Ex Etiquette: What to Do When Your Ex-In-Laws Have Too Much Input

 Follow these steps:

  • Approach it as a business relationship. Flying off the handle is not tolerated in business. When you disagree with a coworker, it's important to keep your head and find a solution quickly so you can continue working together. Use the same principle with Grandmother.
  • Work toward a goal. In the case above, it would be positive co-parenting. Once this becomes a mutual goal, you and your children's grandmother will be willing to make the necessary concessions to get along. If it's not a mutual goal, both of you will continue to put your needs ahead of your children's '- and blame each other when life doesn't run smoothly.
  • Develop empathy. Use your natural empathetic ability to focus on your feelings and Grandmother's feelings, and think about them when looking for solutions. I've found that this simple act has led to more creative problem solving than any other technique.
  • Cultivate respect. When people don't feel respected, they're unlikely to cooperate.
  • Pick your fights. If it's not a crisis, don't turn it into one.

Ultimately, learning to compromise is the key to success, and it won't happen if you don't have a heart-to-heart with your children's grandmother. You both need to have the same goal. With your ex-husband's knowledge, set up a meeting with his mother. Talk about your mutual goals and remind each other that you need to coordinate efforts for the sake of the children you both love.

One of my favorite suggestions? Bring a picture of your little ones and set it right down on the middle of the table. If one of you begins to lose your temper, pick up the picture. That should remind you both why you're there!

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