Are you the unappreciated black sheep in your family? Have you wished you could redeem your reputation and at the same time shift your own perception of yourself?
Consider taking on the role of family caregiver for an elderly parent, a niece or nephew, or even having a baby of your own.
One AARP commentator suggests that family caregiving may be a way for a child to recover from a negative image in the eyes of his or her family. In his article “How a Black Sheep Can Become a White Knight,” clinical psychologist Barry J. Jacobs describes how a child on the “outs” with her family made inroads by caregiving for her parent.
Jacobs suggests that caregiving may be the perfect time for caregivers to “seek to change their family reputations.” He describes, for example, a workaholic who cares for his disabled wife as well as a one-time rebellious teen who reconnects with her parents through caregiving.
Jacobs gives three tips for you, if you want to try to recover your image or reputation within your family:
- Consistency is the key. Jacobs suggests that building dependability is important because family members will be on guard for errors, if you have not appeared reliable in the past.
- Say you’re sorry and make amends. Even if you previously apologized for wrongs done, when you are taking care of a family member, your words may be better received and making amends, means not just saying you are sorry, but taking full responsibility, stating what you learned and showing how you are making it right.
- Provide genuine loving care. Jacobs says that the primary purpose of taking care of someone you love is to reflect your values and not to gain recognition. You may need support here because caregiving is often a thankless role. Look for caregiver support groups in our area. Or contact us for referrals.
Over time, and after you’ve regained your family’s trust, you can help your parent make wise decisions about family finances, including getting his or her legal and financial affairs in order. Start by setting a good example. Work with a Personal Family Lawyer® to develop your own legal and financial plan, making your family a priority.
This article is a service of Bridge Law LLP. We are an award-winning law firm that specializes in business and estate planning for clients like you. The goal for every family is to stay educated on all topics like this, avoid probate, avoid estate taxes, and build a legacy for you and your loved ones. What sets our firm apart is that we build lasting, lifelong relationships with our clients. They rely on us to keep them updated, provide sound legal counsel, and be there for them immediately if any problems should ever arise. The best part is we don’t charge hourly fees to our families, so you never have to worry about speaking to us. If you’re ready to keep your family out of Court, contact us today to schedule an initial consultation or visit our website at www.bridgelawllp.com