Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy

Suggestions for Caregivers

Parents and caregivers set an example for their children with their behavior. It creates the tone for sibling interactions and influences sibling relationships. It's important for parents to realize brothers and sisters need as much attention and support as the child with an illness or disability. Sometimes they need extra support.

Siblings need age-appropriate, accurate information about the needs of their brother or sister, and parents and caregivers should be open and honest when providing it. At times, siblings may simply need someone to listen to their frustrations about having a brother or sister with an illness or disability. Parents and caregivers can listen and validate these feelings without judging.

Here are some suggestions for parents and caregivers based on individual situations siblings may experience.

Do the siblings feel their time from parents or caregivers is becoming increasingly limited?

Are the siblings feeling guilty about having a brother or sister with an illness or disability?

Do the siblings have trouble interacting with the child with the illness or disability?

Are the siblings experiencing feelings of anger about having a brother or sister with an illness or disability?

Do the siblings feel their family activities have been restricted or replaced by care giving responsibilities?

Are the siblings protective of their brother or sister with the illness or disability?

Are the siblings being teased or bullied by their peers for having a brother or sister with an illness or disability?

Do the siblings worry about bringing their peers into the home?

Do the siblings have concerns about the future?

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