My mother-in-law is an expert on everything

Filed under: Big Kids, Relatives

My mother-in-law did a fine job raising her sons and I admire her for that. However, the woman considers herself an expert on everything, especially if it's child-related. She freely offers her advice and criticism whether I have asked for it or not. My own mother raised three children, yet she would never tell me how to raise mine. It's not that my mother doesn't have opinions, she just recognizes that she would be out of line to share them unless asked.

Until recently, my mother-in-law lived in another country and her visits were rare. When she did visit or call, I would bite my tongue and let it pass when she offered her unwanted advice.

But now that she is living in the U.S., she visits more and calls us frequently with her ideas and opinions. On her last visit, she made it clear she did not like our dog. But she didn't stop there. She stated repeatedly, not just in front of Ellie, but to Ellie, that the dog needed to go. Bear in mind the dog had not committed any offense that would justify her expulsion from the family, she simply didn't like her.

Ellie was upset by her comments and it took some talking for me to convince her that that we really weren't getting rid of her dog. My husband and I both told his mother how we felt about her comments and she apologized immediately. But she didn't stop doing it. She continues to inform us of everything she thinks we are doing wrong. And then apologizes for it.

I don't know what to do with this. By this point, I suspect she really is incapable of stopping herself from doing it. Despite all of this, I like my mother-in-law and she likes me. I would like to keep it that way.

If the issue isn't communication - as in her son and I both telling her when she is being inappropriate - then what is it? And how do I stop it before it goes to far and I say something I regret?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.