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.
Explain the role of professionals
As adults we can take it for granted that a child understands who the physiotherapist or the paediatrician or the incontinence nurse is, however, siblings may be familiar with the name but not really understand what these people do. They may also feel resentful that people regularly come into their home who don't give them attention or any of the 'goodies' they see the disabled child getting.
- With older children, ask them if they would like to know more about the professionals who are involved with the family. Would they like to meet them and ask them about how they help their brother or sister?
- With younger children, make a poster with the names of the professionals on it and write down, or draw, or stick on pictures about what they do. Ask professionals if you can take a photo of them at their work to help a young sibling remember what they do. This will give you a prop for talking with siblings about how they feel about professionals coming into their home. Encourage them to write down questions that you could ask a professional on their behalf – this will help siblings feel a sense of control over the things that are happening in their family.
- Ask professionals to introduce themselves to siblings and to explain siblings why their work is important for the whole family