How to Get Along With Your In-Laws
As one of the more stereotypically challenging relationships in life, the bond with your in-laws will probably be something you need to work on continually throughout your married life. While their advice regarding general daily issues may be more easily dismissed, when it comes to their grandchildren, they are likely to freely speak their minds. It’s important to understand that they mean well, even if their commentary is without basis or even proper perspective. Here are a few diplomatic techniques that will help you maintain a positive relationship with your in-laws without compromising your major parenting beliefs.
The Smile and Nod
Just because someone suggests something to you doesn’t mean you have to enact it into law, even if they are the grandparents of your children. Sometimes just a “thank you” or a “we’ll keep that in mind” is enough to validate your in-laws’ feelings. Often, acknowledging their input is all the respect you need to give them, so this is a good way to initially respond to parenting advice before bringing out the bigger guns.
Picking Your Battles
You may want to consider compromising a little on minor parenting suggestions so that your in-laws do not feel as if you are opposing them all of the time. If they feel strongly about something you consider a smaller issue, conceding on it will demonstrate your receptiveness to their suggestions, and help them feel they are making valuable contributions in their roles as grandparents.
“Resenting someone else is like taking poison and expecting someone else to die.” – Shyla ext. 5431
Addressing the Generation Gap
Communicating the reason behind your hesitation regarding your in-laws’ advice will not only smooth out any uncomfortable conversation but can pave the way for future communication in your relationship. They were raised in a different generation, with dissimilar views and expectations which formed their particular parenting techniques. Understanding this and communicating this to your in-laws will go a long way towards easing their feelings every time you choose to decline any parenting advice.
Appreciating your in-laws for raising the man you call husband will give you a better perspective on any parenting issues that come up. Remember to never automatically dismiss free advice- if for no other reason than it may lead you to researching an issue that offers you a better solution too. Never be a doormat, and always uphold your values, while keeping this in mind: Open communication and respect from both sides in the relationship is the most fertile ground for raising a healthy and happy family.
“It’s all good…it just feels like hell.” – Shyla ext. 5431
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