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Teething rings, pacifiers, Mylicon drops: When your baby is difficult and cranky, there are plenty of tools at your disposal to set things right. But what can you do when the grown-ups in your life act like uncooperative, whiny children? No matter how hard you look, you won’t find a pacifier big enough to hush your difficult mother-in-law or cranky hubby.A new father may leave all the work to the mother because he genuinely is clueless about parenting.

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These repair jobs require tools of a different kind: communication and diplomacy. Here are three simple steps from parenting.com, to better relationships with the people in your life who need a little fix-it job. Get these folks working with you instead of against you, and then you can focus your attention on the person who needs it most: your baby.

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Hands-off hubby

The problem: He intentionally avoids doing his share of the babycare and acts totally clueless (“I just can’t make that Diaper Genie work!”) in an apparent effort to force you to do everything.

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