What Is a Sibling Family Meeting? Fast Flash Directions

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What is the Go Around Technique ?- A Great Tool for Kid family meetings

Generation X   parents with a trail of sibling scars in your own midlife family- want to make sure your own kids do not grow up with lasting brother or sister emotional or physical scars?

Attend to wounds right away, and be there to referee the fights because they will come up all the time. Show a respect for each point of view; listen to both sides. Schedule time with your kids to do this if you work. Have children engaged in after-school activities so they don’t come home and argue in an unsupervised environment.

Family meetings give parents an excellent tool to listen to both sides of a sibling argument. They provide a safe arena where you can impose rules about each person taking a turn to express his or her viewpoint. Parents can also set rules in the beginning about no interrupting so each child can say what he or she has to say without another child butting in. At the family meeting you can ask each sibling to share his or her concerns and use the  Go Around Technique. where each person at the meeting gets to respond to the topic. So if the Go Around topic was what happened this week that you didn’t like, and one sibling said something the other sibling did made him mad, the Go Around technique would give the other siblings a chance to respond in a really safe environment. You are listening to both sides of the issue.

 

In the family meeting held by Gen X parents Glenda and Oscar, they discuss how Jinx and Fess have been fighting after school. The two parents are given an opportunity to listen to both sides of the issue. Having to change all of Snookie’s diapers is daughter Jinx’s number one complaint. She says that Fess does not step up to the plate and help her. Preteen Fess says he hates changing diapers and he’s a boy anyway and that’s girls’ work. Besides he’s really embarrassed at looking at Snookie’s” pooey “ private parts. The parents realize that this argument can be resolved by their children and they have to fix the problem by relieving the kids from babysitting and making a backup child care plan for when Glenda has to stay overtime at work and her regular day care provider drops Snookie off.

 

What about kids who have seriously injured the other? Gayanne and Amos, respond to an incident where their kids get into such a pushing match on either side of a glass-paned door that Roger ends up with a bloody gash and is taken to the ER, as Ted was in the 1950s. But Amos and Gayanne deal with this serious situation by seeking counseling right away. This very scary incident between her two children prompted Gayanne to get her kids and the entire family to counseling. This tending to the wound right away set the stage for a positive outcome, so there would be no festering emotional injury, no “I Hate You” story, and no lifetime of blame between her two kids.

 

Posted in brother, family meeting, Go- Aound Technique, Parent, Raising your siblings, sibling team, sibling violence, sisters, young siblings | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do you have kids/twins who are sick? Have a Sister

Is solace anywhere more comforting than in the arms of a sister?  ~Alice Walker

Last week my daughter Kali   twin son’s  came down with foot mouth and hand disease   Their nanny went to a family wedding in Maryland. Now one twin just came down with an ear infection last night. On top of that their dogs were both sprayed by skunks last night requiring bathing the animals in a noxious mixture to get rid of the smell. What to do? Have a sister.

My other daughter  ( who is Kali’s half sibling)flew  to LA last night to walk and soothe both babies (the twins have to be separated) and get up at night with Liam and Dylan so sister Kali could sleep.

 

Women are hardwired to share and support just like my daughter’s Jill and Kali.  If you have mended your connection with your sister, you have strengthened the ties with a best friend. Women are the kin keepers of society. In middle age, they are most often the organizers of celebrations marking passages, like Liam and Dylan’s first birthday.

 

You and your reconnected sister can support each other to put in order the myriad details of midlife rituals, like christenings, weddings, and retirement. Genealogy becomes more important in midlife as you reach back to find your roots. Sisters are frequently the creators of lineage charts, and together you can spend endless hours following the branches of the family tree.

Midlife men benefit from sisters as well. Researchers have found that men in middle years have a greater sense of psychological assurance if they have a sister. So if a brother and sister were estranged, a replaced bond allows that brother to be happier in middle and old age. Why is this true? Women have a deeper emotional landscape in their brains and naturally work together in groups. Having a sister creates a better chance for a brother to be brought into all the family activities of middle age, often orchestrated by sisters. All those midlife ceremonies usually have a sister as the event planner, and she will include the newly befriended brother in her plans.

