Are your midlife siblings the coming to a Labor Day barbecue? Rituals like Labor Day are events to be enjoyed by midlife siblings and their families- not dreaded.
Here are ten tips to keep the sibling celebration stress free without midlife sibling drama and make it a midlife sibling team effort.
1) Remember that it is a family gathering and it is not all about you. Keep a positive attitude for the sake of your midlife siblings, aging parents, if they are there, your own young kids who will model sibling behavior from you -their parent-
in the way you interact with their aunts and uncles.
2) Call e-mail or facebook everyone ahead of time. Invite them and ask everyone to bring a dish to share. That is the beginning of building a sibling family team- sharing food. Call every midlife sibling and family member. Do not exclude. Again to build a team effort.
3) Attempt to get all your midlife siblings to plan activities ahead and jointly work to make them happen-with a sibling team spirit. Think of softball games, horseshoes, and a treasure hunt, anything that everyone can have joint ideas about beforehand. Use facebook to do this- hopefully all your siblings are your facebook friends.
4) Call or e mail ahead and arrange to split the bill for beverages like alcohol and soft drinks, again s sibling team effort
5) If you have nieces and nephew from your midlife siblings plan events for the kids jointly among your midlife siblings, ahead of time. Again, call visit or use facebook to do this but make it a team effort to make all you’re your nieces and nephews and your kids have fun.
6) Share jobs- setting up tables, bringing in equipment for sports or games, lawn chairs- especially ‘manning” the barbecue. (Sisters can cook) Share it and don’t let anyone be top dog –be the chosen chef, unless everyone is fine with that.
7) It is a party not a sibling family meeting. If you want to talk about personal issues, make a date in the future to get together with your angry sister/brother.
8) Share jobs gender wise among your midlife siblings. Men can cook too and women are now fireman and astronauts. Sisters can and do- move equipment and haul tables.
9) Don’t make this a family meeting where old sibling grudges get hashed out. Celebrations are just that. If someone pushes your button, keep that angry response to yourself and maybe arrange a future sibling family meeting and look into a geriatric care manager
10) Have fun with your midlife siblings. You have 50 years more to enjoy the longest deepest relationship of your life.