DEAR CAROLYN: My husband and I got married and had kids relatively young, especially for his family’s standards. Our kids are now in middle and high school and doing well.
His sister is only two years younger than he is but has a 6-month-old baby who is absolutely adorable. However, I find myself being that annoying other parent.
It’s hard because the parents are both highly educated, in their 30s, and they are just overthinking every single thing, and reading every parenting book known to man, and taking them all extremely seriously. It’s a little hard to swallow.
My husband is much better than I am at just nodding and smiling, and I find myself struggling not to give unsolicited advice and tell them to calm down. Any tips for me? We are spending this week with them on vacation and I really don’t want to be that parent, or that in-law.
I Am That Parent
Carolyn Hax: He got a 4-year degree, then settled on this loser job
Carolyn Hax: Entitled eighth-grader is running our household
Carolyn Hax: He wanted to wear gym shorts to the Kennedy Center
Carolyn Hax: I’m dating a rich guy, and it’s getting awkward
Carolyn Hax: How do I tell my husband he’s broken without being mean?
DEAR PARENT: Good! That’s a great and important impulse.
If you have to walk away or abruptly change the subject or break into song to keep yourself from commenting, then so be it. It’ll be worth it.
The only tip I have to offer is to equate your impulse — to intervene toward the cause of relaxed child-rearing — with their impulse to read everything toward the cause of responsible childrearing. Either way, it’s a matter of dog and bone: Each of you is just a different dog with a different bone.
Thinking of it this way might help you feel more viscerally how invested they are in doing things their way, and therefore how futile it ultimately is to try to swing them your way.
And remember that you were new at this once, too, even if …
Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle