Involving siblings in the experience
Siblings of children with health issues are at increased risk for behavior problems and school related adjustment problems. The severity of the ill child does not correlate necessarily with the severity or the amount of issues that the normal healthy sibling may have. Some children experience guilt that they are not sick. They may even have magical thinking assuming that they caused the illness of their sibling. Much of the issue stems from parental inattention. This in attention is understandable as it may be a lot of work to take care of an ill child. Sibling may take on the role of caregiver which may produce stress and anxiety.A helpful approach is to have a relationship with each of your children and to spend more time as time allows. It is important to be honest and to reward the help that the healthy child is giving. While there are frequently support groups for ill children, there are not support groups for the siblings. It is important to involve the siblings in the health experience in an age-appropriate manner.