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Keep an open mind

Siblings will have experienced lockdown differently. Some may have found it more stressful due to increased care demands and reduced external support. Others have found it less stressful being at home as they could help a parent with their brother or sister’s care. Each sibling will have reacted differently to this.


Acknowledge that lockdown has been traumatic

Siblings will have felt particularly isolated and may not have been able to maintain contact with friends. This may have been due to lack of internet access, tablets or computers, an increased requirement to shield due to the health issues faced by their brothers and sisters or too may care demands placed on them at home.  Understand that siblings may also be behind on learning for the above reasons and may feel worried about this and will need an increased level of reassurance and pastoral support.


Be sensitive to fears about infection

Siblings may still be worried about infecting a family member who may have a compromised immune system – siblings may wish to take additional precautions so please be sensitive to this.


Ensure siblings have access to a safe place at unstructured times

Fear of infection may mean siblings find unstructured times difficult. Ensure they have access to a safe space where they can speak to a pastoral member of staff if they need extra support.


Encourage siblings to talk

Siblings will benefit from time to share their feelings or worries – allocate a key worker who can help with this through use of art, creative writing activities or one to one mentoring.


Help siblings new to a school make connections with each other

It helps siblings to know that they are not alone. Help siblings to connect with each other by creating opportunities for siblings to meet each other in small groups at lunch or break times.


Give as much information about routines and structures as possible

Siblings may struggle to adapt to new routines so give them as much information as possible to help them manage the process of change.


Remind siblings about the positives of being in school

All of the above could make siblings feel that school is something to be feared rather than enjoyed. Remind siblings about the positives which school can offer – friendship, fun, support and the opportunity to work towards achieving life goals.


Sibs is able to offer a whole school approach to sibling support through the Sibs Talk programme for Key Stage 2 pupils.  For further information on this and the impact of lockdown upon siblings please use the links below;


Sibs Talk primary school intervention

Coming second all the time – life in lockdown for siblings of disabled children

Sibs – Information for professionals

Sibs – information for schools

YoungSibs – for siblings of disabled children aged 7-18