furious!! Comments like that are why so many girls have self-esteem issues! I wouldn’t have been able to keep my mouth shut on that!”

You Can Be Angry, But Not at Your Husband

“I would have given your husbands grandmother a piece of my mind at the table. Joking or not that’s not okay. But you can’t be upset with your husband for not standing up to her because you didn’t say anything either. “

Maybe It’s an “Old Person Thing”

“I would have been upset but on the other hand I know older people get mean and blunt as they get older and older.”

Take Care of Your Daughter

“I’d say that he needed to say something. Comments like that are extremely unnecessary, and all it’s going to do is give her a negative self-image. I’m sorry you had to go through that and even more sorry for what your daughter is feeling. Make sure you tell her she is beautiful no matter what the old hag says… (Not those exact words, of course. This strikes a nerve with me.).”

Be Angry, and Consider Making Changes to the Relationship

“I would not have kept quiet. I would have said something. I would be pissed with everyone involved. And probably not go back over there or allow the kids over there, if that’s the way they treat and talk to them.”

There’s a lot of good advice to parse through here. Some points to consider:

  • The original poster is certainly entitled to her anger! What an awful situation!
  • No young child deserves to be talked to like that.
  • Assuming the grandmother-in-law is of sound mind, there is not really an excuse for making a remark like that.
  • People disagree about whether or not the original poster should be mad at her husband for not handling the situation. One thing seems clear, however: She should talk to him and let him know, at least, how she feels about what happened. Work out a system to deal with issues like these moving forward.
  • Think about telling the grandmother-in-law about how remarks like that won’t go unchecked in the future.

Do you have a question you’d like answered? Submit it to the Mamas Uncut Facebook page, and we may feature it along with some of the best answers on this site! You can remain completely anonymous while still getting the information and support you need from other moms who know what it’s li

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