Mothers in law and daughters in law don’t always speak the same language. But, there are ways to prevent miscommunication and avoid misunderstandings. Therapist, Julie Hanks, explains what those mixed messages really mean.
“My kids NEVER did that!”
TRANSLATION: needs acknowledgement that she did a good job as a parent.
MIL TIP: notice and comment on positive parenting moments.
“When are you going to give me a grandchild?”
TRANSLATION: wants you to know that she’s excited to be a grandma.
MIL TIP: Convey trust in Daughter in law & son to make those important decisions.
“I always clean/cook/organize this way.”
TRANSLATION: wants acknowledgement for her homemaking experiences. MIL TIP: Wait until you’re asked before giving any advice.
“He was mine first.”
TRANSLATION: wants you to know how much she loves her son and she’s scared to lose him.
MIL TIP: Be direct about relationship wishes but not demanding (i.e. I’d love to see you guys more often. Are you free for dinner Sunday?)
“Have you put on weight?”
TRANSLATION: wants you to know that she cares about her appearance.
MIL TIP: Don’t say anything.
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