How to Play the Mother-in-Law Name Game With Millennials

Weddings, as we observed last week, can ignite bad feelings among family members. Once past the nuptials, the young couple may expect “happily ever after,” yet other issues can bedevil both parents and adult children. One sticking point is what to call an in-law, particularly a mother-in-law. For some reason, male in-laws don’t seem to have this problem.

We chatted recently with a friend who mentioned that when her son got engaged more than a decade ago, she asked the bride to call her by her first name. (Let’s saySally to protect the innocent.) The bride instead called her Mrs. Last Name for years until the grandkids came along. Now Sally is called “Grandma” by her daughter-in-law. Sally, trying to understand, said, “I didn’t ask to be called Her Majesty, just Sally. That is my name.”

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