Help siblings to adjust

Having a sibling with a disability can be confusing, frustrating, worrying and embarrassing. It can also help a sibling learn to be patient, tolerant, compassionate and responsible. It is an adjustment and it takes time. You can, however, help your child work it out. 

 

Siblings often have trouble adjusting because they don’t understand what a disability is and what it means, and they worry about not being able to explain it to others. Explain it in a way they understand and encourage them to ask questions. 

 

Some parents find picture books about disabilities useful for younger kids, while information sheets and newsletters with more detailed information can be helpful for older children. 

 

Often, siblings struggle with the fact that their brother or sister is treated differently at home. Listen to what they say and accept any feelings they might have. 

 

You could even say something like, “You have to use your knife and fork because you have good control of your hands. Lachlan hasn’t got that yet.”

 

Encourage your kids to play together. Suggest activities they can both do, like painting or playing with toys. Praise them when they are playing well together.

 

It’s also important to spend quality time with each child, even if it’s only for a short period each day. Try to get the help of friends, family or respite services so you can spend more extended one-on-one time with each child every now and then.

Stepping Stones Triple P’s Seven Steps to Positive Parenting

This hot parenting topic sure is a conversation starter! It relates to Stepping Stones Triple P’s fourth step to positive parenting: “Adapt to having a child with a disability.” Read more about the seven steps to positive parenting. Here is another hot parenting topic to get you thinking about how to adapt to having a child with a disability: