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Mothers-in-law have been the butt of jokes down through the ages. American sitcoms provide fodder with their often hilarious portrayals of mothers-in-law. Since readers of this blog are interested in planning their wedding and merging two families into one, let’s look at how to be a good mother-in-law.

A serious example …

The video below is an interesting dramatization on how to be a ‘bad’ mother-in-law:

You can see how good intentions go bad in this video. The mother-in-law experienced pain earlier in her life and projected that pain onto her son and daughter-in-law, causing serious repercussions in everyone’s relationships.

That’s a lesson on what NOT TO DO.

But the video ends on WHAT TO DO to make it right: apologize and forgive.

A funny example …

On a lighter note, here is vintage clip from the TV series “King of Queens” on WHAT NOT TO DO as a mother-in-law:

No one wants to be told how to do things right in their own kitchen. 

Ultimately, the King of Queens vignette above reveals the pathway for nourishing healthy relationships between in-laws: be positive; don’t be critical. offers up practical advice between in-laws during the planning stage of your wedding in a piece titled, “5 Things the Mother of the Groom Should Never Say to the Bride.”

A couple of the standout questions include:

“My daughter should be a bridesmaid.”

That’s a no-no.

Or how about …

“I will make the entire guest list.”

Nope. Bad move. 

Click the link above to read the rest of the piece.

Three words should guide mothers-in-law

Once the wedding day has passed and daily life kicks in, three words should guide the actions of a mother-in-law: Respect. Generosity. Helpfulness.

Be respectful of your son and his bride’s boundaries, holiday arrangements, and time.

Be generous by recognizing that your daughter-in-law is now the most important person in your son’s life, not you. Do not ever make your son choose between you … and her.

Be helpful by stepping forward when the a young couple is in a bind and has a real need, while still encouraging their independence. It’s a balancing act, for sure.

How to be a good mother-in-law is a big subject. But the mother who pulls it off will enjoy benefits beyond imagination by creating a loyal friend in her daughter-in-law. 

A beautiful example

Perhaps the most beautiful example of a bond of loyalty between mother and daughter-in-law is found in the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament of the Bible.

Naomi is the mother-in-law and her husband dies.

Ruth is her daughter-in-law and her husband (Naomi’s son) also dies. The two women are now both widows.

Naomi is a Jew. Ruth is a pagan.

Naomi decides she must return to her home town of Bethlehem. Knowing that there isn’t much opportunity for Ruth in Bethlehem, Naomi encourages her to return to her native land of Moab.

Clearly, Naomi has cultivated such a loving relationship with her daughter-in-law that Ruth insists on staying with her, with this declaration:

“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

Here’s an uncomplicated relationship

Although relationships between mother and daughter-in-law can be dicey at times, there is one relationship that is never dicey: your relationship with Brian Howard Entertainment & Talent should you give us the honor of providing entertainment at your Long Island wedding celebration.

Your relationship with us will be uncomplicated because we deliver exactly what we promise: dance-floor-packing entertainment. We even offer planning forms to simplify your entire wedding planning process. The only possible complication: our availability. Find out right now if your date is still available.