Anonymous said: My wife's dad and stepmother are wickedly inconsiderate, pushy, self-centered, and by far the most dysfunctional people I've ever known. My wife and I don't want the step-mother's influence near our toddler because she gets her kicks from different varieties of manipulation (the children they have together all have issues as well), and her dad chooses to ignore this problem. Without starting WWIII, how do we approach creating barriers when reasoning with them has so far proven to be futile?
I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of speaking to adults like adults and, if they can’t handle that, that’s their problem. So, if you know WWIII is a possibility, I guess just prepare for WWIII and have the hard conversation. And if discussing barriers hasn’t worked before, maybe do that whole shock-and-awe thing by not allowing them to be around your kid until the behavior changes.
Because, as I said in the linked post above, your baby is more important than the resulting awkward silence during Thanksgiving dinner.
Repeat after me:
Adults are responsible for the emotional welfare of their children. If someone is threatening the emotional welfare of your child, it’s up to you to establish and enforce boundaries with that person.
And if they complain or try to manipulate you, stick to your guns.