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Tips for Mother-in-Law to Get Along with Daughter-in-Law

Letters we receive about mothers-in-law outnumber letters about daughters-in-law by about 30 to 1. Daughters-in-law complaints center around being snubbed, ignored, treated badly, and feeling hurt for a variety of reasons. Developing and maintaining a good relationship takes effort on both sides. The tips below are general guidelines for a mother-in-law to get along better with the daughter-in-law. Each tip is important and not in any particular order. But, the common denominator is to respect your daughter-in-law.

15 Tips for Mother-in-Law to Get Along with Daughter-in-Law

1. Be Inclusive: include your daughter-in-law's name on all correspondence intended for both of them. In other words, do not address the envelope only to your son, unless it is a card for his birthday or other personal reason.

2. Equal treatment of son and his wife: treat your son and daughter-in-law equally. If you send your son a birthday card, then send your daughter-in-law a card for her birthday.

3. Equal treatment of grandchildren: treat all grandchildren equally whether biological or not. Treat grandchildren from all your children equally, for example, grandchildren from your son should be treated equally and lovingly to those of your daughter. In addition, if your son marries someone who has children from a previous marriage, treat them as you would your own grandchildren.

4. No Unexpected Dropping in: always call before stopping by to visit.

5. Limit Calling: limit your phone calls to once a week, unless there is something important to discuss. You can email as much as you like.

6. Be neutral: never take sides if your son and daughter-in-law have an argument.

7. Limit Overnight Stays: when visiting, limit overnight stays to no more than one week, unless you are invited to stay longer.

8. Limit Junk Food for Grandkids: Do not spoil your grandchildren with unhealthy foods. You love them and want them to learn healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.

9. Limit Extravagance: Do not overspend on gifts for your grandchildren, especially if it is extravagant and more than what the parents could have afforded. Your love and attention are more important than materialistic items.

10. Be Appreciative of Daughter-In-Law: appreciate the efforts of your daughter-in-law. If she cooks you a meal, then thank her and let her know how much you enjoyed it.

11. Be Helpful: if your daughter-in-law in the kitchen cooking, go in and help. You can get to know her better and bond.

12. Limit Advice: offer advice only when asked, especially with regards to raising children.

13. Respect Their Rules: respect the rules of your son and daughter-in-law in their home, i.e. shoes off in the house; if you are babysitting, then honor bedtime rules.

14. Be Flexible: especially around the the holidays, be flexible and do not expect your son and daughter-in-law to be with you every holiday dinner on the actual day. For example, they may need to alternate dinners with you and her folks having Thanksgiving with you and Christmas with her folks or vice versa. Or, they may need to celebrate the day before or the day after.

15. Communicate: express how you feel if your feelings are hurt or you feel left out.