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Q&A:
My mother-in-law is obsessed with my daughter -- what should I do?

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Question


My husband's childless stepmother has been "infatuated" (her word) with my 6-year-old "Jane" since Jane's birth. She regularly gives multiple gifts to Jane, but none to my 5-year-old. She tells Jane, "Uh-oh, here comes mommy!" "Do you want me to rescue me from your mommy?" She once yanked Jane from my arms and ran off into the woods. Another time, she flung Jane 15 feet across the floor. (Both times she was angry at me.) She's invited herself to our house about every other weekend for four years. We've talked to her many times. Nothing changes. What should I do?

Answer


I'm very concerned about your mother-in-law's mental health. Her behavior is potentially dangerous to your children. She needs help.

#1: Your husband (she's his stepmother) has to tell her that she can visit only when you agree ahead of time. Then stick to that. (It sounds as if you've been letting her push you around on this matter.) Supervise her visits.

#2: Talk to other family members about your concerns. Help her find treatment.  
 
 
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