How to Handle Conflict Between Your Daughter in Law & Not Seeing Your Grandchild


Ask any woman about her mother-in-law and you might get a cringe-worthy response. History and the media have portrayed the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship as a volatile competition for love and attention of one man ---- your son. When children enter the picture, the dynamics of that relationship can move to a whole new level and add a whole other layer of conflict. Resolving conflict with your daughter-in-law not only will improve your relationship with her but will ensure you get to see your beautiful grandchild grow up.

  • Give your daughter-in-law space to be her own person and parent. Providing parenting or lifestyle advice might seem helpful to you, but it can be perceived as judgmental, condescending or hurtful to your daughter-in-law. This is especially true if she is a new mother who is trying to figure things out on her own.

  • Talk to you son about the best ways to approach and speak to your daughter-in-law about the conflict. He should know different ways to talk to her that will be helpful in resolving any conflicts between the two of you.

  • Offer to sit down and speak with your daughter-in-law about the conflict. She will probably be thankful for the opportunity to clear the air and have you listen to her point of view. Listen objectively and respectfully to what she has to say about parenting and your grandchild.

  • Explain to your daughter-in-law your intentions and apologize if your actions or intents were perceived negatively. Tell your daughter-in-law how much you care about her and your grandchild. Discuss your hurt feelings (without placing any blame on her) regarding not being a part of your grandchild's life.

  • Ask your son to speak on your behalf if you do not feel comfortable addressing your daughter-in-law at first. Your son can break the ice and can act as a mediator between you and your daughter-in-law during the first initial meeting or discussion about any conflicts.

  • Resolve to be open and honest with one another regarding your feelings and concerns about your grandchild. Keeping an open relationship will not eliminate conflict, but it can make the conflict easier to deal with when it does arise.

Tips & Warnings

  • Discuss with your son the possibility of seeing your grandchild without your daughter-in-law present if the conflict can not be resolved. Your son might be able to arrange a visitation schedule for you as long as his wife does not protest it.
  • Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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