Family Relationships Category Professional
Family Relationships – Family relationships are imperfect at best due to sibling rivalries and challenging parental relationships. We grow up and we grow apart. When caregiving becomes a need and a responsibility, family relationships pull together or fall apart due to the stress of the caregiving situation. If you’re in a difficult family situation, know that you’re not alone. Challenging family situations are very common when the need for caregiving arises. Here you’ll learn how to work through family caregiving situations that might be challenging.
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A woman I know is losing her mind; she has a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. However, despite the frustration, anxiety and fear she faces on a daily basis, she remains thankful. Thankful that her family survived the terrors of the concentration camps and was able to journey to the United States. Thankful that she and her husband had a successful tailoring business and raised three children who married and had children.
In our busy world, caregiving can become a complicated task especially when multiple family members are involved. Who will take responsibility for what tasks? Often the majority of the work is delegated to the family member who has the most available time. Caregivers placed in this position feel that this is not always fair and that their brothers, sisters, or other family members take advantage of their availability and generosity. This resentment creeps into family relationships and sometimes results in the need for legal intervention.
The holidays are a time when families come together and gifts are shared. How many of you have childhood memories of not getting what you wanted? Because of this memory you may have been a parent who gave your child everything he or she wanted—and you now realize that giving your child everything may not have been the best course of action because at the age of 50, your child still relies on you not only for advice but for financial support and he or she may still be living in your household.
When families come together in caregiving situations, at family or holiday reunions or when family members interact in the general course of life, there are often past relationship glitches or hurts that remain an underlying current. We so often hear others tell us to “get over it” when discussions of actions that our parents committed years ago come into conversation or when we discuss how relationships with our brothers or sisters are imperfect. Reality is that family relationships are often imperfect and this fact is brought into clear focus when caregiving becomes a family responsibility.
Many adults find themselves raising children and caregiving for aging parents or grandparents. When I was young, my mother was very good about taking me to visit my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other family members who were aging and already in need of care. In many families this activity does not occur because parents feel the need to shield children from sickness and end of life. I attended my grandfather’s funeral when I was 5 year old. Aging family members were a part of my life that I enjoyed, not feared.
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How does the quality of relationships and career success impact the way parents feel about their children? How might support between grown children and parents predict the quality of future caregiving relationships? Is there a link between the perception of success and day to day relationships between parents and adult children?