Are You and Your Midlife Siblings Going to Spoil The Fourth of July Barbeque?




Celebration’s like today’s family Fourth of July barbeque or gathering are not time to discuss family /sibling problems. This is true especially if there is lots of alcohol involved.

When should you discuss sibling family tribulations?  – At a family meeting.

What is a family meeting?

A sibling family meeting is a conference held between family members to discuss a family problem, large or small.

A midlife sibling family meeting can be triggered by a parental care crisis, where midlife siblings have to instantly reunite.


Let’s look at an example of a sibling family meeting miserably prompted by an aging parents crisis.  The Tenderhook clan has never had a family meeting to talk about what they will do as a family if their aging Mom is hospitalized. The adult siblings have never even asked their Mom what she wants in that dire event.

All the sisters and brothers gets midnight call from oldest sister. Their elderly mother in hospital

They All fly in from all over the country and are exhausted and high on hospital junk food

The Dr. says she has to go to nursing home.

Mother refuses and begins to cry

The older sister, who has been the local sibling caregiver for five years, shrieks and blames all her siblings for not helping her.

Older brother tries to take charge and makes the decision to go with the doctor’s decision.

Youngest brother leaps next to Mom and says she will have anything she wants and can stay at home. He embraces Mom and says he will care for her.

Middle sister a storm out, saying she hates the older brother and he always takes over and makes the stupidest, meanest decisions.

The doctor throws up his hands and walks out and walks back in with the medical social worker/

Hospital social worker says they need a family meeting


A sibling family meeting is valuable to midlife siblings

What can it do?

1. Build critical tools for siblings being a team again

2.Open communication paths between sisters and brothers – You and sibling disagree about mother’s care

3.Unblock new or old barriers and wounds, so brothers and sisters can begin a healing process.

4. Siblings can make action plans with each other to move towards resolving new or old tribulations.


Next  blog- how to plan a family meeting .

My  new book e book to family meetings coming out in July on Amazon

Go to my web site

Professionals read my book Care Managers Working with the Aging Family  chapter by Rita Ghatack, Director of Aging Adult Services, Stanford Hospital  


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.
This entry was posted in Aging parent, brother, dysfuntional family, extended family, family meeting, Fourth of July, holidays, sibling rivalry, sibling team, sisters and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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