We tell ourselves that things are going to be better this year between our siblings. We’re not going to react to their provocative remarks or rude behavior. Thee truth is we don’t even make it through the first day of the holiday festivities before find ourselves caught up in conflicts that have haunted us since childhood. So here is the first of 10 post-holiday reminders entitled Sibling Rules:
- It’s a fact of family life; roles rarely change. Please stop trying to change a sibling who, for the most part, resents you for having the audacity to think you need to fix him or her.
- Accurately assess what a sibling will and will not do for an aging parent. If their contribution is zero, then zero it is, and move on.
- Invest in a new support system. For uncooperative and judgmental siblings, this means focusing on creating non-family resources for an aging parent.
Here’s a more detailed version of the reminder entitled The Sibling Dilemma.
Here’s an excellent companion article about siblings caught up in a conflict over managing their mother’s finances entitled The Real Work of Families. I feel its one of the most important blogs I’ve written about family conflict and “unmerited forgiveness.”