How to survive Overbearing grandparents

When an eager friend who has had a baby a few years before you, drowns you with her “know it all” information, it can be annoying- but you can take it or leave it, no pressure. When it comes to “know it all “information from inside the house, from grandparents, you don’t have that option!! Which is where all the friction comes in. What do you do when you have senior citizens whose ideas are radically different from yours?

1. Give them the benefit of the doubt

 Usually we have a lot of baggage with in laws and it is hard to accept advice, especially unsolicited advice from them. However, try to give them the benefit of the doubt that they truly believe that they know better since they have ‘been there done that’ and are oblivious to the fact that times have changed and many of the same rules do not apply because the context has changed. Once you see them as ignorant well-meaning people (haha) it is a little easier to handle without getting angry.

2. Have your husband on your side

 When you put up a united front, it is easier to handle them, rather than dealing with it on your own. So first make sure husband and wife are on the same page! In fact, the best thing to do is to have him handle his parents and you handle your parents- that way things are easier than crossing swords with the in laws!

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3. Show them google

Sometimes when they tell you to give honey to the baby, show them on the internet the research that says honey should not be given for kids under 1 year of age. This might convince them that you are not brushing them off and are genuinely concerned about the baby in the face of such contradicting information

4. Rope in your kids!

 Well sometimes it is easier to deal with your kids than grandparents. My kids have grandparents who insist on handing out money all the time to the kids which my husband and I do not approve of. So we told the kids they cannot accept money and voila next time the grandparents tried to give money, the kids refused to take it. They said “Dad and mom don’t like it when we take money”. Problem solved!!

5. State it straight

 After “Having the sex talk with your kid”, this could be the toughest one to have, but sometimes, for the sake of the welfare of your child you have to do this. Remember, your baby has only you for a champion.  So if things are not done right, you are the one who needs to bite the bullet and just state it plain. Do not be harsh, critical or abrasive- just keep it simple and straight forward making it as devoid of emotion or drama as possible.

It can really get on your nerves if grandparents assume it is their second chance at parenting! If that is your situation, the sooner you nip it in the bud, the better off you will be – or else you are looking at, at least a decade of torture ahead if not more! Assess your situation- if they are visiting grandparents who would be gone in a few days, you can ride it out, grind your teeth and bear it. If it is a more involved kind of relationship, you would definitely be better off setting down boundaries right at the beginning!

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