My in-laws are lovely people, but they are also insufferable in many ways. How do I send the message to my young children that it’s OK to love people even if they are completely wrong in almost everything they do? And, more importantly, how do I convince my 5 year old that I’m not a total tyrant compared to his grandparents and aunt, despite evidence to the contrary (i.e., I tell him no, enforce his bedtime and won’t tolerate bad behavior)? I know the right thing is to let my kids figure out for themselves just how ridiculous their father’s side of the family is, but it’s so hard to keep from helping them along that path.
Jessica James, AKA The Outlaw
Yes, my in-laws are lovely people too. Why, when they called me an emasculating bitch with a white trash family, it was one of the loveliest moments of my life!
Experts always encourage parents to spend quality time with their children and also to allow artistic freedom. So coloring your child’s judgment kills two parenting birds with one stone and is totally backed by child-rearing experts. You’re in the clear.
Or you could do like I do, which is keep my mouth shut by pouring several glasses of wine in it. This method also kills two birds with one stone but with added benefits – I get to feel morally superior for not trash talking my kids’ grandparents and, after glass three, I no longer care what my in-laws say or do.
A different set of experts teach what you say of others is actually a projection of your self, meaning whatever negative thing you say of your in-laws is actually a negative aspect in you. I’m experimenting with this concept in reverse. I keep saying positive things about my in-laws, such as “they are millionaires,” but so far my bank account isn’t buying this concept and my checking balance is stuck at three figures and not seven.
However, my in-laws were generous enough to send a check to help pay for back-to-school supplies for the kids and give my husband a set of new tires for his birthday, so there could actually be something to this “thought creates reality” concept. You might want to give it a try.