How to Get Along With Your In-laws

Posted on April 28, 2014

Conflict, between the generations, exists and has been there, throughout all time.  With some consideration, it does not have to be a trying road.  Here are some guidelines, to ponder, that will make life smoother for all.

  • Love them, for who they are.  They were born, in another generation.  It’s just the way it is.  Baby Boomers and the Millennial Generation have different perspectives.  Listen to their stories. Consider and respect their culture.  Don’t judge them, for their goofy ideas about politics, music, and what to wear, to church.  It is plausible that they have loosened up considerably, from the way they were brought up. 
  • Don’t fight, with them.  Let them live the way they want to live.  Let them do what they want to do.  Let them spoil the grandchildren (mild spoilage won’t hurt anybody).  Take exception when they make choices that intrude upon you and your family, in a way that is invasive.  Set appropriate boundaries, but don’t fight about it.  When they push back, be gentle, loving, and firm, at the same time.  “This is our decision” is an appropriate way to end, the discussion.
  • Cherish, their child.  Your husband has faults, but your mother-in-law does not want to hear about it.  She is not able to accept the idea that it’s her fault.  Either she knows that already, she is in denial, or it’s you and/or your husband, who has the problem.  Find other topics to converse about.
  • Attend to, their grandchildren. Giving your own kids what they need and administering  appropriate discipline and training frees up the grandparents, to be grandparents. You may not agree on how everything is to be done, but little of that matters, if your in-laws are confident that everybody is safe, fed, and receiving training, on how to become good citizens.
  • Remember that, you need each other.  You need them, for wisdom and perspective.  You need them, for advice and experience, when it comes, to home improvements.  You need them, to babysit, once in a while. They need you as well.  If they forget how to turn on the DVD player, they will need to call you (or your kids), for help.  You will educate them, on the need, for the use, of social media.  You will eat dinner and go to the zoo, with them.

Living at peace, with others, is a spiritual responsibility, and a healthy way to live.  Grown-ups, from different generations, can work together to make life a rich experience. We are created to live in community, with others, and it takes respect to make it work.  

Written by: Cheryl Vance, LMFT

Cheryl is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Indianapolis. She specializes in relational issues such as personality, communication, and spiritual growth. If you would like to contact Cheryl, she can be reached at Cheryl@groffandassociates.com or 317-474-6448 ext. 106.

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NzE6Imh0dHA6Ly9ncm9mZmFuZGFzc29jaWF0ZXMuY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMy1ncm9mZl9oZWFkZXIucG5nIjt9PC9saT48L3VsPg==