So I would caution families to avoid the following: (1) blaming; (2) shaming, (3) secrecy, (4) public scenes and (5) trying to take responsibility for and force actions on another. When Paul wrote to the Galatians in Chapter 6, verse 2 saying "Help carry each other’s burdens," I do not think that means to take over the burdens of others. In fact, I think burdens are learning opportunities and when we take over, we are actually stealing the chance to grow from the individual involved.
Now, do I think this is easy? Certainly not. Family do and should be supportive of one another and be encouraging to one another in practical as well as emotional and educational ways. But we don't get to badger, batter or belittle another and call it supporting or encouraging. I have learned the value of asking if I might make a suggestion. I have learned the value of just listening and cheering for the better ideas that are discussed. I have learned that sometimes other people can more effectively coach my loved one than I can. And I have learned that love has to trump "being acknowledged as right."
I am very grateful to the family member, extended family, friends, strangers, counselors and others who gently made an observation, reinforced the flickering light that is the precursor to change, affirmed the Love of Christ to my child, spouse, parent, sibling, family of choice, friend and myself. We all need that and we don't get to demand to whom or from whom that type of blessing presents before us.
So here is what I recommend: (1) Pray, pray and keep praying. (2) Listen. Listen. (3) Love, Love. (3) Support folks who have prayerfully decided that they need to say "no" to something. (4) Encourage growth, hope, faith, joy and love at all times and in all places with everyone. (5) Remember none of us knows everything about another or another's situation, but God does. (See item 1.) And lastly, when presented with the opportunity, (6) return anger with kindness, giving the fear to God who knows exactly what to do with it.