Updated: Aug 26, 2021
We continue ways to give attention to a sibling of a child with special needs in this second instalment. You have been blessed with an important member of your child's team, your child's brother or sister! Here are five more ways you can share special moments with them to let them know that you love and care for them.
Focus on friendship
Encourage friendships outside the world of special needs. The social skills learned in those friendships can help make life more peaceful for everyone at home. Your child gets to make new friends in different social settings and develop their own sense of identity.
Sports, art and drama classes, scouting and hobbies are all wonderful opportunities to develop an identity that is separate from a sibling’s. One that will serve as an outlet, great for their mental health and it will carry them through their formative years well into adulthood.
Special outing with grandparents or other relatives
Allow time for siblings to develop relationships with grandparents and other relatives. These relationships will provide strength that is needed in the long run. There is nothing like family support. Building on that unit for your child will help them as they progress into adulthood. Knowing that there is an aunt, uncle or godparent who understands their situation well will help them feel seen and heard.
Special time with Mom or Dad
Arrange for respite care for your child with special needs so that siblings can enjoy your undivided attention. Go somewhere that you wouldn’t usually visit with your child with special needs. This is time for you and your child to spend time and make memories.
Recognize the strength
Take a moment every day – or as often as needed – to acknowledge the fact that your child is trying to be strong for the family. Remind your child that he or she doesn’t have to be strong all of the time – every person has needs that the whole family works together to meet each others needs.