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Dealing with In-laws

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Quick background…my husband’s sister is an alcoholic, who’s never been accountable for anything.  Recently her children were taken from her by social services and my in-laws are taking care of them.  We live within 2 miles of each other and I assisted in having my niece and nephew enrolled at my daughter’s daycare.
My in-laws stop in the room my daughter (2 years old) is in everyday, twice a day while they are dropping off/picking up my niece and nephew (4 years old).  I think it is very disruptive for the classroom, and leaves my daughter to deal with me leaving her (which is sometimes upsetting to her) and then again when they leave her.  My husband will not ask them to stop visiting her everyday.  He said he is not telling them they can’t see her.  I think it’s excessive and unfair to our daughter.  I’m hurt my husband is ignoring my feelings on the issue.  Should I just tell them myself?  Should I push this issue with my husband?  Should I let it go? (From the USA)

Dealing with In-laws

Answered by on -


 You did a good thing by trying to help out the children. Boundaries are something I would encourage you to talk with the daycare staff. Explain the circumstances and ask them to set boundaries on the visits. Many daycares have some guidelines for visitors to follow. You were helpful in getting the children placed there and talking to the director of the facility seems a very reasonable step in trying to resolve the situation. Your in-laws may be trying to compensate for their mother being absent and may not realize how disruptive they are being. My guess is this is a discussion the director can have with them.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Dealing with In-laws

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Dealing with In-laws. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 13 Jun 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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