Watch what you say about par­ent­ing to your mum-in-law.

Young Parents (Singapore) - - Contents -

DON’T SAY “I’m the baby’s mother, not you.”

Okay, Grandma can be­come over-ex­cited such that she be­haves as though your baby is hers. But that’s just be­cause she is car­ried away with the mo­ment, and she re­mem­bers what it was like when her first child was born. It’s bet­ter if you say: “I’d like to try things my way be­cause I have so much to learn.”

DON’T SAY “That’s too old-fash­ioned; we do things dif­fer­ently nowa­days.”

Of course, there are trends in baby care, just as in other ar­eas of life. In­stead of re­mind­ing your mum-in-law about her ad­vanc­ing years, ex­plain there are now dif­fer­ent op­por­tu­ni­ties, meth­ods and equip­ment for par­ents.

DON’T SAY “You are vis­it­ing us too of­ten, and we need some time to our­selves.”

You need time to ad­just to your new fam­ily struc­ture and you may find that Grandma’s fre­quent vis­its are in­tru­sive.

To avoid pos­si­ble con­fronta­tion, ex­plain: “Your vis­its are very help­ful but some­times I need to learn how to do things by my­self.”

DON’T SAY “You don’t un­der­stand how much my baby’s cry­ing up­sets me.”

She un­der­stands – be­cause she felt the same when she was a new mum with a young child. Try to learn from her by con­sult­ing her on the strate­gies she used to cope when her baby sobbed un­con­trol­lably.

DON’T SAY “You are buy­ing so much, you are spoil­ing him.”

She does this be­cause she loves your new­born. Your mum-in-law demon­strates her care and con­cern by giv­ing him lots of presents, and she en­joys spoil­ing him. To man­age her gift­ing more ef­fec­tively, show her all the fab­u­lous clothes and toys he has, so she’ll see he has plenty.

DON’T SAY “I don’t think he needs to see you ev­ery sin­gle day.”

The prob­lem is, Grandma dis­agrees and she is con­vinced her daily vis­its are cru­cial to his devel­op­ment and wel­fare. You can side­step this by telling her you will be out all day to­mor­row be­cause you are vis­it­ing a friend.

DON’T SAY “You need to get a life of your own.”

For many mums-in-law, spend­ing time with their new grand­child is much more im­por­tant than all other so­cial and leisure ac­tiv­i­ties. Grand­moth­er­hood is their new role. Con­sider say­ing: “I’m wor­ried we are tak­ing up so much of your time lately. I think it is im­por­tant for you to keep meet­ing your friends.”

DON’T SAY “My baby is much more set­tled when you’re not here. You get him over-ex­cited.”

Grandma’s en­thu­si­asm can make your baby very hy­per, and this may be very dis­rup­tive for him, even though this is well-in­ten­tioned. So when your mum-in-law starts to get him all worked up, tell her you’d like to keep him set­tled be­cause he needs to sleep.

DON’T SAY “I’ve no­ticed he prefers his other grandma.”

There is no way back from that state­ment (even if it is true). If your lit­tle one seems to have a favourite grandma – you can tell by the dif­fer­ent way he re­sponds to each of them – it’s best to keep that in­for­ma­tion to your­self. You gain no ben­efit by shar­ing it.

DON’T SAY “I’m bring­ing my baby up dif­fer­ently from the way you brought your son up.”

You must de­cide how to par­ent your baby, raise him and de­velop his full po­ten­tial. Even if you may well dis­ap­prove of some of your mum-in-law’s par­ent­ing ideas, you don’t need to tell her so ex­plic­itly. Just be the par­ents you want to be.

For many mums-in-law, grand­moth­er­hood is much more im­por­tant than all other so­cial and leisure ac­tiv­i­ties.

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