As families blend together, the knowledge and experience of mother-in-laws will become a great resource to daughter-in-laws and helping the family stay on track. They can be trusted to offer encouragement to grandkids during extra-curricular activities, provide insight into their family history, or cook special family recipes with kids while the parents are out for a much-needed romantic dinner.
Daughter-in-laws can become a major support system for mother-in-laws by helping to organize family functions, schedule time for their spouse and kids to spend quality time with grandmom, as well as teach them how to use technology to keep in touch, such as Facebook and Skype.
Whether it’s spending time getting to know each other outside of your assigned titles, deciding together which family traditions are best for the children to participate in or allowing each other the freedom to be who you are, Grandparents.com has expert advice that help both parties develop a deeper bond. Grandparents.com offers the following quick-tips on how daughter and mother-in-laws can cultivate a great relationship with one another:
- Respect your daughter-in-law’s parenting style. Much has changed since you were raising kids. Earn your daughter-in-law’s trust by playing by her rules when you’re with the kids.
- Respect her relationship with her mom—and don’t try to compete.
- Respect her relationship with your son—and don’t badmouth her to him.
- Remember, good parenting is learned on the job—and she’s doing the best she can. Give her the benefit of the doubt, and never forget how sensitive you were as a young parent trying to do your best.
- Respect your son’s relationship with his mother.
- Remember that all grandparents—unless they are abusive or their behavior is in some way harmful to the kids—deserve to know their grandchildren, and vice-versa. If possible, let all the grandparents spend time alone with the kids. That is the only way they can establish lasting bonds.
- Cut the grandparents some slack—within reason. They may buy the kids two scoops of ice cream instead of one, or ridiculous, overpriced toys—and then let them stay up an hour past bedtime. They don’t mean to disrespect you; this is just their way of showing their extravagant love for your children.
FOR BOTH IN-LAWS
- Healthy boundaries are what keep us sane and foster friendly relations. Set boundaries for yourself, and respect your in-law’s boundaries. When you do stray into each other’s crosshairs, try to see the situation from her point of view.
- Let go of your expectations about how things should be and work with the way things are. This means accepting the complete cast of characters who make up your whole extended family, as well as other nonnegotiable circumstances.
- Always think of the kids. Model the values you want the children to learn. Do you want to train them in sniping and disrespect, or trust and compassion?
- Remember, the heart is a generous muscle, and there’s enough love to go around.#
Courtesy of Grandparents.com.