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If siblings get on well, this is a great opportunity to spend more quality time together.  For siblings who find it hard to be around their brothers or sisters, or who struggle to manage their feelings, this might be very tough. Without the support of external services, some siblings might be providing more care than usual, and their sleep might be disrupted.

Siblings might have additional worries about their families getting sick, or what will happen if there is an emergency for their brother or sister.

Acknowledging your sibling child’s feelings about their disabled brother or sister, about family life or about current concerns is one of the most important things you can do to support them. You may not be able to change what is happening, but you can respond to how your child feels about things in a way that makes them know you really care and understand.

Have a look at our page on acknowledging feelings for more help.

We know that giving attention to sibling children is a really effective way of helping them feel loved and can also improve their behaviour.  You may feel as a parent of a disabled child, you have a lot to do, probably with less support than usual. However, giving attention doesn’t have to take lots of time. It is better for a sibling to have your full attention for a short amount of time, than for a lot of time but with distractions. Giving your sibling child attention helps to improve family life for everyone.

Check out our page on giving your sibling child attention.

Just as parent carers find it helpful to connect with others who share their experiences, so do young siblings.  Sibs has a dedicated online youngSibs service to provide information, tips and a section where young siblings can ask for help and advice from a sibling advisor.  Take a look at the site here.

We have written a mini blog – young siblings and lockdown

There are a number of other resources that you might find helpful.

Vacccines for young siblings

Siblings aged 12-17 who live with a brother or sister who is immunosuppressed will be able to receive the Pfizer vaccine after new guidance was announced from the JCVI. To read the full government statement, see here.