Don't let the in-laws ruin the moment.

How to Deal With Rude In-Laws

by Melissa Willets

Finishing dinner while you put the little one to bed. Inviting your family out to eat and not picking up the tab. Sending an age-inappropriate gift for your toddler. Sound familiar? Dealing with rude in-laws is frustrating, hurtful and sometimes baffling. But don't allow them to defeat you! You're a born multi-tasker, able to change your son's dirty diaper while helping your daughter on the potty and at the same time pulling your hair back in a ponytail: You can handle this.

1 Confront a rude comment or you'll boil over like an unwatched pot of macaroni and cheese. After the kids go to bed, tell your sister-in-law you are upset she called your daughter "difficult." While you can't control how your sister-in-law reacts, you can attempt to nip hurtful words in the bud.

2 Focus on the positive contribution from grandparents. Think about the time your father-in-law taught your daughter a funny song or the family history your mother-in-law shares with your son. Your kids' relationships with their grandparents are more important than your frustration with the lack of help from your mother-in-law in preparing dinner last night.

3 Identify what a great prent your in-laws raised. You know -- that spouse of yours, who is giving your little princess a bath right now so you can watch the news? Even if a relationship with your in-laws seems irredeemable, they did raise the person with whom you are parenting your children.

4 Give your kids room to have their own relationships with their grandparents. Even when upset, don't say anything negative about your in-laws in front of the kids. Grandparent relationships provide stability and continuity for children. Your little ones learn to have a positive association with aging and gain a rich sense of family tradition through grandma and grandpa. Allow your kids to enjoy time with their grandparents, even if you do not.

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