Life Advice



Ask Amy: New grandmother pushes family’s boundaries

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My husband and I recently welcomed our first child.

On my side of the extended family, our baby son (“Samuel”) is the fifth grandchild, but on my husband's side, he is the first.

I am trying to be sensitive to the excitement and extra attention a first grandchild receives.

My mother-in-law, “Joan," has been to our house for a visit of a week’s duration each month since Sam’s birth. Each time she visits, I am more hesitant to welcome her back.

Joan is blatantly disregarding the parenting strategy my husband and I have adopted in favor of her own techniques. She does this against our specific instructions and without discussion.

My husband has stepped up and politely addressed our concerns multiple times with Joan. She either apologizes (without any change in her behavior) or tells him that she prefers to do things her way.


I am ready to toss manners, along with any future invitations to visit, out the window, but I do not want to start a family drama centered around our child.

How should I approach the situation?

– First-time Mom

Dear Mom: Don’t wait until you lose your cool. Talk to your husband and develop a plan for communicating with his mother – together. This presents an opportunity for you two to offer a united front regarding behavior that seems to bother both of you.


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