Christmas is a time of stress. Good stress and bad stress.
Doesn't matter. Our bodies just know it's stress and acts
This also happens to be the prime time for siblings to
bicker. Especially if there are aging parents involved
who are needing more assistance from their grown
"Reports by caregivers indicated that siblings were
overwhelmingly the most important source of interpersonal
---from a study by sociologists J. Jill Suitor of
Louisiana State University and Karl Pillemer of Cornell
Family dynamics undergo a major change when siblings
are called upon to be caregivers to aging parents.
And that can play havoc on the family unit.
One of the major sources of contention is when there isn't
a fair assignment of responsibilities. It's reported that in
99.9 % of cases studied, one of the siblings takes on most
of the work.
What's up with that? Actually, I'm not surprised. I've seen
it happen over and over with families. It always seems to
fall to one of the siblings.
Would it surprise you to know that the primary caregiver
is a woman? Why wouldn't negative feelings crop up among
They may have been best friends before. Now they are
adversaries. Why wouldn't they be? For some reason, the
ones who do less are the most favored ones! Of course you
feel like throwing in the towel and walking away from your
For those old enough to remember...it reminds me of an old
comedy show called the Smother's Brother's. One brother
would always look at the other with a look of resigned acceptance
and say, "Well, Mom always liked you better!"
So what can you do to survive with your sanity intact?
If it makes you feel better, siblings report that deep down
they are glad they have each other. They look at the "only child"
as being at a tremendous disadvantage.
Things To Do To Keep Siblings From Homicide
***keep everyone informed
***listen to all points of view
***have family conferences
***get counseling when needed
***vent to friends who have walked the talk
***seek help from local caregiving agencies
***learn to function alone if necessary
***benefit from each other's strengths
For siblings who live close to the aging parents,
this is the most helpful. Find each other's niche.
Do the chores based on your likes.
And please love one another. This is truly a case of
"blood being thicker than water".
And best wishes for a stress-free holiday season!