Woman Stops Talking to Mother-in-Law After She Didn’t Want Her Daughter to Use Sign Language at the Dinner Table

Kindness – the key to everything good in the world. If we’re kind, we live contented and peaceful lives. But in our world, kindness is slowly becoming more of a rarity because negative energies greatly overpower positive energy – it’s just one of the sad realities of the world. Such is today’s story where kindness was required but not found.

The Story

Redditor, Thin_Crab_664, is a mother who shared her story on AITA (Am I the A**hole?) to ask whether she’s right or wrong for not talking to her mother-in-law after she insisted her daughter not use sign language at the dinner table. She wrote:

“I (29F) have a daughter (6F) from a previous relationship, her father has no contact with her and my husband of 2 years (30M) is the closed to a father she has ever known.”

“My daughter was born deaf and communicates via BSL. I am fluent having learned alongside her and my husband while not fluent is getting there as he wants to be able to communicate with her fully and also help teach any children we have together to communicate with their older sister.”

“We went to his parents for an Easter Dinner, his siblings and nieces/nephews were all there and we of course brought my daughter. All the kids were very happy to get plenty of chocolate and play together, the issue rose however during dinner as my daughter kept putting her fork and knife down to sign with me and my husband to talk, it was causing her to eat slower than everyone else and my MIL asked me to tell her to not sign at the dinner table as the food was going to get cold plus it was setting a bad example and distracting for the other kids.”

“I won’t beat around the bush I got angry, I told my MIL that this is how my daughter communicates and i’m not going to make her not sign, i did encourage my daughter to continue eating before her dinner got cold but to not sign? no…that pisses me off and makes me think of people who have tried to make my daughter play the ‘Quiet hands’ game….aka not sign. I told my MIL the only way she could ask that of my daughter is if she told everyone else not to talk at all.”

“We ended up leaving a little early and my husband while supportive of me has tried to tell me that his Mother didn’t mean any real harm and she doesn’t get why this would be a sensitive topic. I’ve refused to speak to my MIL since that dinner and won’t until she apologises, my husband thinks i’m being a bit too harsh and I need to be the one to reach out with an olive branch on this matter but I can’t help but feel if this had been her biological grandchild who was deaf she wouldn’t have said something so insensitive or implied it was a distraction and bad example.”

“I don’t know, maybe i’m too defensive as it’s my child and i’m protective, what do you all think?”

The Responses

By merely reading this woman’s story, it’s safe to assume what Reddit’s community would’ve said. All of them fully supported her for what she did. For context, NTA means “Not the A**hole.” Here are some of the top comments:

guinness-and-cheddar wrote:


“If the other children are allowed to talk at the table, but MIL expects your daughter to sit without communicating, your MIL is a massive a**hole.”

bendytoepilot said:

“NTA If she had only said she didn’t want your daughter to eat cold food then I would understand where she was coming from but to say signing is distracting and a bad example to the other kids is completely wrong and blatant discrimination. You are right to be angry.”

cookie64248 commented:

“NTA. It’s not her fault that she is deaf. She shouldn’t not be allowed to sign unless no one else is talking. Also the quiet hands game is really bad and people who try and “Play” the quiet hands game is absolutely DISGRACEFUL.”

photosbeersandteach chimed in:

“NTA. Most people, if they did not understand why it was a sensitive issue, would apologize once it was explained to them.”

tnannie responded:

“NTA and your husband needs to find his spine so he can stand up to his mother.”

“If your MIL behaves this badly on “her turf”, I’d only host dinners at my house, or not eat with her at all.”

“It wasn’t your bad behavior that caused this. She should be the one to extend the olive branch.”

This post has over 2000 comments at the time of writing this article, you can read them all on Reddit here.

Our Take

Most definitely NTA. This mother-in-law is super-wrong for what she did and she deserves more than the cold shoulder this wife gave her.

What’s Your Take?

What’s your take on this woman’s situation? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Reddit

  1. Bottom line: This is your beloved husband’s MOTHER, not some other misguided person whom you can easily cancel. Discord will also stress your marriage relationship by forcing hubby to choose between you and his mom. Demanding she apologize should not be the issue. How to help integrate a deaf child into family gatherings is the real issue. Blame should not be inferred. This situation is also a teachable moment re. disabilities for the other adults/children in the family. Once all concered have achieved emotional distance from this situation, ask for hubby’s help in educating his mom about issues involved in socializating a deaf child to the extent that she herself might come up with some positive suggestions re. a better outcome at the next gathering. Begin by sharing w/ the MIL the same info you shared about the plans you and your hubby are making re. your daughter and your family’s future children.

  2. You’re instincts are completely right. What your MIL did and said is 100% bitchy and uncalled for. Who died she think she is to have the nerve to say ANYTHING at all?! Sorry, but your husband is a totall * sshole for not backing you up. He’s basically choosing his mothers side over you. UNACCEPTABLE! PERIOD!!! Don’t you dare apologize to your MIL. SHE needs to be the one to apologize.

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