Parents-Mend your Young Sibling’s Broken Hearts-Pick the Issues

Gen X parents- do your kids fight allot? Want to mend your young children’s hearts right away? Pick the issues. If there are small issues, like an argument over a toy or who uses the phone, tell them the consequences of not settling the argument—no one uses the phone, you both will have to set the table every night or no one plays with the toy. Walk away and give them a chance to settle it.

With big issues, like one child hurting another, parents need to intervene right away and solve the problem, heal the wound immediately before it becomes a scar. If you do not, the children will become a victim and a victimizer and create an “I Hate You” story and a potential 40-year long – blame.

Generation X parents, Gayanne and Amos, had a big issue where their children Roger and Vera got into a fight so heated, a windowpane shattered in the door one had locked against the other. The glass flew into Roger’s arm, and he was rushed to the hospital where he received several sutures. Gayanne and Amos could not let their children work this out themselves. They sought out counseling for both kids at that point.

Gayanne and Amos decide to have a family meeting at the suggestion of their counselor and encourage Randy, Roger, and Vera to verbalize their everyday frustrations about the little things the kids fight about.

Beyond listening as parents, Gayanne and Amos start to teach all their kids—Randy, Roger, and Vera—new ways to communicate with each other. In their recently blended family there has been very little open communication among the three stepsiblings. The parents realize they must tutor them about how to interact – talk openly, use “ I words”, try to settle things themselves. These young kids in this blended family will be siblings now for life, if this marriage lasts. The marriage lasting may depend upon the blended brothers and sisters learning how to talk to each other and settle differences when Mom and Dad are not present.

It is important that clear communication skills are taught to your young children, whether blood siblings, half sibling or stepsiblings, in the here and now- to avoid battles that can go on till they are in midlife – or old age.

 

 

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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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