0-1 YEAR OLD

If Grandma is al­ways find­ing fault with your par­ent­ing skills, DR RICHARD C. WOOLF­SON has sound ad­vice on how you can ease the ten­sion and im­prove your re­la­tion­ship.

Young Parents (Singapore) - - CONTENTS -

If Grandma is al­ways nd­ing fault with your par­ent­ing skills, here’s how you can ease the ten­sion.

No mat­ter how hard you try, it seems like you’re never good enough as a mum in your mother-in-law’s eyes.

Each time your baby falls sick or in­jures him­self, she blames you for not tak­ing good care of him.

Ev­ery time he cries, she says it’s your fault for not han­dling him prop­erly.

Grandma seems to have for­got­ten that this is your baby, and that bring­ing him up is your re­spon­si­bil­ity, not hers.

Here are sug­ges­tions to help re­duce the ten­sion in your re­la­tion­ship: Stay level-headed Re­mem­ber that mum-in-law only wants the best for her grand­child. She has lots of ex­pe­ri­ence rais­ing her own chil­dren and, as a re­sult, she thinks she knows best. She wants to pass this ac­cu­mu­lated knowl­edge on to you so you can also do a good job as a par­ent.

There is no mal­ice in­tended in her neg­a­tive com­ments, even though you nd her con­stant crit­i­cism ir­ri­tat­ing and un­der­min­ing. She thinks she is be­ing help­ful.

Have condence in your­self

Ev­ery mum was once a rst-time par­ent, so it’s not just you who has ever worn par­ent­ing “L” plates. Re­mind your­self that you are as ca­pa­ble as any other new par­ent.

While Grandma’s con­stant neg­a­tiv­ity might slowly grind you down, keep telling your­self that you have the ca­pac­ity and skills to tackle most par­ent­ing chal­lenges on your own. Don’t as­sume that you are do­ing some­thing wrong just be­cause she says so.

Be aware that she has lim­i­ta­tions

Ev­ery­body has lim­ited ex­pe­ri­ence, in­clud­ing know-it-all Grandma. Even if she raised 10 chil­dren, she still might not have faced the same

chal­lenges that you have to deal with your baby.

So the fact that she’s an “old-timer” and you are a “new­bie” doesn’t au­to­mat­i­cally mean she gets ev­ery­thing right and you get ev­ery­thing wrong. There are many dif­fer­ent types of par­ents.

Re­mem­ber there is more than one “right way” to raise a child

Of course, there are uni­ver­sal rules about par­ent­ing, such as the need to help your baby full his po­ten­tial, the need to stim­u­late him through play and the need to love him.

But there are plenty of ways to meet these needs, which means there may be more than one “right” an­swer.

Have pri­vate time with your baby

Nat­u­rally you want your baby to know his grand­mother, but that doesn’t mean she needs to be there all the time. Make sure you have plenty of time man­ag­ing your young baby on your own, with­out ea­gle-eyed Grandma watch­ing your ev­ery move.

You’ll nd that your condence in your par­ent­ing skills builds more quickly when you are not sub­jected to crit­i­cism all the time. Use tact and diplo­macy Even if your mum-in-law is driv­ing you nuts with her in­ces­sant com­plaints, bear in mind that main­tain­ing pos­i­tive fam­ily re­la­tion­ships is in ev­ery­one’s best in­ter­est.

That’s why you have to deal sen­si­tively with her neg­a­tive com­ments and crit­i­cism. Stay calm, ir­re­spec­tive of how an­noyed you might feel, and speak re­spect­fully to her at all times. Try to avoid squab­bling with her, if pos­si­ble. Get your spouse in­volved An­other ef­fec­tive strat­egy to help keep Grandma’s on­slaught of blame in check is to en­sure that your hus­band sup­ports you and un­der­stands the pres­sure you are un­der. You need to work as a team.

Ask him to speak to his mum, to let her know that he fully sup­ports your de­ci­sions and to re­spect­fully sug­gest that she stops un­der­min­ing your condence. She’ll fol­low his wishes on this mat­ter.

Get your hus­band to sup­port you and un­der­stand the pres­sure you are un­der. You need to work as a team.

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