'How can I tell my mother-in-law that I have the final say in raising my child?'
Is your mother-in-law too pushy? Tell her firmly and politely that you're the boss with these tips
In-laws can be a blessing or a curse, but even the most angelic of in-laws can be a handful when they try to meddle too much in you and your immediate family’s affairs. One theAsianparent Community user asked about how she could put her mother-in-law in her place — politely.
Here’s what the theAsianparent Community community recommended.
Telling your mother-in-law that you have the final say
As the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. Your mother-in-law is speaking from experience, so it’s likely that you can learn a thing or two from her. Don’t be defensive when she starts giving you advice—she isn’t out to get you.
Listen to her without interrupting, and if your disagreement isn’t a big deal, you can just let it slide. You can even try out her advice and see if it works for you. “I will listen everything she said and try it first,” Febby A. wrote. “If her style didn’t work with me, I’ll tell her directly. What works for someone doesn’t work for everyone.”
2. Be loving but firm
“Listen without interrupting and filter without having to cut them off,” Bianca M. responded. “But if they get too pushy, gently remind them that although you are grateful for their opinion (since they raised such a good person: your spouse), there are certain things that can only be decided on by the parents. Make them feel valued and respected and always speak to them with love but firmness.”
3. Set boundaries
It’s important to communicate that your decisions have to be respected, even before you give birth. “I think ground rules need to be set very early on, even during the pregnancy itself,” wrote Wan F. “This is so that your mother in law doesn’t feel blindsided by the lack of control she has over the situation.”
Diana L. recommended giving the mother-in-law a list of non-negotiable expectations, like permissible food, rules on discipline, and books and toys the child can play with. Then, she would give the mother-in-law free rein on everything else, “as long as she puts the child’s safety first”.
4. Make her feel needed.
As a new parent, there will be many times when you’ll feel lost and in need of guidance. Reach out to your mother-in-law for her input; she’ll appreciate feeling involved.
“Ask her for advice, get her involved as much as you can,” Roshni C. responded. “Taking the advice or not it is up to you. But make her feel needed.”
5. Get your husband involved
It’s highly important that you and your husband present a united front in this. You don’t want to be “the bad guy”. He can talk to his mother alone, or join you in your discussion, but try not to make it feel like she’s under attack.
“Speak to the husband and discuss how you are feeling and make him understand the gravity of the situation,” wrote Deepshikha P. “Ask him to be involved in a casual sit-down where you can initiate this discussion and indicate to her that you are not comfortable with her calling the shots. Make sure your husband participates in the discussion for it to work.”