Their experiences in their childhood are changed but let them know that its ok, your family is unique as are all families for one reason or another. Take a moment to think about your own sibling relationships and the influence they had on your development. Most times, through siblings, children learn to openly express a range of emotions, including love, loyalty, anger, rivalry and resilience. They gain companionship, support and learn to give and take. Siblings help teach each other social skills and play a part in each other’s identity.
When one sibling has additional needs, some aspects of the relationship can change enormously.
As a parent, you want to give equal attention to all your children. But when parenting a child with additional needs, that can be difficult. All your children need you, but the care demands of a child with additional needs can take a lot of your time. They see you daily, rushing around and caught for time because you are so busy with appointments and daily care duties. This is the new normal for your family and children generally adapt easily.
Siblings can develop a range of positive qualities such as compassion, insight, responsibility and develop a strong loving relationship with their brother or sister, taking pride in his or her achievements. Of course, there will be times when they worry about their sibling or may be envious of the attention they need and receive. They also attain empathy, tolerance and an understanding of difference.
“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about”
– Dr Temple Grandin