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Mom livid SIL criticized son's sleep training; says, 'you parent my kid then.' AITA?

Mom livid SIL criticized son's sleep training; says, 'you parent my kid then.' AITA?


When this mom is upset with her SIL, she asks Reddit:

"AITA For telling my SIL she can sleep train my son if she's that offended by his sleep habits?"

My son is five and autistic. Sleep has always been a huge issue for us. Its partially what led to my divorce - that's how severe.

He still uses a pacifier to soothe at night and sleeps in my bed. I have, in the past, tried every sleep training method possible. I've had him on every med. I've weaned him off his pacifier and put him in his own bed. Paid five separate sleep consultants. Absolutely nothing works.

In a fit of exhaustion I went full extinction - took the paci and left him in his room. He didn't sleep at all that night, I kept him awake during the day, and he then didn't sleep at all the second night. He was exhausted and it took me months to rebuild his trust in me after the fact.

At this point I do whatever works. And that's his binky and mama cuddles. My SIL hates this. She is very forward with her parenting methods and makes it known every time I see her.

My brother is a piece of wet lettuce and agrees with whatever his wife said. She could tell him they were going to abandon their children anf move to Mexico and he'd be 110% on board. My mom also thinks the sun shines out her ass. So I have no support in this situation.

Every time we see her she comments on the pacifier or the bed sharing and is all, 'he needs off that,' or 'you should just put him in his own bed, he'll tire eventually' etc.

She sends me a hundred and one different sleep training techniques. Regardless of how many times I've told her I already tried them she refuses to believe me - thinks I just did them wrong and need to try again.

I bumped into her in walmart late the other night and he had his pacifier and blanket. She made another comment about transitioning him out of his sleep supports.

I kinda lost my s$&t on her a little, and I'm not proud of it, but I basically told her she could shove her opinions up her ass and if she was that concerned she could sleep train him and deal with the screaming all night.

She got kind of pissy and told me as a mother its my job to 'set him up for life'. I understand that one day he will need to sleep unassisted, but I don't know how to make that happen.

She has since called me a neglectful mother on facebook & had my mom and brother ask me to apologise and made comments about me 'stepping up' and putting my foot down with him.

I do feel a little bad for trying to pin it on her rather than me, but I also think she should keep her nose out of my business, even if she is just trying to look out for him. AITA?

Let's find out.

idontcare76 writes:

NTA. I hate unsolicited advice and opinions about anything, but advice and opinions on how you're parenting your own child is the absolute worst.

My kid is also on the spectrum, and also sucks at sleeping. When we transitioned from crib to toddler bed, it was like a freaking joke. There was no keeping him in his bed without restraints.

However, he kept trying to fall asleep on the floor of the closet. One day I just said, 'F#&k it' and made the bottom half of his closet into a bed. Padded the walls, put down a mat and tons of blankets and pillows, glow-in-the-dark stars + LED lights. Full sensory corner sh**.

That kid slept in the bottom of his closet every night for about 18 months (until he outgrew it). I think him being in that closet is how we both learned how much he loves to nest. We were able to move him to the bed later by just allowing him to have 10+ blankets to do with what he will.

While there are some things that are objectively good, no trick or technique or method is going to work 100% of the time for 100% of kids. Start setting some hard boundaries. Tell sis that if she has s@*t to say about what you're doing, then she can say it to your back as you leave.

inmyfeelings2020 writes:

NTA. Is SIL considering at all that the child is autistic? If she is such a perfect parent - I agree with you - let her come over and spend time trying to work with him. Also, this is a boundary issue.

If you do not like people offering you unsolicited advice - you have the right to speak up about it! You also have the right to cut people off who do not respect you or your wishes! I cannot stand when someone feels the need to 'help' me and gives me all of the advice in the world when I've tried everything.

dunimal writes:

NTA. You know what, it doesn't matter. He uses a pacifier and it gives him comfort and he's 5? Who cares? If he's 8? Who cares? If he's 10? Doesn't matter.

Eventually, by puberty, they'll feel social pressure and stop s!&t on their own, or maybe, IDK how high functioning your son is, but maybe he may be someone who needs sleep supports the rest of his life and if so, who cares? You and he deserve empathy and respect.

If your family cannot see that you've already had to deal with losing your marriage and that your son =/= your SIL son, then f&!k em. You aren't required to deal with them or their bs.

Well, looks like OP is NTA. Do YOU have any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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