How Do You Handle Relatives\' Comments?


I may be being petty, but I just need to vent. I have a relative that is always making comments about how I gave my son his PA by eating peanuts when I was pregnant. She feels she's quite the authority on everything, anyway. She acts quite smug when at family gatherings I have to find out who made what and what did they put in it, as her children can eat anything. Meals are not that enjoyable anyway when I'm constantly watching what my 4, 2, and 1yr. old are eating, without all the jabs. (4yr. old is PA, 2yr. old is shellfish). And now its that time of year again. Sorry, just needed to vent. Thanks.

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On Nov 21, 2003

I think first and foremost these allergies are genetic. You'll find people on these boards that are PA and have PA children. Obviously they didn't eat peanuts while pregnant. There isn't any one reason why someone ends up with food allergies. It's complicated and people with little or no knowledge tend to throw out one-liners. Keep educating yourself-you know you didn't do this to your child.

On Nov 21, 2003

All I can say is take the high road. That has been my mantra through difficult situations with family or acquaintances. Never say anything hastily that they can come back to you with sooner or later.

Gush over her and tell her how lucky she is to not have to watch everything her child eats. Do not complain about your own situation. Just let her know that your responsibility is to keep your children safe and teach them how to grow up safely. Period.

Who the heck cares how they got their allergies? My mother always had to blame someone for anything that happened to them. We could never tell her we were sick because of the blaming and recriminations that followed, I learned this as early as three.

Go ahead and admit to this person that you probably did give the kids their allergies and then she will no longer have that to hold over your head.

Just take the high road. And good luck. It is too bad that holiday times bring out the worst in our difficult relatives.


On Nov 21, 2003

Did this person eat nuts when pregnant?? Not that it is the issue here. However, had I ever been told it was a bad idea, I would have avoided them! I just do not think it was very common knowledge, and even now is just beginning to be issued as another thing to avoid, and most often only to those with allergic histories in the family. I am pregnant and my doctor said nothing to me about nuts, but did tell me to avoid fishes with mercury and cold cuts, etc... foods with potential for listeria. They did discuss nuts with my neighbor last year who has no allergy history in two previous children!

Anyway, it is silly for me to even indulge her here by defending you, LOL! Peg gives good advice. I often comment on how lucky others are to be so carefree about what their kids can eat, and I also say, it is easy for us at home, just tough when eating away from home. Something to deflect the real difficulty(their ignorant comments) but make them think a little too.

My M-I-L once said, "I would have tried to get ice cream dgd could have, but I am sure it would be the wrong one!" Oh, how I wished I said, "You should just give me a call and I can tell you!" or "Why don't you try asking?"(not so nice [img][/img]) I was just too floored by the insensitivity and selfishness of the remark and shrugged it off. More like why bother, and it was a burden to her. Like simply trying to get a particular brand is so hard.

I just mostly bring food for dd. We arrive each visit with her bag of groceries and plunk it in the kitchen, LOL. I know it annoys M-I-L and is in her way(we try to keep it out of her way as best we can), but geesh, she could at least call and ask what kind of bread or cereal to have on hand! Good luck! becca

On Nov 21, 2003

I'd probably go with fawning sarcasm as a response.

On Nov 21, 2003

I guess I would point out that since peanut allergy can be genetic that she better be careful when she eats peanuts.

A 70 year old man in Iowa has eaten peanuts all his life. Had a serious reaction this year.

It can happen to anyone.

On Nov 22, 2003

As suggested, I agree with taking the high road here. And duh! We all gave our children PA. Whether it be genetic, introducing too soon, via breastmilk or any other possibility.

It sounds as if she enjoys trying to one-up you, and in my experience with these types, you can either (1)fight fire with fire or (2)nod, agree polietly, and then move on. I find that the second option works better bc most people realize the that one-upper is rude and out of line, so it looks better when you handle it with grace. You are in a way putting her in her place as well, but conveying the hidden message of "thank you. You may be correct, but I really don't care what you say. Have a lovely day."

On Nov 22, 2003

"Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn." - George Bernard Shaw. I find silence to work well, especially awkward ones on my part when someone has said something ugly or smug, especially in a group, where the remark then falls flat and obvious. [img][/img] Sometimes along with a raised eyebrow. Though, I admit I have a temper and this is not always possible.

On Nov 22, 2003


Originally posted by StaceyK: [b]"Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn." - George Bernard Shaw. I find silence to work well, especially awkward ones on my part when someone has said something ugly or smug, especially in a group, where the remark then falls flat and obvious. [img][/img] Sometimes along with a raised eyebrow. [/b]

Along with the silence I like to stop whatever I'm doing and include one long, cold stare right into the eyes of the smug/rude/know-it-all relative.

Then I go about my business with dripping sweetness --


On Nov 22, 2003

Silence is fine if it works for you but what it does is shut the person down and you do not get the chance to deliveer your message.

Our jobs to keep, and teach our children to be safe also extends to educating others, even the stupid.

Good luck


On Nov 23, 2003

I have to agree with taking the high road. I wonder what kind of issues this person has that she would make those kinds of comments to anyone - much less a relative. But that is beside the point I guess. Be honest and polite with her - and then come and vent to us!! You have the power to let her offend you or to let her comments roll off your back. Make her powerless. Kelseymom