These tips for building a good relationship with your son's wife will help you be a great mother in law! Being a great mother in law can be as easy as being a loving, kind friend. Or it can require a little fancy footwork – such as self-awareness, people skills, and self-discipline. These mother in law do's and don'ts are geared towards a relationship with your daughter in law (not son-in-law) because most mother-in-law difficulties involve problems with a daughter-in-law.
With these tips, you'll learn how to say "I love you" without even opening your mouth. Before you know it, you'll build a good relationship with your son's wife - and she'll think you're a great mother in law.
To be a great mother in law, DO:
- Remember that your children and daughter in law have their own lives. If you want to see them, call and ask when they're available.
- Be flexible. For instance, if they can't see you on Christmas Day, then gracefully enjoy their company on Christmas Eve. Flexibility is a prime way to be a great mother in law.
- Ask "why" if your daughter in law asks you to change your behavior. Ask why to understand better, not to argue or defend yourself.
- Be patient if you experience hostility, suspicion, or distance from your daughter in law. Build a good relationship with your daughter in law by not reacting immediately to slights.
- Ask before you help with dinner, housecleaning, or rearranging the furniture. Building a good relationship with your daughter in law involves knowing your boundaries.
- Accept and learn about your daughter in law's generation, culture, nationality, age, and mindset – which is supposed to be different than yours!
- Sign a contract if you lend or borrow money from your son's wife.
- Talk openly, honestly, and humbly about miscommunications, arguments, or other conflicts with her. Talk about building a good relationship with your daughter in law and your experiences as a mother in law.
- Be responsive to your daughter in law's needs and feelings even if you don't understand them. Building a good relationship with your daughter in law is about empathy.
- Treat all your children equally – including your in-laws. A great mother in law is impartial and fair.
- Tell mother in law jokes!