As a parent you may find there are times when you need a bit of extra information and help with parenting siblings. Use these pages to get information and tips on supporting siblings, and to get advice on dealing with sibling issues.
Why it’s important to include siblings
It helps siblings to understand more about why their brother or sister needs extra attention and help. For example, a sibling can learn a lot from being included in a hospital appointment and having things explained by a consultant.
It helps to reduce jealousy if siblings are included in some way in their brother or sister’s treatments or therapies. For example, a sibling won’t feel left out if invited to join in for part of a physiotherapy session.
It helps siblings feel included if they have a say in what will help them at difficult times. For example, making plans with a sibling for coping with a brother or sister’s hospital stay.
How to include siblings
Explain the role of professionals involved in the care and support of their brother or sister. Ask older siblings if they would like to meet these professionals so that they can ask questions about the help they give. Help younger siblings make a poster with the names of each professional and pictures of the jobs they do.
Ask professionals to make some of their home visits when your sibling child is back from school.
Include siblings in professionals’ meetings about their brother or sister. Where appropriate, ask siblings if they would like to speak on behalf of their brother or sister. Also, ask siblings their views and ideas on how things could be improved.
Make a plan together for hospital stays. Planning ahead with siblings helps them to know what will happen and when. Give siblings an opportunity to ask questions and to have a say in what they want to happen e.g. who they will stay with, when they will see you and when they can visit their brother or sister.