Role of In-Laws in Parenting


Becoming parents is a wonderful feeling. I was ecstatic when my son was born, after almost six years of marriage. Like all modern families in our present times, I, too, live in a nuclear set-up. But the difference lies in the fact that my parents-in-law have already left for their heavenly abode. My husband is the youngest in the family, with four elder sisters, who are the only in-laws that I have.

 My mother has been my role model, So, I have tried to raise my son the same way my mum has raised me. She has always been my mentor, my guide, my encyclopaedia ☺ . I have always stuck to specific timelines with my son, with respect to all his activities. To elaborate, there is an appropriate time to go to bed and to wake up, a designated time for meals, a scheduled time slot for studying and so on and so forth. I have also been immensely particular about his diet, extremely nutritious, with a wide array of food products.

So, initially, when my sis-in-law would ask me to do something differently, I would feel so very uncomfortable. They, contrary to mum’s point of view, have always believed that a child needs to be allowed to grow freely, without restrictions. He should be the sole decision maker, with regard to activities pertaining to him. I found this quite strange. How could I ever allow my baby to make important choices for himself? How could he ever decide if he needed two glasses of milk or none? How could I ever let him stay up past his bedtime, just because he wanted to watch his favourite TV show?

But now, when my son is six years old and I have tried to adopt the seemingly divergent ways of parenting, I realise they are both effective. Yes, the healthy food habits will always remain with him. But we can always tweak a few rules, like the ones related to his bedtime, especially over the weekends. It is amazing to see the huge grin on my son’s face, when I let him watch TV till 10pm; when I surprise him by ordering a pizza or a burger, on a weekday (yes, I have changed and how!); when I let him skip milk for once.

I totally credit my sisters-in-law with this positive change in me. In-laws can teach us and our kids so much, just like our own mum and dad .The stories (old and new) that they especially weave for our little ones, are so educative and entertaining. My in-laws are amazing with my son. They play with him, teach him art and craft, take him out for walks, tell him the importance of love, sharing and mutual respect, and introduce him to the wonders of nature and so much more.

Yes, parents are the most important people in a child’s life, his role models. But grandparents are irreplaceable (maternal and paternal, our in-laws). My sisters-in-law play the same role in my son’s life and I am indebted to them, forever. ☺


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