We sent out a "form letter" explaining, this is the type of family we will have, these are our family rules (and this is why). (We actually only sent it to my parents - but we made it LOOK like we sent it to everyone - because they are physically and mentally abusive, and we wanted to make sure they understood that this isn't acceptable around our kids...so, we were VERY specific about what we deem to be unacceptable behavior.) My parents often babysit my neices and nephews, and abuse them, so we wanted to make it clear that they will not be babysitting, without hurting their feelings, or directly pointing out that THEY are the people we're worried about. So, we said in a part of the letter that anyone wanting to babysit would need to be able to follow along with our parenting philosophy (in order to keep consistency) - and that they could start by reading [such and such book] (I forget what it's called...isn't that terrible? LOL).
Of course, you won't need to send out a letter with the same purpose, but I would recommend going that route - sending a letter that looks like you're sending it to everyone, that states exactly what your needs and expectations are. I've found that, at least with my psycho relatives (snicker) it helps if they don't feel singled out (even when they ARE).
Prospective mom adopting through foster care in Oregon.
· 1 decade ago