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