Telling someone they're not treating your kid right can bring up some big feelings, especially if the behavior you're correcting is unintentional.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for texting her future MIL about asking her son for hugs. She wrote:
My (28F) oldest son is 3-years-old, my fiancé’s (32M) Mom came over few weeks ago and when leaving, asked my 3-year-old for a hug. He initially said “no” and walked away. Came back unprompted and hugged her. She said, “oh good bc I was going to be sad.” With my fiancé’s, aunt’s and best friend’s edits, I sent her this:
(Summed up): “We’re teaching 3yo that he’s in control of his own body & self-defined boundaries regardless of how it makes someone feel. If he’s trying to make someone upset on purpose, that’s a different story. We don’t want him to go against his boundaries to make someone feel better. I’m sure you just want to show he’s important to you but we’d appreciate it if you could show it in a different way.”
FMIL: “OP, I’d appreciate you not sending me these kinds of messages and we have these conversations in person. Thank you”
OP: “I don’t see a difference, to be honest. I would’ve said the same things in person. I didn’t see this topic as one that needs to be discussed too much. If you have a response I’m open to hearing it, but it won’t change the fact that saying things that could make my kids feel guilty for other’s feelings will be accepted. Again, you can show you care for the boys but not in ways that make them feel bad.”
FMIL: “Bc having adult conversation via text I believe are pretty cowardess. When you address me or any other adult, via text, it’s not really appropriate, so I will end this conversation with if you can't talk things over with me instead of telling me what "not" to do then that in itself is a problem. So I'm done.”
OP: “Again, I would say the same words to you in person, nothing cowardess about the method I choose to say these words. The reason I didn’t see it made sense to do it in person is bc I’m essentially asking you a favor & it’s your choice to acknowledge it or not. I wasn’t looking for a debate about it, just asking that you please not make certain comments to my babies.”
I’m right if she’d prefer me to discuss something like this in person, but why ignore my initial message? Seems like blame-shifting/diverting to me. She then went to my fiancé and texted him “so by now I’m sure “OP” told you she was messaging me, if you guys have something you need to say to me just say it”. They had a 30min phone call & my fiancé told me she said:
She’s already distanced herself from coming over & she’ll distance herself more if she has to.
It’s not something she was doing intentionally (I never said it was intentional, just bringing her attention to this and potential repercussions).
Chose to message her because I’m HORRIBLE at having deep/stressful conversations in person (I have ADHD so can’t process what I want to say and what other person is said & formulate responses, etc) also this is a boundary so not really up for discussion or debate. Either she chooses to stop or doesn’t. AITA for asking this or how I brought it up?
YTA. I agree with MIL about having the conversation in person. What's funny is you texted her about respecting your boundaries but couldn't do the same when she expressed that she would prefer to have these types of conversations in person. Also, you lied. You told her you would same the same thing in person but would you have really?
Later in your post, you claim you didn't want to do it in person because you're "horrible at having deep/stressful convos in person." It sounds like you are being a little cowardly. You don't like conflict so you would rather text to address someone directly in person.
NTA. There was no need for an in-person conversation. If being told not to use language that teaches kids they’re responsible for your feelings sends you into a tizzy, maybe you need therapy. Addressing an issue immediately is important, not waiting until later. And really it was a pretty minor ask.
YTA. Your first message might have been a reasonable conversation to have if she was forcing your kid - screaming and crying - to hug her. MIL saying how happy she was that your son decided on his own to hug her? WTF is wrong with that? She didn't coerce him. She didn't chastise him.
Instead, you shamed her, you chastised her and are acting as if your three yr old is going to have lasting psychological damage over this. Get a hobby.
NTA, she only has a problem with you texting because then she can’t turn around and say she didn’t know/you didn’t tell her when she does this again. It wasn’t a big deal, you were just sending her an “fyi in future please don’t do this” type message. It didn’t need to be a full sit down conversation. She’s very defensive.
YTA. She doesn't want a text conversation. Just f'ing talk to her. And stop TEXTING back long explanations/ continuations of your argument after she tells you she doesn't want to have a conversation over text. SMH.
She's not even arguing about the content you're insisting upon (her interactions with your child), she just doesn't want to have text conversations. Maybe a generational thing, but you seem to be getting upset about a basic ask of hers.
Clearly, the internet is divided on this one.