Home > Mom's Life > Family Relationships > Dealing With In-Laws > Deciding What to Call Your In-Laws
|

Deciding What to Call Your In-Laws

In This Article:

Page 2

  1. Go with the classics: Mom and Dad. In many areas of the country and in many families, the preferred term of address for a mother-in-law is "Mom" and "Dad" for a father-in-law. Variations include "Mama" and "Pop." If everyone is comfortable with this naming system, it might be the way out of the problem for you.

  2. Try the formal route: Mother. Some people have solved the issue by calling a father-in-law "Father [first name]" and a mother-in-law "Mother [first name]." For example, you could have "Father Bill" and "Mother Hillary." This works nicely if your in-laws happen to be the President and the First Lady or the kind of people who still wear hats and eat sitting down.

  3. Family Matters

    Hopelessly stuck on the name issue? Don't panic. As time passes, the issue of what to call your parents-in-law becomes less important if the relationship is good.

  4. Go South. And in case you think that most Americans are dolts when it comes to naming their parents-in-law, let me tell you the ingenious way Southerners solved the problem. In the South, you call older people by their first name with Miss or Mister in front of it. Thus, if your mother-in-law's first name is "Sarah," you'd call her "Miss Sarah." If your father-in-law's name is Lou, he becomes "Mister Lou." You can't go wrong with this, because adding "Miss" or "Mister" is a sign of great respect. (Unless, of course, your in-laws fought on the Northern side during the War Between the States. Then you'd better regroup.)

  5. Don't recycle. I know we all want to do our part to help the environment, but asking your significant other to recycle cute pet names used by previous spouses to refer to the parents-in-law is not the way to go. Better to adopt a water buffalo in Cambodia or plant a tree in the rain forest. Unless they have a very good sense of humor or are unusually self-confident, people in second marriages are likely to be very upset about calling their parents-in-law by the pet name used by the previous spouse. In these instances, start from scratch.



<< Previous: Page 1
|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Dealing with In-Laws © 1998 by Laurie E. Rozakis, Ph.D. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

happy holidays

‘Tis the season
for festive crafts,
recipes, & family
activities!

GO

highlights

Gift Ideas Sure to Please
Find the best gifts for girls, and everyone else on your list! Visit our Holiday Shopping Headquarters. Brought to you by Monster High.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Print this free holiday wish list for kids, so they can tell you what they really want this year! Brought to you by Monster High.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!