Malaysia is a conservative country despite all the social progress we\u2019ve made. Many of us are raised to follow customs, respect the status quo and follow in the footsteps of our elders. At the end of the day, family is what binds us, for better or worse. But what happens when there is conflict in this fragile ecosystem? For many couples, their parents remain an integral part of their lives even after they get married and have children of their own. But not all in-laws get along well, or agree on the same things. You may find yourself stuck in the middle as your spouse and parent(s) butt heads. When it comes to the important stuff, finances, career, and yes, even parenting, whose advice matters more; your spouse or your parent? Let's delve into this dilemma together, shall we? The Problem with Meddlesome In-Laws It\u2019s important to understand that sometimes our parents\u2019 advice comes from a place of love. But you have to be careful not to let it drive a wedge between you and your spouse. Your parents don\u2019t have to deal with the consequences of marital dispute even though they may have played a part in causing it. They also don\u2019t have to deal with any financial repercussions of your decision-making. This may include a change in career, a relocation, or in an investment. Remember, your kids and spouse are the ones who will share your triumphs (and failures). Sound, positive, solicited wisdom is an indispensable asset to have. And for many newlyweds and young mums and dads, insight from their own parents can greatly help. Veteran parents have tonnes of amazing tips and tricks on how to sail the waters of parenthood. Including how to shop for property, planning for vacations, household maintenance, and even things like mortgage and bank loans. On the flipside, some of their advice may also be outdated, or even downright harmful. Particularly when it comes to raising children. Parenting and the Generation Gap Parenting isn\u2019t what it used to be. We see less value in beating our children into submission, and are more aware of our own flaws and shortcomings. After all, with the swiftly shifting parenting landscape, we\u2019re really starting to see how much the generation gap is affecting modern childrearing practice and philosophy. Wisdom may come with age, but so does folly. We recognise (and can finally admit to ourselves) that though our parents may be our personal superheroes, as human beings, they may still be deeply flawed, just like everyone else. So, for some people, it may actually be hard to side with your parents if you believe that they\u2019re wrong. For instance, maybe you\u2019ve decided that time-out is much better than corporal punishment (science has proven this). But your parents may disagree and tell you to cane your kids if they misbehave. Even though you and your spouse have agreed to try gentle parenting. Your parents may say they speak from experience and thus, know their suggestions work when it comes to disciplining rowdy kids. They may nag at you about your naughty child even as your spouse insists on you both sticking to the plan. This puts you in an awkward position. Upset your spouse, or disobey your parents? Neither is an ideal choice. Dealing with Unsolicited Opinions Sure, many parents (young, old, new or experienced) may believe themselves to be the ultimate authority on parenting. That\u2019s why your own folks may offer plenty of unsolicited opinions on raising children. The best you can do is nod in agreement (out of respect), even if you don\u2019t plan on following any of their parenting advice. But it becomes a particular problem when your parents interfere in issues they\u2019re not supposed to, like your health, physical appearance, or marriage (and yes this includes things like intercourse, fertility and family planning). Even the most steadfast marriages can be derailed by a meddling in-law. You may be of one mind with your spouse on a given issue, but a comment from your parent can quickly sow seeds of doubt. After all, we grew up trusting our parents, and that instinct would naturally follow us into adulthood. We may go on our entire lives subconsciously craving validation from them, even at the expense of our marriage. It gets much, much more complicated if the situation involves money or some other financial chokehold. Like if you were involved in a family enterprise, or if your parents paid for your house, student loans, etc. They may feel entitled to control every single part of your life. In which case, the advice remains the same. You should put your spouse and kids first, and it\u2019s up to you to put your foot down. Don't Pick Sides Sometimes we prefer staying neutral as to not upset either our spouse or our parents, but we will usually end up forced into a corner eventually. There will be times when you have to weigh both your parents\u2019 and spouses\u2019 advice. There is a grain of truth in all opinions, after all. At the end of the day, it\u2019s not about taking sides but making the best choice for yourself and your family. Your parents had their moment. Allow yourself to make your own mistakes and learn from them as a parent. In which case, don\u2019t blindly follow your spouse\u2019s suggestions either. Especially not for personal decisions that do not directly affect your marriage or children (like getting a new haircut or signing up for the gym). Do your own research, ask the experts and weigh the pros and cons. You\u2019ll find the answer. You've got this, parents! For more insightful stories and fun recipes, stay tuned to Motherhood Story!