DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My wife and her mother are super close and always have been. Sometimes I wish, though, that they were a little less close, because my mother-in-law is constantly giving my wife her “advice” on how to raise our two children. Our son is four and our daughter is almost two. It’s like my wife has zero confidence in her own abilities, and can’t make a move without consulting with her mom. We have had more than one fight over this, and she thinks I don’t like her mother, which is absolutely not true. I just want for her and me to raise our own kids.
How do I break this habit of reliance? --- TOO MUCH MIL
DEAR TOO MUCH MIL: What might help is if you ask your wife how she herself would handle particular situations as soon as they crop up. If you feel that her plan is reasonable and sound, let her know that and strongly support her following through on it. Keep trying that tactic until she realizes she can make good parenting decisions on her own.
She may still confer with her mother, but perhaps she’ll be more self-assured and less reliant on Mom as the only source of knowledge and wisdom if she fully believes and understands that you have confidence in her abilities to parent your children.