Need help muting my mouthy mother-in-law

Dear Annie: I have teenagers who are in multiple sports. My mother-in-law is a huge fan of sports and attends most events. She gets extremely excited about the game going on and is incredibly loud — shouting during a majority of the game.

For the most part, her comments are positive, but I can tell the constant shouting of how the players should play the game is very bothersome to those around us, including my husband and me. My husband has asked her to tone it down, and her response was to later go ask the referee if it was OK for her to cheer on the team.

We only have a few years left to attend these events, and honestly, her being there makes me sometimes dread going to these events. Do you have any suggestions on how to proceed with my mother-in-law? — Frustrated

Dear Frustrated: The fact that your MIL’s comments are mostly positive is a good thing, but the truth is that even one insulting remark has no place at a high school sporting event. The next time she says something obnoxious, I would politely remind her that this event is for teenagers and its primary purpose is to have fun.

How do your kids feel about her noisy cheering? If they are embarrassed by it, then that is another compelling reason to ask her to quiet down; explain to her that her shouting is distracting to the athletes and unfairly takes the attention away from them.

Dear Annie: My daughter is 31 and suffers from multiple sclerosis. She was diagnosed when she was 23. She uses a walker and wheelchair. I have been her caregiver. I’m 63 and fear who will look after her when I’m gone.

She has a good job and can afford to live on her own. I can also contribute some money to make it easier. Should I encourage her to be independent? She does not do any housework or help with cooking. However, when she is on her own, sometimes she becomes responsible.

Do you suggest that she should live alone and not with parents? I do want her to be independent but fear her living alone. She does not have many friends. — Mom Wanting Best for Daughter

Dear Mom: The most important thing here is your daughter’s health and well-being. In general, encouraging her to be more independent — making friends, picking up hobbies, keeping mentally and physically active — is objectively a good thing, but it will take time and require baby steps.

Start with some of the day-to-day things, if she is able, like having her help prepare meals or throw in a few loads of the weekly laundry. On a grander scale, sit down together and have an honest discussion. What does she envision for herself one, three, five years down the road? As you think about retirement and eventually entering that chapter of your life, how do your ideas for the future align? How do they differ? Do her finances make it possible for her to hire help if she lives alone? What local resources could she take advantage of to make living alone easier and safer? I also imagine her doctors would be incredibly helpful in determining the best, most seamless way to go about this transition.

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“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.


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