Parent’s Don’t Leave Siblings “Home Alone”

Home Alone was just voted the best Christmas movie of all time. In the iconic holiday movie the youngest sibling Kevin gets into a brawl with his older brother Buzz and is sent to his room on the remote third floor of his house.

The next morning, as the rest of the family is in a rush to make it to the airport on time, they completely forget about Kevin , played by Macaulay Culkin. Having the house all to himself and being home alone was great fun for Kevin. He orders a whole pizza , jumps on his parents’ bed and makes holy mess.
The movie was fun but the plot was set off by sibling warfare. Was Kevin a victim and his brother a victimizer ?

Do you have that happening in your house? Are you a parent so overwhelmed by the holidays that you forget to deal with sibling issues?
Spot siblings who are acting as victims and other siblings who are the victimizers right away.

If a child believes he or she is the victim and a sibling is the scoundrel, you have a big sibling problem . If one child feels like the helpless person, and the other sibling has all the power, this may lead to an “I Hate You” story, in years to come. Feeling like a victim can turn into a life-long pattern .
If you are a parent, no matter how overwhelmed you feel, try this during the holidays -( Remember Kevin’s frantic parent’s forgot him and left him home alone .)

Take a deep breath and listen to both sides of each child’s tale of woe. Don’t send the offender to his remote room like Kevin. Use family meetings and go arounds as a formal way to hear both sides. Give siblings the tools to use different ways to communicate anger and frustration, like words. Don’t rush into therapy, but deal with less serious issues yourself to step up to the plate as a parent so you will keep hitting that ball for your daughters and sons.

Home for the Holiday may have been a fabulous movie but it sets off sibling red flags about sibling rivalry. Especially during the holidays take a deep breath as a parents and sit down with both sides.


About momlovesyoubest

Cathy Cress holds an MSW in Aging from U.C. Berkeley. Her new book Mom Loves You Best, Forgiving and Forging Sibling Relationships , New Horizon Press, was published October 2010. Cress’s book , Handbook of Geriatric Care Management, Jones and Bartlett, is the bible of geriatric care management and is out out in a third edition in February 2011 .Her book Care Managers, Working With the Aging Family, Jones and Bartlett,2008 is one of the few major books on the aging family. Ms. Cress is the founder of GCM Consult ,working with small and national who want to add or launch GCM businesses. She is on the faculty at the University of Florida in their on line master’s in geriatric care management -GCM . She has taught geriatric care management at San Francisco State University , UC Berkeley and teaches at Cabrillo College and San Mateo College. She was founder and director of Cresscare, a GCM business, for 25 years.
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