ENGAGING, INSTRUCTING, AND BUILDING A SUPPORT TEAM.
ABOUT FAMILY MEETINGS INITIATED BY PARENTS
The Other Talk: A Guide to Talking with Your Adult Children About the Rest of Your Life by Tim Prosch. It was a rite of passage for you to have the talk with your kids about the “birds and the bees.” As you age, you need to have the other talk about the end-of-life. Have it now, not after a crisis hits. The Other Talk helps you control of your life so when the time comes, your kids can make decisions based on what you want. Unlike books that help adult children thrust into a decision-making role, this guide fosters a strong partnership between you and your kids for the rest of your life.
Splitting Heirs by Ron Blue. Chapter 8 is devoted to the subject of communicating your plans with your family. Blue explains that there will be a family conference around your will. It is just a matter of whether you will be alive to attend. If you instigate family meetings yourself, they can accomplish much more—you can align expectations with reality, share your testimony, and your heart. “Remember that you are not asking their permission—you are the steward with the decision-making authority—but you are involving them.”
The Role of the Family Meeting, an article by Attorney Lisa Toner, delineates the positive benefits of preparing your family in this purposeful manner for the passing of your estate from one generation to the next.
ABOUT FAMILY MEETINGS INITIATED BY CAREGIVERS
Family Conversations that Help Parents Stay Independent encourages the adult child to avoid role reversal. Talking to parents and helping them meet their needs does not mean you are parenting them. “Everyone depends on someone,” notes gerontologist Elfriede Massier. “Adults retain the adult status for life, regardless of dependencies.” This 16 page AARP pamphlet is no longer available, but its wisdom remains applicable. “Aging parents are likely to feel better about the discussion before they suffer problems or need help.”
ABOUT CREATING A SAFE ENVIRONMENT
Peacemaker Ministries has online articles as well as a store of resources for guiding you into conflict resolution.
Growing a Spiritually Strong Family by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. This book is about a biblically based family preparing children for their future. The focus is on God’s plans beyond the American dream of accumulating stuff in a large house, in a nice suburb. The ten critical factors needed to raise a spiritually strong family take effort and intentionality. These 10 factors are well illustrated throughout the book and serve as strong foundations for family legacies.
TO STIMULATE END-OF-LIFE & PRE-PLANNING DISCUSSIONS
“The Bucket List” is a 2007 comedy-drama starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. Two terminally ill men share a hospital room. Blue-collar mechanic Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) is a family man who typically put his own desires on the back burner. Billionaire Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) is a self-centered, four-time divorced, health-care tycoon, and loner. Carter writes a “bucket list” of things he would like to do but discards the list in a fit of reality. Edwards finds it and finances the trip that changes the lives of both men in unique ways.
The Ultimate Gift is both a book and a film. When his very rich granddad, Howard “Red” Stevens (James Garner) dies, Jason (Drew Fuller) discovers he must complete 12 separate assignments within a year to get his inheritance. Returning from finishing the first task in Texas, Jason finds everything taken away from him – luxury apartment, his restored muscle car, and all his money. Jason—a spoiled, self-centered, single playboy finds himself homeless. Working through the twelve tasks, his attitude alters and he receives some extraordinary non-financial gifts.
“Courageous” delves into the stories of four law enforcement officers. While they consistently face danger and give their best on the job, good enough seems to be all they can muster as dads. When they encounter death on the home front, these men must come to terms with their fears, their faith, their hopes, and their fathering. Can newfound urgency help these men draw closer to God . . . and to their children?