Do you have an aging dysfunctional family where the midlife siblings need to have a family meeting? That family meeting might be about care of an older parent, an aging Mom or Dad crisis, dividing up the family home after Mom moves or dies or any of the many elder life transition that happen to midlife siblings.
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 are, after decades as a sibling clan there is still not enough love in the family. The now midlife siblings 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 if you are planning on having a family meeting with siblings from a dysfunctional family, you need a skilled mediator with at least 100 hours of mediation training.
I will soon be out with an e book on my web site on How To Have A Family Meeting. It will include these tough difficult dysfunctional families. Check out my www.cathycress.com web site to find it soon.