FIGURE OUT YOUR PLACE ON THE TEAM
From the moment they meet you, parental units are evaluating whether or not you can take care of their special little guy or gal. The sooner you accept your role in their son or daughter’s life, the quicker you’ll become a part of the family. Why not define that role yourself?
See if you can identify a missing link in the familial chain and forge your place in it. Are you the Entertainment Coordinator, organizing fun things to do when your in-laws visit to take the stress off your partner? Or the Kid Whisperer who gives parents a much-needed break to enjoy the party worry-free? My wife, an excellent cook, quickly won over my family by assuming the role of Master Chef.
You can do this without ruffling feathers. My friend’s soon-to-be brother-in-law was horrified at how his potential Pop grilled steaks well done, but he bit his tongue (and his leathery steak). At the next cookout, he tactfully offered to let the man of the house chill on the patio while the younger man took over at the smoke station. When he served his future family their perfectly pink steaks, he became the hero they never knew they needed. They demanded he grill thereafter, and a decade later, my friend dedicated his book on barbecue to the bro-in-law.