Fair   60.0F  |  Forecast »

New Baby, Intrusive In-laws

Sound familiar? Here's our primer on how moms (and dads) can successfully detect and deal with bossy or particular grandparents

If you thought your in-laws were intrusive before you had kids, then hold onto your maternity pants. The "fun" has just begun. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the truth is that your relationship with your in-laws is likely to grow tenser once children enter the picture.

But then, you probably discovered that the day you announced that you were pregnant. Ah, yes, that was the day your father-in-law insisted that you follow tradition and name your son (or daughter), "Clyde Waldo Dufus III." And, later that evening, your mother-in-law purchased airline tickets and reserved a seat in the front row of the delivery room, followed by a two-month visit in your guest room.

Don't get me wrong: some in-laws are wonderful people who respect their daughter-in-law's needs instead of expecting her to revolve everything around them. But if you don't have that lovely type of in-law, here's how to cope with the kind that pressure, lecture, undermine and insist that their way is the right way.

  1. Replace your insecurity with confidence. You and your husband are the final authority on your children. If your in-laws don't approve of something you are doing, so what? You don't need their approval, so don't behave as if you do. Just because they disagree with something you do doesn't mean you are bad parents.
  2. Learn to let your in-laws be upset with you. Don't overlook your own needs constantly just to keep everyone else happy. For example, if you want to spend the first week home from the hospital with just your husband, then tactfully tell both sets of parents exactly that. If they put up a fuss, let them know that it is not up for discussion.
  3. Behave as an adult on an equal level with your in-laws. Your in-laws are not superior to you, so don't behave as if they are. The next time they give unwanted advice, say, "Thanks for your advice, but I've decided to do it this way instead" or "I guess we'll have to agree to disagree." Their opinions are just that: opinions, not fact.
  4. Unite as a couple. Tell your husband specific things that you need for him to say when certain situations come up such as, "Honey, the next time your mom says something to you that implies that I'm a lousy mother, I need for you to tell her that you aren't willing to listen to her say negative things about me."
  5. Love and let go. Develop healthy behavior patterns by saying and doing new things to show you are now an assertive mom. You can't force your in-laws to change their behavior, but if you change your own, then they will likely change theirs, too.

Note: Jenna D. Barry is the author of A Wife's Guide to In-laws: How to Gain Your Husband's Loyalty Without Killing His Parents. She also leads a support group for daughters-in-law. Learn more at WifeGuide.org.

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Passport Rules for Kids

Passport Rules for Kids

If you're planning on traveling with your family outside of the country, they'll need a passport. Find out what you need and how to get passports for children.

Tips for Saving Cash on Flights

Tips for Saving Cash on Flights

Find out how your family can save money when flying abroad and in the country.

Tips for Traveling Internationally with Your Children

Tips for Traveling Internationally with Your Children

Thought about taking your kids for a trip abroad? You should! Here are tips to help make your cultural excursion easier – and cheaper – than you might think.

Staying Home Alone: How to Know When Your Child is Ready

Staying Home Alone: How to Know When Your Child is Ready

Whether you just want to run an errand or need to hit the gym for a break, it could be time to let your tween stay home alone. Here are a few ways to know your kid is prepared.

Craft Roundup: Get Ready for the Beach

Craft Roundup: Get Ready for the Beach

Whether you're hitting the pool or lake, southeast Michigan is packed with watery summer fun. These projects are inspired by (and ready for) this very topic!

Social Savvy: Raising Kids Who Can Make Connections

Social Savvy: Raising Kids Who Can Make Connections

At each stage of development, there are things parents can do for their kids to help them with social skills and making friendships.

Explore the Grand Canyon in Arizona

Explore the Grand Canyon in Arizona

If you haven't seen the wonder that is the Grand Canyon, you owe it to yourself and your kids to go.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement