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Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Traits of a good mother-in-law

WHEN last have you heard someone boasting about just how much they love their mother-in-law? Maybe a good while back, if ever. If you are one of those persons who really get along well with your mother-in-law, consider yourself blessed, since the more common occurrence is for people to exclaim that they do not like their in-laws and in particular, their mothers-in-law.
Really and truly though, it doesn't have to be this way.
When in-laws are appreciative of each other, there is much more love and happiness in the family. It is really such a joy to see mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law acting civilised with each other and getting along very well.
Those mothers-in-law who get it right do understand that there are certain traits that are necessary in order to be a good mothers-in-law, and they go out of their way to show them. Listed below are some.
*A good mother-in-law is not nosy. She understands her role clearly and does not pry into what does not concern her. Even when she is privy to confidential information, she keeps it to herself, since she knows that 'silence is golden'.
*A good mother-in-law is not biased. If and when she is called to settle a dispute, she does not take sides. She listens actively and if necessary, encourages the couple to seek professional help. If she has to speak, her words are those of wisdom. Oftentimes, she listens more and speaks less.
*A good mother-in-law is kind. She treats her son/daughter-in-law with love and respect, like she would her own child. If something is good enough for her child, she knows that it is also good enough for her son/daughter-in-law.
*A good mother-in-law is not jealous. She knows that even if she has a special place in her child's heart, when the child takes a partner, that position may not be the same. Regardless of what is happening, a good mother-in-law encourages her children to love their spouses with a love that is everlasting, instead of worrying herself about position.
*A good mother-in-law is a peacemaker. If she senses that war is about to break, she encourages all parties to make peace. Her motto is always as follows: 'let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me'.
*A good mother-in-law knows how to go out and when to come in. She usually calls before she visits and at no time will she ever overstay her welcome. She knows when to visit and when to end the visit.
*A good mother-in-law is as wise as an owl and harmless as a dove. She tries at all times not to do or say anything to offend her children. Her words are well timed and are thoroughly thought out and so too are her actions.
*A good mother-in-law is a reservoir of strength. She knows that she is a source of strength for her children. Therefore, she is always ready to give positive advice and encouraging words that are building blocks for life's journey. Finally, she knows that her strength does not lie within herself, and is very much aware that her help and her strength comes from the Lord.
Jacqueline Champier is a counselling psychologist from Mandeville.