Posts tagged ‘sister’

December 30, 2007

I have a problem sibling….

by Rod Smith

“I have a problem sibling. My sister and I spent four long years not talking, much to my mom’s distress, and many other years bickering. We made up, mostly for my mother. It didn’t seem fair to me that I had to humble myself and beg her to let things go (even though the whole thing was almost entirely her fault) but I did it for the sake of family harmony. My children wanted to see their cousin (her son). We are now on speaking terms, but because of distance we only see each other once a year. She drives me crazy, but for that one short visit I just suck it up and smile.”

Congratulations. You are no doubt stronger and wiser for your humility and your enduring acts of reconciliation. As a result of your efforts your mother is potentially less anxious and your children get to see and know their cousin: everyone, including you, appears to gain.

It is not who caused the issue or the division that is as important as who is strong enough to facilitate the healing.

Besides, let’s remain aware: it takes at least two to tangle! (No, I did not mean to say “tango.”)

December 11, 2007

My sister never phones my parents…

by Rod Smith

“My sister is living in England and she hardly ever writes or Emails the family anymore. Is it appropriate that I let her know how much our parents miss her and wish she would write and phone sometimes? We have neighbors with a son living overseas and he phones almost once a week. It makes my parents heart-sore when they hear news of how he phones all the time. I have suggested my parents tell her (because I knew you’d suggest it) but they do not want to bother her. Please help.” (Letter shortened)

I love it when readers anticipate my answers – and readers are often correct! Informing your sister of your parents’ longings is absolutely appropriate (assuming you will be kind, honest and not use guilt to try and motivate your sister) but hearing directly from your parents will be better for all concerned.

While it is understandable that the phone calls your neighbors get from their son would remind your parents of your sister’s lack of contact, it is also true that the family next door have had their unique ways of communicating that were established long before anyone went to live abroad.