 

If you have twins, have a sister. If you and your sister are alienated, think of forging forgiveness You will need her- the rest of you

 

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How to Avoid Sibling Wars With Your Kids- Family Meetings

Want to avoid sibling wars with young kids in your family ? Listen to both sides.
Make sure kids don’t grow up with emotional or physical scars. Attend to wounds right away, and be there to referee the fights because they will come up all the time. Show a respect for each point of view; listen to both sides. Schedule time with your kids to do this if you work. Have children engaged in after-school activities so they don’t come home and argue in an unsupervised environment.
Family meetings are an excellent tool for letting you listen to both sides of a sibling argument. They provide a safe arena where you can impose rules about each person taking a turn to express his or her viewpoint. Parents can also set rules in the beginning about no interrupting so each child can say what he or she has to say without another child butting in. At the family meeting you can ask each sibling to share his or her concerns and use the Go Around technique where each person at the meeting gets to respond to the topic. So if the Go Around topic was what happened this week that you didn’t like, and one sibling said something the other sibling did made him mad, the Go Around technique would give the other siblings a chance to respond in a really safe environment. You are listening to both sides of the issue.

Posted in brother, family meeting, Parent, Raising your siblings, sibling rivalry, sibling team, Step Siblings, young siblings | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Celebrate Father’s Day Without Siblings Drama and Drunks

Here is a You Tube Sibling  Fast Flash on  avoiding sibling drama, too much drinking or misery on father’s day

Posted in adult sibling rivalry, dysfuntional family, Father's Day, Holiday with siblings, holidays, sibling team | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eight Tips For Father’s Day Celebrations To Keep It Sibling Stress Free

Celebrations, (like Father’s Day coming up) Mother’s Day, Hanukah, Christmas, and Thanksgiving – any holiday— can be a nightmare with adult siblings. You have to show up, yet you prepare for the daggers – either wielded by you as a sibling or pointed at you throat by a disenfranchised sister or brother.

Here are some tips.

1) It is a party not a family meeting. If you want to talk about personal issues, make a date to get together with your angry sister/brother.

2) Remember that it is father day not all about you. Keep a positive attitude for the sake of your aging parent

 

3) Attempt to get all your siblings to plan an activity ahead jointly to work on a   team spirit. A photo album for dad that you can all share pictures in ((Quick Kodak Gallery  closing down)

 

4) Call ahead as a team effort to arrange the sharing of the food for the meal, if it is at someone’s home. Call every family member. Do not exclude. Again to build a team effort.

 

5) Call ahead and arrange to split the bill if at a restaurant – ahead of time- again team effort and no embarrassing credit cards bargaining at the table that only brings on more fights.

 

6) If you have kids, pool their talent and have them make things for grandpa. Handmade gifts are a grandparent’s biggest treasures- a card with baby’s handprint.

 

7) If you have an aging parent call your siblings and share gifts that are helpful for aging Dads

 

8)Check out parent care on line tools so if you have an aging parent you can arrange care between siblings on line, after the holiday get together- not at it.

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Sisters- the Best Sibling- Find Out Why in a Flash

Sisters are the best siblings to have for both brothers and sisters. Find out why.

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Caring for Aging Parents- Which Sib is the Pitcher- Which Sib on the Farm Team

What your sibling  “ style” in caring for your aging parents?

Are you and your midlife siblings already worrying about your aging parents? Even if the problem has just come up- Dad’s bad driving, Mom burning pots, a crisis that ended one of them in the hospital with the doctor warning you to form a sibling team – check out your present teammates and see who is the pitcher, who’s the catcher and who is on the farm team and will never get to the big leagues.

Sara H.  Mathews,  a sibling scholar and researcher has identified five different systems of caregiving that siblings take on when jointly providing parental care. She makes a point that siblings have a choice as to whether they want to take part in parent care or any filial activity. Membership in a family is involuntary, she points out but whether you will participate as an adult is your choice.[i]

What style does each of your siblings have?

Sibling System of Caregiving

Routine.

This caregiving style allowed the sibling to incorporate the assistance for the elderly parent into the siblings on going activities. This style means that the sibling is available predictable and to whatever needed to be done.

Back-up

This sibling style allowed the sibling to avoid emotional support or actual services but agreed to be counted by the other sibling’s caregivers when they asked for help.  These siblings can be counted on to do whatever they were asked to do.

An example would be a son who lives locally and does not want to do care but would spell his sister, who does do care, when asked.

Circumscribed –

The sibling style of caregiving is very predictable but has very narrow boundaries. This could be an adult son who tells the other siblings he will call Mom once a week at a certain time, but has no other involvement.

Sporadic.

These siblings only render care to their parents at their own convenience. A daughter might invite her mother over on Sundays when it works out for her but not on any regular basis. A son might take Dad to the barber when he himself goes, when he remembers to do it. However, he can’t be counted on.

