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Pseudo_lawyer


Member

Posted Sat Nov 17th, 2007 3:38pm Post subject: My in-laws
I have a few problems with my in-laws that make me angry!

First, let me say this about them: they are very generous, friendly people, and I do care for them...

BUT...

There are many things they do that irritate me. I should explain that they are very different from me--they are devout Baptists, they live in the suburbs of Knoxville, Tennessee, and they are pretty simple people. "Benighted" is an accurate way to describe them--they don't know much about the way the world works. They don't read (except for the Bible and devotional books). Most of them have never traveled out of the South. So that's what we're dealing with here. (FYI, my husband managed to turn out entirely different from the rest of the family.)

First: my sister-in-law and her husband are 37 years old and have no money saved for their childrens' college. It's not as if they don't make money. They just spend, spend, spend--especially on Christmas and birthday presents for the children (one is 7, the other is 11). They indulge their children too much, and in doing so, are putting their future in great jeopardy. My sister-in-law can't use credit cards anymore because she got into enormous debt a few years ago. They can't even afford to pay the property taxes on their house--my mother-in-law and father-in-law give them the money to pay the taxes. What really gets me is that these people claim to be Christians, but they are totally irresponsible with money. They rely on material things for spiritual fulfillment, but they would tell you that they rely on God. I don't think they really understand that they live in hypocrisy because they're not perceptive enough to see it. They mean well. But they are still irresponsible.

Second: My little niece (the 7-year-old child) is not encouraged to read and do well in school. But her older brother is!!! It's as if she's being groomed to just get married at 19 and have children. You're a girl, no need for education! My niece really loves animals and says she wants to be a veterinarian. But if her parents don't instill any discipline in her, she'll end up like her mother--uneducated and totally dependent upon her husband to explain things to her. My husband and I don't go up to Knoxville very often because we just don't have time. I wish I could be there for my niece more often--to influence her a little, encourage her to read and learn about the world. The last time I was there, I told her, "If you want to be a veterinarian, you need to do well in your science classes, especially when you get into high school. You need to do well in biology and chemistry." I wonder if she'll remember what I told her. She certainly gets no help from her parents. And the women in their church tend to get married about 19 or 20, soon they're pregnant, and there's no time for education. So this is what she has to influence her.

Third: My mother-in-law collects Precious Moments figurines. She has like 6 display cabinets full of the stuff. She has probably spent close to $2,000 building her collection of this ugly, useless crap. This probably sounds kind of petty, and I think she should collect whatever she wants, but for people who don't have much money in the first place, it seems like a waste.

All right, that's enough for now.

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joan


Member

Posted Sun Nov 18th, 2007 12:20pm Post subject: My in-laws
Churchy people aways annoy and frustrate the rest of us - they are so illogical. Two things drive me insane - smugness and hypocricy: these traits are prevelant among religious people.

You'll get a chance later, I'm sure, to influence your niece: if she respects you in the meantime, that will make it easier to nudge her into study when the time comes. Perhaps sending well-chosen books as birthday presents would help.

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amyl_nitrate


Member

Posted Sun Nov 18th, 2007 1:54pm Post subject: My in-laws
Is there any way you can keep in contact with your niece like through the internet or by writing letters so you can keep encouraging her? Sending her books is a good idea if careful thought is put in.

Assuming direct control...

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Soupy Twist


Member

Posted Sun Nov 18th, 2007 2:36pm Post subject: My in-laws
Being religious does not necessarily mean to be brainless and fanatic but when it happens it's not only annoying but also cause for concern. I agree with everyone here, you should try to gain some influence as a role model for your niece. Books are a very good idea, provided her parents don't interfere.

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Pseudo_lawyer


Member

Posted Sun Nov 18th, 2007 3:54pm Post subject: My in-laws
You all have good ideas...and you echo what I've been thinking...I have contemplated giving her some Laura Ingalls Wilder books for Christmas. Are those of you in other countries familiar with the books? They were the basis for the American TV show "Little House on the Prairie." They are very well-written, and her parents can't object to them because, while they are not explicitly Christian, they are certainly wholesome.

And I have thought about writing letters--she is not allowed on the Internet. This way I could impart my thoughts to her and also give her a chance to practice writing.

Thanks for thinking positively! You have made me feel better. After all, she is young, there is still time.

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amyl_nitrate


Member

Posted Sun Nov 18th, 2007 6:04pm Post subject: My in-laws
I've never heard of the books though I do recall seeing the tv series in the late 80s/early 90s.

