Umwanted Advice From Mother-In-Law

by Paige
(Houston, TX, USA)

Yesterday I received am email from my mother-in-law with an attachment. The attachment was a Dinning Etiquette Guide. In the email she wrote "Really good information to know and teach the children. Please print and keep."


I am appalled that she would send such a thing and then to add her comment about to teach the children and for me to keep and print. What is the proper way to let her know that she crossed the line?

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Nov 02, 2015
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Just awesome like always NEW
by: Anonymous

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Sep 15, 2015
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Aug 12, 2015
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True information is shared NEW
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Sep 13, 2013
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Don't be quick to take offence NEW
by: Anonymous

Good manners dictate that we not be quick to take offense and when we do take offense that we not reply back offensively.

Take into consideration that she is a grandmother and may be regretting not putting more of an emphasis on manners with her own kids. She could also be wanting to give her grand kids an edge in life by ensuring they follow great manners on a regular basis so it becomes second nature to them.

Just thank her for being such a caring grandmother by email... if she did mean to offend then you being gracious about it will "kill her intentions with kindness" and if she was simply being a "helpful grandmother" she will appreciate you allowing her to get "involved" with the grandkids.

Sep 13, 2013
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Don't be quick to take offence NEW
by: Anonymous

Good manners dictate that we not be quick to take offense and when we do take offense that we not reply back offensively.

Take into consideration that she is a grandmother and may be regretting not putting more of an emphasis on manners with her own kids. She could also be wanting to give her grand kids an edge in life by ensuring they follow great manners on a regular basis so it becomes second nature to them.

Just thank her for being such a caring grandmother by email... if she did mean to offend then you being gracious about it will "kill her intentions with kindness" and if she was simply being a "helpful grandmother" she will appreciate you allowing her to get "involved" with the grandkids.

Jun 12, 2013
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Or another alternative NEW
by: Kenz

Say nothing. What is that all about 'not dignifying something with a response'? Or I suppose the most mature and classy thing to do is to reply with 'Thank You', and then to promptly delete.

Feb 02, 2012
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NO WIMPS NEW
by: Anonymous

I have young children, and am a daughter in law.

My mother in law is constantly trying to undermine my parenting. My children's manners are impeccable and they act respectful in any environment and respect food. With that said I am prone to think that the mom in law sent the email with the intent of being helpful and NOT undermining.

I would ignore that email and ask myself honestly "are my kids sitting on their knees in a chair, coming to the table without washing up, eating with their hands, eating while half their body is on the floor the other half on a chair, chomping with their mouth open, chewing or slurping loudly, eating and talking, flicking food at his sister, helping themselves to food with their bare hands, stuffing their face without wiping their mouths or fingers, sucking their fingers, etc. Then teach them NOT TO DO THOSE THINGS NO ONE can say a thing about your kids--and you will not be mortified by their behavior.

Nov 11, 2010
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Reply to mother-in-law
by: Anonymous

How about sending a kind and fun reply, i.e., Thank you for the e-mail and attachment. There is some useful information to be found there and elsewhere. I am also attaching something I just found :-)

(then attach an article about etiquette and boundaries for in-laws and advice they should and should not give)

I would run this by your spouse first. I wish I would have set some boundaries like this 23 years ago because I am still being run over.

May 08, 2010
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Best to leave it at a "maybe" as an answer
by: Eunice replies

I would be annoyed too.

The question to ask yourself is, would you want to be caught in a 'fight' if you replied and told her that she crossed the line?

I don't know your mother in law but maybe she just found this free guide online and thought it was of great value and merely decided to share it?

Maybe it was not personal at all - meaning she does not think that you have bad manners but thought you'd appreciate a free book on dining etiquette?

Just trying to look at things from a different perspective.

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