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by Abigail Van Buren

Grandma's Helping Hand Is Slapped Away by Daughter-in-Law

DEAR ABBY: My only son and his wife had their first baby recently. My daughter-in-law treats me terribly. She's hypercritical of what I do or say. I am usually so blindsided I don't have much of a reply.

When I attempted to help out with the laundry, cleaning, etc., I was met with more criticism and advice on how to perform those tasks. She also says I don't know how to properly hold an infant. Abby, I have raised five grown children! How can I change this situation? -- PUNISHED FOR WANTING TO HELP

DEAR PUNISHED: Remind your daughter-in-law that you're just trying to help her. She may not have been critical of your efforts as much as trying to convey how she would like those tasks done. However, if you can't please her, take the hint and stop offering.

She may be a nervous new mother, but she appears to have gone overboard to the point of being tactless. The next time she tells you you don't know how to hold a baby, point out that you managed to raise five of them safely to adulthood. Then back off and give her some space because she may be hormonal and need it.

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