The writing practice would be very good for her. It's a dying art. Any kind of writing at all would be good practice. A problem with teenagers now is that many are going into their exams (even English exams) and writing in text speak and don't have a clue how to spell or structure proper sentences.

Assuming direct control...

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Soupy Twist


Member

Posted Sun Nov 18th, 2007 6:14pm Post subject: My in-laws
Oh, I remember Little House in the Prairie. I don't know the books but if the series is anything to go by all the Ingalls women were self-confident, well-educated women. Religion plays a certain part in the series but, as I said, the main characters show good common sense and tolerance and are certainly not brainless fanatics. To encourage her to write on a regular basis is certainly a good idea.

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Sun Nov 18th, 2007 8:10pm Post subject: My in-laws
she may also be interested in nature shows and books, if her parents allow that.

there are lots of cool "eyewitness" books about animals, DK books are great for kids that age. if she is curious about things, that will drive her education on its own.

i knew a lot of families like that when i was growing up. some kids end up rebelling. some don't. i guess some people are comfortable in such an environment. your presence will give her another example.

this is sort of a different situation, but my parents aren't very social at all. they rarely have anyone over, and they get nervous. but we had a family friend, an "uncle" who is charming and talkative and has parties at his house. he has friends of all ages, he could charm anyone. i was very shy growing up and afraid to socailize with people. then my "uncle" had me over at his house a lot and would invite me to go to movies and parties with him...oh, he took me to see wilde! i remember that. i'm not mad at my parents for not being as social, but i am glad that i had other examples around. he's very easy going, and i honestly think i inherited a lot of my personality from him, even though we are not related.

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Pseudo_lawyer


Member

Posted Sun Nov 18th, 2007 8:29pm Post subject: My in-laws
she may also be interested in nature shows and books, if her parents allow that.

there are lots of cool "eyewitness" books about animals, DK books are great for kids that age. if she is curious about things, that will drive her education on its own.

i knew a lot of families like that when i was growing up. some kids end up rebelling. some don't. i guess some people are comfortable in such an environment. your presence will give her another example.

this is sort of a different situation, but my parents aren't very social at all. they rarely have anyone over, and they get nervous. but we had a family friend, an "uncle" who is charming and talkative and has parties at his house. he has friends of all ages, he could charm anyone. i was very shy growing up and afraid to socailize with people. then my "uncle" had me over at his house a lot and would invite me to go to movies and parties with him...oh, he took me to see wilde! i remember that. i'm not mad at my parents for not being as social, but i am glad that i had other examples around. he's very easy going, and i honestly think i inherited a lot of my personality from him, even though we are not related.

Yeah, banjo, your situation is similar to hers in that her world isn't very wide. The family really only knows people from their church, many of whom are not very educated, so she doesn't see intellectually curious people. I am not anti-Christianity (for a while I was a devoted Episcopalian, and I miss the church, but I won't go because I don't accept the creed), but I really can't stand it when people think the Bible is the inerrant word of God. That is the case with my husband's family. I really want my niece to be around more open-minded people. I want her to be curious.

The nature books are a good idea. Her mother lets her watch too much TV--kind of odd for a Christian, but as I told you before, they're hypocrites without being aware of it. Go to church, accept Jesus, don't drink alcohol, but buy whatever you want and watch TV as much as you want. That's how they live. My niece says she likes her science class, so I want to get her to explore the natural world more instead of staying inside and watching TV or playing video games.

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amyl_nitrate


Member

Posted Mon Nov 19th, 2007 12:57pm Post subject: My in-laws
DK books? Dorling Kindersley I presume. Their books are excellent. I think they're great books for children. I always liked things like the FunFax books you could buy, they were always full of interesting facts.

Assuming direct control...

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Mon Nov 19th, 2007 5:33pm Post subject: My in-laws
i don't know what the dk stands for, but they are full of pictures and cross sections and all sorts of information.

they make books for adults too. they make some great travel books. and i have a science encyclopedia from them.

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amyl_nitrate


Member

Posted Mon Nov 19th, 2007 5:58pm Post subject: My in-laws
i don't know what the dk stands for, but they are full of pictures and cross sections and all sorts of information.

Definatly Dorling Kindersley. They're good for cross-sections of ships and stuff like that

I would've gone nuts for this one when I was a child.

Assuming direct control...

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Desdemona


Member

Posted Mon Nov 19th, 2007 7:09pm Post subject: My in-laws
An Animal ensyclopedia or something of the sort, you could give it to your neice as a birthday presant. or some science text books to help her at school.
Or you could try broadening her mind by taking her places to show differn't culture, maybe take her quite far away to a big city or were a famous person lived.

Skip Life and come with me?

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