Mid-Life Tsunami #6: Family & Carer Problems


7T 6-family-problems-1Family & Carer Problems is the 6th Mid-Life Tsunami  in this special series to celebrate the release of my new book “The  7 Mid-Life Tsunamis”

Family & Carer Problems in Your Mid-Life

The Mid-Life Tsunami of Family & Carer Problems is not directly linked to our adult development, but is rather a product of our parents ageing and/or our children turning into teenagers and young adults (Similar to Mid-Life Tsunami #2 – Death of an Elderly Parent). However, this event may play havoc with our mid-life transition around both Old/Young in coming to terms with our own ageing and future death, and Destruction/Creation and Masculine/Feminine in leaving a positive legacy and caring for children rather than controlling them as they become young adults.

Hazard Points & Tips for Family & Carer Problems

1. Wave Profile: Major Family Problems can be a severely challenging Mid-Life Tsunami for many people. There are two types:

a) Caring for teenagers who are engaging in problem behaviors

b) Caring for older parents who can no longer be self-reliant.

2. Lifespan Risk: The challenge of teenagers generally hits around the ages of 37–46.  Around this time, ages 39–51, is also when the Wave of caring for elderly parents hits.

3. Impact Zone: Family Problems can have a negative impact on a range of areas including social and family, personal and work.

4. Recovery: Recovery from Family Problems can be problematic depending on the care arrangements. Where an elderly parent is institutionalised this lessen the burden, otherwise the burden of care continues until their death (see Mid-Life Tsunami #2). For teenagers, they typically either accept family rules and boundaries or leave home to avoid chronic conflict.

Mastering the 4 Elements of Your Wellbeing: 

Mindsets—When it comes to Family Problems, use the Mindset of Encouragement (not Demand) to negotiate better outcomes with your teenagers, and with your siblings regarding your elderly parents’ needs. Be Accepting of the changes you may need to make.

Emotions— When angry or frustrated, use Problem-Solving Techniques to improve family communication.  Stay busy and maintain a healthy level of distraction and engagement in your own life, rather than worrying excessively about family members.

Lifestyle—During times of Family Problems, learn to relax your body and mind in order to switch off and get a good night’s rest.  Spend time with positive and encouraging people, who will hold you to account, as you keep focused on your own journey in life while juggling the demands of teenagers and elderly parents.

Purpose— Despite the day-to-day busyness that Family Problems can bring, take some time out to reflect on your Life Strategy and re-establish some of your big picture legacy, dreams and goals that are about you as an individual and work towards these whenever possible.

Family & Carer Problems and You…..

Take some time to consider how Family & Carer Problems are affecting you or, if you ae not experiencing such issues – how you can support friends or family who are. What steps need to be taken to prepare well and balance the four elements of wellbeing to prevent a Wipeout?

Ride the Waves of Life!

Dr Pete

The Stress Surfer

Read The Book! If you liked this Article then read ‘The 7 Mid-life Tsunamis’ by Dr Pete! Book 7T

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