Remember in Season 1 when Jason’s parents visited Jason and Kelly during the playoffs? Kelly ended up in the hospital with a panic attack. She couldn’t do anything right and Jason did not do anything to relieve it--he sided with his mother. The strain of her in-laws visiting was so great, even Tasha Mack commented that , “….She probably ran back to White folks, ain’t nobody gonna take all that…”
Melanie and Derwin had their own set of strife as well with the Barnetts. Derwin couldn’t do anything right either, which on one occasion resulted in repeated blows landed onto his face. However all things turned around when Derwin became the superstar Wide Receiver.
|Melanie & Derwin getting ready for a visit from The Barnetts|
Whether you are a superstar in your field or not or finally learn to do everything right or not, here are some friendly helpful tips to keep the stress and strife to a minimum when family visit:
|Jason and Kelly in happier times|
before the parents visited
2) Re-visit how you and your spouse run the household, how you like to do things and make sure you're on the same page. Discuss any major differences that might cause concern and how the two of you will handle conflict should it arise.
3) If anything needs to be discussed make sure the child of the parent(s) leads the discussion and make it clear that any decisions have come from them.
4) Use humor whenever possible; keep it light.
5) Maintain your family schedule as much as possible opposed to cancelling regular plans and include your in-laws in those plans. If Tuesday night is family swim night or the kids lessons invite the Grands along.
6) Depending on the length of the parent(s) visit plan one activity specifically with them in mind. If not an activity perhaps create a dish during dinner. Whatever you decide displaying an effort toward the In-law(s) inspires joy.
7) Don't sweat the small stuff. Remember this is a visit, you're not moving in together; unless something is totally disruptive to your lifestyle, like when Kelly's parents visited and new furniture (theirs) and a new rug appeared, brush minor incidents aside.
8) If strife does arise as in Jason's mother's disrespectful rant and you feel caught in the middle and you don't know what to do or who to be loyal to, remember to be a spouse first and the child second. You have to live with your spouse after the parents leave.
9) Avoid gossiping and complaints about your spouse in all directions. Don't do it and don't entertain it from your spouse, from or with the parents. Remember you can't say whatever you want to or about your spouse's parent(s), you can but the fallout after they're gone is probably not worth it.
10) Put reasonable space of time between the next visit. As much as we'd like to believe visitation does not throw one off kilter, it does. You deserve time and space to recuperate.
|Jason and Kelly after the Parental Unit visit--Divorce|
For more information and helpful tips read Dr. Jeff St. John's Managing In-Law Visits