Earlier this month, Slate.com ran an article on Elder Mediation, titled: “The Ties That Blind — It’s Tough enough making decisions about elderly parents; What if you don’t like the siblings you have to agree with?” The article quotes experienced elder mediators who talk about the types of sibling and adult family conflict that are so common as families grapple with the challenges of aging.
One interesting statistic from an unnamed source states that 22 percent of adults with siblings consider their relationship “apathetic” or downright “hostile.”
It’s easy to see how a relationship that is already far from ideal is severely stressed when siblings must attempt to come together on issues regarding a parent’s care, transportation, living arrangements, finances, or dying wishes — or all of the above.
Last year, the New England Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution held a regional conference at Brandeis University. The theme of the conference was “Brainstorming: conflict resolution from the inside out.” NE-ACR has now published newsletter looking back at the conference. The newsletter provides a nice overview of the conference, whether or not you were in attendance. My article, “A conference in three acts”, is included.
Around Valentine’s Day we hear a lot about romantic love.
But family love is important, too, and a family break-up can be just as tragic as a couple’s. Sometimes it’s even worse.
Family mediation among adult siblings, between parent and child, or in some combination can prevent or heal family heartbreak. A facilitated family meeting can help loved ones address family conflict in a productive manner.