Overbearing Mother-In-Law advice

Brenna - posted on 04/06/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Does anyone else have a Mother-In-Law who “Means well” but crosses boundaries? I’m looking for a nice way to establish that her help and suggestions are appreciated and taken into consideration because we know they come from love but the final say is and will always be with my husband and I when it comes to our kids. I need to get this across without “Poking the sleeping bear” so to speak LOL!

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Carolyn - posted on 04/06/2011

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Amber is dead on the money. Your gonna have to poke that bear with a big old pointy stick.

You and your husband need to do it together, and I would suggest letting him open up the discussion. I think it would help avoid alot of tension, as well as anxiety on your part. And you both have an issue with the behaviour.

I think if you provide a united front, letting her know you both feel disrespected and feel it will have a negative impact on your kids and you parenting TOGETHER will help drill the point home.

You definitely need to set up ground rules, and establish when it is okay to do what. Limit gifts to birthday's and holidays, and suggest she take the kids out to do something fun on a weekly basis instead of filling your house with crap. You and your husband can have some personal time, the kids get time and memories with grandma and she can still feel like she is "spoiling them"

You can also restrict treats and the "anything goes" to this specific once a week activity, and any other time its your rules and your say so.

A good way to get through to someone is role reversal. Try to think up a scenario that she can relate to in her current life and someone doing the things she does. It really helps give some insight into how another person is feeling when the shoe is on the other foot.

Amber - posted on 04/06/2011

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I don't think you sound ungrateful at all. Sometimes you really do just have to be the bad guy. I don't mean being rude; I just mean that no matter how you say it, she will be upset.

I think the best thing for you to do is to tell her clearly and directly that this is not something that you are ok with and that you are hurt by her not respecting your parenting decisions. Make your points clear and set up rules for her. Some could be that she has to ask you before giving gifts, that she must apply the same major rules that you do, or that overriding your authority will result in less time spent with your children.

If she buys toys, clothes, or treats that you have said no to, politely tell her that she has been told no and that she needs to take them back.

If she is going behind your back and explicitly doing things that you have asked her not to, how will your kids ever respect you? They will know that all they have to do is call grandma. No will never mean anything to them.

If she has an emotional outburst when you do this, you can tell her that temper tantrums aren't acceptable in children, and they are also not acceptable from adults.

I know that it will feel harsh, but I don't think that there are any ways to handle this situation that won't upset her. Just make sure that you tell her how much you all love her and appreciate her. Let her know that you don't need the gifts, you just need the person.

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April - posted on 04/06/2011

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When my husband and i were newly married, my MIL used to comment about our daughter all the time. She used to ask why that was the way it was and why didn't my daughter do this or that. It drove me mad. I wanted to scream "thats MY daughter!!!!" LOL my MIL is a wonderful woman but sometimes her comments irk me to no end.

One day i just told my husband i'd had enough. He needed to go talk to his mother or i will (and knowing me, he knows i'll be very forward) So he agreed.

Now every time his mum makes a comment, he pipes up and defends the situation. She's not so bad anymore and makes some comments here and there but nothing that irks me as bad as before. We have two kids now and i feel she respects my judgments a lot more.

I love my MIL she's great. I'm just glad we diffused the problem before it got worse. :)

Shelley - posted on 04/06/2011

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Has ur husband talked with his mom? I would sit down & explain to her I know u mean well, & I appreciate your suggestion, but my husband & I will be the ones to make the final say so. And explain to her ...u know that not all the time u realize u & ur husband won't always make the correct one ...but that u have to learn how to stand on ur own 2 feet at sometime. It's okay to ask for help or suggestions...but u all will be the ones that have the final say so.

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