Danielle Jagoda, MA, LMFT
How should we deal with in-law interference? It’s very important when you have in-laws that are interfering with your life that you and your partner work as a team. You don’t want one person to be seen as the good guy and the other person just be seen as the bad guy. So you really want to work together and set healthy boundaries with your in-laws. And you can do this in a nice, gentle way. It doesn’t have to be, you know, coming out and attacking them for behaviors that you just can’t stand.
So I often suggest — to start on a positive note saying something like, “You know, mom, dad, we know how much you care about us and that you’re so interested in our lives and we really, really feel great and we appreciate that so much. However, we’re really uncomfortable with how often you, for example, stop without letting us know or calling in advance.” And then again I would like you to end on a positive note and say, “Again, we appreciate so much how much you care about us and we know that your intentions are always good.“
However, you do have the in-laws at times who just don’t really seem to get the hint and you can be gentle and kind and they just — they really don’t – they don’t listen. This is in-law interference. So sometimes you do have to be a little bit more assertive. And, again, remember you’re doing this as a team, you and your husband; having this conversation with your in-laws. And it may come to you having to be very direct and say, “We are very uncomfortable with you disciplining Johnny the way you’ve been disciplining. That’s not how we do it and this is our child and we know you had your way of doing things, but we are not okay with it and it needs to stop.” That would be the more direct way. But I would suggest you try the gentle approach first.
Copyright – 2013-14 – Tunomi Unlimited Incorporated (Twoology)