Dissociations.

The sibling who takes on this style cannot be counted on to help with a parent’s care. In family of five siblings, four of them may be providing care on a regular basis but a son who has a long-standing conflict with Dad may have distanced himself completely from the father and any care of his aging parent. This does not always mean that the sibling has disassociated themselves from the siblings but does means they are disassociated from the parent.


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Can Young Siblings Help Care for Grandma? Ask NPR

NPR has an excellent new series – Family Matters . A recent segment covered young siblings Lauren and Chris supporting their great grandmother Snootzie, Anna Bell Barnes Hilary Clinton’s line it takes a village applies here. To support aging parents it takes entire family, even young siblings. In this piece young Lauren and Chris express their telescopic view into the future. By helping to care for their great grandmother, they have learned what care their parents might need as they age, which are pretty amazing for kids. At the same time the parents talk about being happy their kids got that lesson as in that future they will need help from in their own old age.

My family had the same experience .My aging Dad moved in when my daughter Kali was in eight grade. She helped with his care as did my grandchildren Julia and Joseph. Kali is now a program officer at the Scan Foundation , helping organizations give care for elders all over the country. She got into aging because the aging process was normal in her family- she grew up with it.

But Family Matters go both ways.

Young parents can get help from grandparents by involving extended family to bear the heavy load of parenting. Generation X families need lots and lots of help, like the Martin family does with Snootzie. Young parents especially need support with siblings to avoid sibling rivalry ,so that each child the attention they need.

Parents today have two jobs, maybe even three. The support of older family members like grandparents can be vital to care for siblings, who can chomp at the bit and fight when Mom and Dad are not home after school. Unlike Snootzie, Baby Boomer grandparents are fit and able to help.

When my daughter gave birth to twin siblings,my husband and I moved to LA for two months, doing overnight shifts with 4-pound twin boys. Extended family like grandma’s and grandpa’s can pick up kids after school, ( I do now with a 14 year old grandson) make baby books never created by overburdened parents, drive to sports and even care for grandchildren, when parents just need a vacation

So as the NPR series Family Matters shows. – family is critical to caring- and it’s not just caring for the old/old generation like Snootzie . Grandparents caring for young siblings who need individual attention, can avoid sibling rivalry thus care for both their adult kids and their grandchildren.

Posted in Aging parent, extended family, Generation X, grandparent, sibling rivalry, twins, young siblings | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Midlife Sibling War on Memorial Day Barbecue? Get a Fire Extinguisher.

 

Are you dreading the Memorial Day family barbeque?  .Will your estranged brother be manning the barbeque while you drink too much beer?

Are you a midlife sibling at war with sister or brother? Worse than that, do you feel like you and all your siblings are in not only a dysfunctional family but also an aging dysfunctional family?

What’s an aging dysfunctional family? Well they are very much like a war zone. Clans remain at war with each other, like the 1980’s Serbian conflict or the Iraq war pitting the Sunni’s against the Shia.These tribal battles have gone on for centuries and have the same bloody roots of the dysfunctional family -repeated from one generation to the next.

The hallmarks of the dysfunctional aging family, is, after decades as a motley clan there is still not enough love in the family. The now midlife children have to fight for what little nurturance their older parents can bring to the ancient rickety nest they built.

Nurturing is often missing in the dysfunctional aging family  because the aging parents themselves probably got little nurturing themselves as kids and on and on back down the family line. Parental neglect and abuse are frequent in the history of the aging dysfunctional family.

The now older parents can suffer from serious mental health problems such as schizophrenia or are bi-polar. Health and addiction problems like alcoholism are frequent.  Family interaction and communication, -parental treatment of siblings, brother and sister treatment of each other stepparent interaction and interface of everyone in the family has wrought deep tissue damage that never healed.

These aging dysfunctional families generally negotiated all of life’s developmental phases with great difficulty. The role in the family, especially the parental one, was murky with a poor, abusive or mentally unfit leader of the family. The rules in the family were unfair ambiguous or full of double binds. There is deep-seated ambivalence. Finally the last life transition in the aging family, the care of the declining parent, implodes the family, which had little balance to begin with. They are asked to care for parents who did not care for them, thus reeking havoc on an already disorganized aging family.

So good luck at the family gathering and perhaps look into my book, Mom Loves You Best: Forgiving and Fostering Sibling Relationships , if you end up with a hangover or acid reflux.

Posted in adult sibling rivalry, Baby Boomer, brother, dysfuntional family, Holiday with siblings, holidays, sibling rivalry | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment