ommunication is essential in strengthening relationships—especially with your mother-in-law. Here are 8 statements you should never say to her.
Don’t waste your time convincing your mother-in-law not to spoil your kids. She will. It’s her job description as a grandmother.
Say it better: “Let me know if you have something special planned for . This can be a teaching opportunity for us and we want you to be part of it.” There will be no surprises so you can influence her on when to give presents. Expect her cooperate because you are making her part of this “teaching opportunity.”
When you experience something first-hand, you have this natural tendency to assume that you know better. She gave birth and raised someone you are spending your life with, someone you fell in love with, so she should know better about being a parent right?
Say it better: “Help me become a better parent by allowing me to decide for my child.” The best way to deal with unsolicited advice from your mother-in-law is for you and your spouse to let her know that you value her guidance but as parents, you need to make your own decisions for your child even if it means making mistakes.
Disciplining your child is yours and your spouse’s responsibility. You should not let others, including your parents, do this for you.
Say it better: “Help me make your grandchild a good and responsible individual. If he/she did/said something wrong, let me know so I can talk to him/her.” You have to let your mother-in-law know that correcting bad behavior is important in values formation and in building the character of your child.
Blaming other people is never a good trait and you don’t want her to think that you are an immature spouse. This statement may also be construed as an attack to her parenting skills. If it’s really your spouse’s fault, just zip it and keep it to yourself.
Say it better: “I will talk to so we can resolve this as soon as possible.” Don’t discuss details of the disagreement but let her know you are resolving it.
If you give your mother-in-law an unlimited access to your home, she might as well stay and live in your house.
Say it better: “We would love for you to visit us. Let us know when so we can plan a pleasant stay for you.” She is welcome to visit but you let her know she can not do it unannounced.
Never compare. Your mom may be more beautiful, can sing or dance better or can cook molo like no one else but you don’t need to say that to your mother-in-law.
Say it better: Compliment her and make her feel good about herself. She has her own strengths and qualities that made her a good mom to your spouse.
Don’t answer this way when she asks you about spending time with them. Never say this when she asks about how you’re spending time with her grandchildren. Don’t give your mother-in-law the impression that you value work more than your family.
Say it better: “My schedule is quite full but let me check if I can do something about it.” You are honest about being busy but you let her know that if it is important, you will definitely prioritize it.
It takes a village to raise a child so you need all the help you can get from people you love.
Say it better: “This is something we can do on our own. We will definitely let you know if we need your help.” You are clear about not wanting them to meddle, but you let them know that if you will need her help, you will not hesitate to let her know.