Mother-in-laws get a bad rep ... sometimes for good reason. But, if you are trying to improve your relationship with your son, make sure you NEVER do (or say) the following to his wife:
1. Correct her parenting
Think your grandkids watch too much TV? Certain they should be spanked?
Those thoughts should be kept to yourself. Let your daughter-in-law parent how she thinks she should. Just because you breast-fed, doesn't mean your daughter-in-law has to.
2. Criticize her to your son
Marriage is hard enough without you gossiping about your son's wife to him. He probably knows a lot about her weaknesses already. Pointing those flaws out isn't going to help anyone.
Instead, why not look for something good about her and praise her in front of your son?
3. Criticize your son to her
Even if it's said in jest, don't tell your daughter-in-law how bad your son has always been about such-and-such. She picked him as a husband. Negative comments - even in jest - will likely hurt her and harm their marriage.
4. Tell her, "Why don't you try it this way?"
You were once young and made mistakes. Your daughter-in-law deserves the right to do the same. She'll learn from those mistakes just like you did.
5. Resent the time she and your son spend with her family
Naturally you want to spend time with your family, but it's never appropriate to throw a fit, guilt trip or whine about the time your son spends with his wife's family. Marriage means double the family to split the time between.
6. Expect your son to put you first
Don't make your son choose between you and his wife. If you have a disagreement with your daughter-in-law, expect him to put her first. It's painful to no longer be the No. 1 woman in his life. But when he said I do, he agreed to be there for his bride in sickness and in health, in family fights and in peace.
7. Give her the cold shoulder
You may not approve of your son's choice in a wife, but it is HIS choice. Once it's been made, you'll only harm him and your relationship with him by treating her poorly.
Ignoring her is childish. Swallow your pride, and be her friend.
8. Guilt trip her when they skip out on events
If they say they can't make it to an event, don't shame them for missing it. Trust that they are doing what is best for their family. Making your son feel guilty for not making it to an event won't make him want to come in the future. It will make him (and his wife) want to withdraw even more.
Your son's wife and kids have their own lives to live. If that means living away from you, let them have that adventure together. You can still easily have a relationship with your grandkids from a long distance with all the technology that's available to you.
10. Expect THEM to visit YOU (without being willing to travel yourself)
Relationships go two ways. If you always insist they come to you without making the effort to come visit them, don't be surprised when those visits stop.
11. Tell her you're coming (instead of asking)
If you do visit, you should never tell your daughter-in-law you are coming to visit. You must ask. If you're visiting at intrusive times, they won't want you visiting again. Likewise, staying for long periods of time will also wear on them big time.
It's possible to not be a crazy mother-in-law. If you are doing any of these things, stop. Chances are, your relationship will improve drastically without these barriers in the way.
Amberlee is the content manager for FamilyShare.com and earned a degree in journalism. She creates beautiful things with her experience in writing, graphic design, photography, video and music. She loves her family, the outdoors, baby foxes and podcasts.