Respect their Boundaries

Follow these tips to develop a bond with your son-in-law that will grow through the years. As an accepted mother-in-law, you can enjoy the connections with your new family member.

Avoid hot button issues like finances, religious observances, and work/home responsibilities. By taking sides, you make it harder for the newlyweds to sort out these issues for themselves. When you have expectations that are not shared by them, recognize that now it’s their turn to make this type of decision.

Be available to help when asked but don’t intrude. As the new couple settles into their routine and lifestyle, they may ask for your help or support. Pitch in and be responsive to their needs when you can, but don’t overstep the boundaries.

Find support from your spouse and friends. When you’re frustrated, share with others who will understand what you’re going through and use them as a sounding board. When all else fails, laugh together as inductees in the sisterhood of mothers-in-law.

Click on the title above to take you to our article, Boomer Women and Friendship: The Gift You Give Yourself for some ideas about how your friends can help you get through this challenge – and lots of other ones.

These tips can help you build the kind of relationship with your son-in-law that Marian Robinson has with President Obama. He and Michelle respect her and trust her to help with their children. Embrace your new role of mother-in-law. You, too, have the power to make this an enriching chapter for everyone in the family.

And please join us tomorrow as we welcome therapists Stephen James and David Thomas to discuss their book, Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys.

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