Often one sibling—usually the child living closest to the parents—ends up bearing the brunt of the responsibilities, says Laurie Kramer, PhD, director of the Family Resiliency Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Tensions and resentment can quickly build."
Steer Clear: Talk frankly with each other about how best to divvy up the duties so that each of you is satisfied. Living far away is no excuse. "Ask if there are any bills you can handle online or on the phone. Or offer to fly in for a week so that your sister or brother can go on a vacation," Kramer suggests. "A lot of work can be done by someone who is not giving the day-to-day care."