Mother and Daughter In Law Relationship Do’s and Dont’s

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It is not uncommon for mothers and their daughters in law to have combative relationships. This wobbly relationship is brought about by power struggle, control and jealousy about the husband / son.

Life Changing


This marriage between the son and his wife if a big change – both for the other and her new daughter in law. The automatic reaction here is to try to control things instead of trying to understand their differences.

Having new children / grandchildren can further strain this mother / daughter -in -law relationship, as the mom and daughter now also compete for the love and affection of the children / grandchildren.

Do’s and Dont’s

Here are some do’s and dont’s and other tips for mothers who are learning the ropes to being a mother- in- law.

  • DO: Welcome your new daughter in law to the family. Show her some warmth. She is already nervous and anxious about getting married and this new extended family. Remember when you got married? She surely doesn’t need you making curt comments or rolling your eyes when she says something you disagree on.
  • DON’T: Try to minimize complaining or criticizing your daughter in law to your son. This will only strain your relationship with both of them. If you don’t agree to your son’s decision to marry this woman, try to see what he saw in her.
  • DO: Tell your son what you like about his wife: she dresses well, has good education, knows hot to interact with people, is good with children, etc.¬†Your son will appreciate this and will likely tell his wife about the good things you said about her.
  • DON’T: Do not stress if you don’t hit it off with your daughter in law right away. We have already established that you are both not comfortable right away with this new relationship. Allow some time for you to get to know each other better. If the wedding is upcoming, offer to help even with small details. If proximity will not allow you to hang out or have lunches together, send her text messages or emails to ask how to things are going.
  • DO: As you communicate with her, find out what she likes, what she does, her taste in fashion or food preferences, etc. Learn more about what she likes to do so you can find some common ground.
  • DON’T: Avoid gossiping about your son’s wife or their home situation with other family members. This never ends well.
  • DO: Always make sure that what you do with your grandchildren is okay with their parents, including your daughter in law. This will help relax your relationship as time goes by.
  • DON’T: Don’t insist to do things your way, even when they are visiting at your house. They have their own family now, and they are in charge, not you.
  • DO: If you have a daughter, invite your daughter in law if you are going out to lunch or on a shopping trip. This will help you create a bond and learn more about this new member of your family.
  • DON’T: Do not put pressure on your son and daughter in law to have children. While this may be funny or cute at first, most couples will start getting annoyed or stressed soon.

It is true that some mothers in law and daughters in law can be difficult. But there are also many who make great lifetime relationships. Whether you will have a great one or a strained one is up to the both of you. Just relax – you both have a lot to gain from getting along.


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