WELCOME TO BABY BOOMER MEMOS
AGING BABY BOOMERS BECOME PARENTS-IN-LAW
Baby Boomers rejoice ... or ... weep when we become parents-in-law. Reactions mostly depend on whom our adult children have chosen as life-mates.
Best-Case Scenario: Boomers approve of, and get along well with, our children's mates. We judge them 'worthy' partners for our offspring and cheerfully take on the role of in-laws. Heartwarming.
Worst-Case Scenario: Boomers disapprove of, and do not get along with, our children's mates. We judge them 'unworthy' partners for our offspring and begrudgingly take on the role of in-laws. Heartbreaking.
Some boomers wince at the word judge, claiming it implies unkindness. In this case, let's set aside implications and focus on reality. Parents do assess and evaluate the merits of partners; we do make judgements, i.e. judge. In our defense, it is done out of love for our kids. Exactly.
Baby Boomers who have tense relationships with our children's mates eventually will have to make a monumental decision. Do we diffuse or escalate tensions?
Hint: It is never a good idea to put offspring in the position to choose sides - parents or partners. Usually, parents lose. Ouch!
Parent-in-law DOs and DON'Ts ...