Being parents can be a wonderful feeling. But, along with the responsibility of parenting comes the added burden of balancing your in-laws’ relationship with your child. After all, grandparents have a right and a special attachment with their grandkids too! This makes it all the more important to ensure you maintain a healthy balance between their likes and your parenting goals. One positive step toward avoiding such conflicts is to refrain from discussing certain controversial parenting topics with your in-laws. Here are some of them:
1. Your Child’s Name And Surname
Grandparents get a little touchy about their grandchild’s name, especially the surname. They have a lot going on in their minds like the meaning of the name; if it rhymes with their dad’s name; if it suits the baby astrologically or numerologically, etc. And if you’ve forgotten to add the family surname or didn’t name the baby after a great, great grandfather, then it is a huge cardinal sin that you’ll commit!
2. Hospital Visits
Soon after childbirth, you’ll be completely exhausted. And the last thing you’d want is visitors dropping in, robbing you and your baby of precious sleep and rest. So, if you’ve already made a mental list of allowing only a few close family members, don’t discuss them with your in-laws for they might get offended. You can advise the hospital staff instead.
3. Style Of Parenting
Each parent has a different style of parenting. Being the experienced ones, your in-laws might want you to follow their style. It’s highly likely that what worked for them might not work for you. But try not to tell it to them on their face. Continue doing what you feel is the best for your child and incorporate those ideas that you agree with your in-laws on.
4. Use Of Diaper
Many in-laws who have used cloth diapers often frown upon new mommies who prefer the more-modern synthetic diapers. While the advantages and disadvantages of both can be debatable, avoid discussing this issue when your in-laws are around.
5. Spiritual Orientation
The spiritual and religious environment at home is a very sensitive topic for your in-laws. So, whether you choose to approach religious upbringing in a strict or a liberal manner, refrain from discussing it with your in-laws.
6. Type Of Birth
It’s unimaginable that a decision so critical to a pregnant woman herself has to be taken by her in-laws. In countries like India, in-laws have a major say in the type of birth a woman should undergo, with most preferring normal deliveries. Should any complication arise that could warrant a C-Section, let your doctor explain to your in-laws about the same before performing the surgery.
7. Display Of Affection
Grandparents often kiss and cuddle their grandchild. But such forms of affection might not be healthy for your child. In the present scenario, children often become victims of molestation by strangers who come in the garb of affectionate elderly. Thus, it becomes imperative for parents to train their kids about good and bad touch. However, telling your in-laws not to indulge in such a display of affection can ruffle their feathers. Try to tactfully handle this situation by asking your child to refuse such actions instead.
8. Baby’s Way Of Feeding
Agreed, breastfeeding is the best. But a new mom may not be able to breastfeed due to many reasons. Thus, the decision of how to feed her baby should rest solely with the mother. However, it’s a right that many in-laws do not often bestow on their daughters-in-law. In case you choose to feed formula to your baby, avoid telling so in front of your in-laws.
9. Disciplining Methods
Just like parenting styles, disciplining methods can be different too. At times, you might want to be a strict disciplinarian. While at other times, you’d want to have a meaningful dialogue with your child instead of resorting to time-outs. No matter how you choose to discipline your child, do not try to reason or seek advice from your in-laws about it. The idea of their grandchild enduring even the slightest bit of discomfort will not go down well with them.
We hope that this list helps you balance your new-mommy duties and your relationship with your in-laws well. What are the controversial parenting topics, other than those listed above, that you’ll refrain from discussing with your in-laws? Let us know in the comments below.