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10 Commandments for being a great mother- or father-in-law

MOTHER IN LAW
Phovoir - Shutterstock
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Keep these ideas in mind if you want to have a harmonious relationship with your child’s spouse.

The arrival of a son or a daughter-in-law changes the dynamics of a family. While joyful, it can also become a source of tension. To make life with the spouse of your child more pleasant, here are 10 ways to greet this new family member with open arms and cultivate a hands-off approach to the young couple so your relationships can stay healthy and positive.

1. Make an effort to learn more about him/her, as well as about his/her family.

2. Ask him/her how they are instead of asking this question just of your own child and the grandchildren. 

3. Allow the couple to visit you of their own will: it will make it easier for them to return. Pressuring only causes them to avoid you. (Similarly, when it is time to leave, abstain making such comments as “Ah, going already?”)

4. Don’t stop by unannounced — ask them when it’s a good time to visit and respect their schedule.

5. Study how your son- or daughter-in-law likes to be appreciated — it is through presents, praise, help, small gestures, etc.?

6. Be discrete and willing to lend a hand without becoming overwhelming. If the help you are asked to provide is too much for you, simply say so.

7. Don’t forget the birthday of your son- or your daughter-in-law.

8. Learn how to keep your distance.

9. Offer support to your daughter- or son-in-law; encourage them in all aspects of their life. Praise and congratulate them.

10. Refrain from all negative comparisons and comments.

Bénédicte de Saint-Germain

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