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siblings

(84 Posts)
DorothyL Sat 26-Dec-15 00:31:47

So, siblings of sn children, who have to put up with quite a bit due to their sibling's sn - do you expect them to be a supporter of their sn sibling nonetheless or do you accept resentment etc?

DorothyL Sat 26-Dec-15 07:00:38

.

EnglishWeddingGuest Sat 26-Dec-15 07:03:52

My daughter is my sons biggest supporter - she loves him more than anyone - and she puts up with a lot - more than anyone - we try to make sure she gets special attention away from DS so she knows she's important too - it's incredibly hard

DorothyL Sat 26-Dec-15 07:06:53

My dd1 is like that, she says ds is her favourite person in the world, but dd2 at the moment feels very differently sad

MabelBee Sat 26-Dec-15 07:11:41

My children are still young but I accept that in the future there might be a degree of resentment for how unfairly our time or attention is split between them, or how restricted a lot of our experiences are. We do have to water down or suppress a lot of excitement which puts a bit of a dampener on things like birthdays or Christmas day.

I hope, though, that we are finding a good balance. I imagine that this might become more difficult as they get older and more aware of how other people live though.

EnglishWeddingGuest Sat 26-Dec-15 07:19:49

As with all things comes good and bad - light and dark

My daughter is very understanding of sn now and will defend other children at school / socially - she's a heightened sense of fairness and realizes that life mostly sucks and that she is lucky and she should be grateful .... On the other hand she gets very upset that life has been so unfair to her brother and can get very upset when he melts down and all that results from that - she says it's not fair that "this" is her life - and to be honest, it's not fair - but you okay the cards you get dealt

Horribly adult lesson for her to learn far too early in life

DorothyL Sat 26-Dec-15 07:23:12

I always used to say how lucky ds was to have such tolerant and supportive sisters, but now dd2 has changed and it kind of breaks my heart

EnglishWeddingGuest Sat 26-Dec-15 08:12:53

Dorothy - I understand

Life like this was not what I imagined growing up - certainly not what you anticipate

I tell myself that nothing in life is perfect - and it's by stressing the muscle that the muscle grows strong - I hope my daughter will learn from this experience in a good way rather than a negative one - despite the roller coaster

WeThreeMythicalKings Sat 26-Dec-15 08:15:27

My close friend and I eventually fell out over this. She has 2 DCs, the younger one has very severe autism. The older one got used to missing out on a lot because of her brother's needs and mostly was OK with it. Days out would sometimes have to be cut short, holidays were difficult and she could never have a birthday party without him "spoiling" it.

No one wanted to play at her house because her DB would interfere and spoil their games and have a meltdown if he wasn't always included. If they did include him he would insist they played his way and my friend didn't intervene. So her friends stopped wanting to come around.

DF's marriage broke up, mainly due to her DH being unable to cope with DS's behaviour. As the DCs got older DF relied on her DD for childcare because she had to return to full time work. Her parents helped out as well but they found him difficult to deal with.

Things got worse when the DCs were 14 and 12. DF's parents said they could no longer have DS after school because of his behaviour. So DD had to hurry home from school to be there when the mini bus dropped DS off from his school. This meant she had to give up some much-loved after school activities. She became very resentful and there were constant rows. DD's schoolwork and friendships suffered.

In GCSE year the school offered after school revision classes and they strongly suggested that DD should attend because her grades had dropped alarmingly. DF said she couldn't attend because she had to look after DS. DF was angry with me because said I couldn't support her decision when she asked what I thought. I suggested she paid someone to look after DS until she got home but she didn't want to because money was tight.

DD scraped the necessary grades to get to sixth form and told her mother she was going to live with her father for her A levels if she had to continue to look after DS. DF found some paid child care. But the damage to their relationship was already done.

DD went as far away as possible to university and said she would never again live in the same town as her DM and DB because she "knew" she'd be expected to help out again and she felt she'd made enough sacrifices. Their relationship has never recovered even though years have passed and DD has 2 DCs of her own.

I love my DF but I feel she never really did enough to minimise the effect her DS's autism had on her DD. DD loved her DB when they were young and always helped him and included him in a lot. But her DM asked more of her than was fair.

Sorry for the essay. Some DCs cope well with having SN siblings and others don't. They should never be expected to have care responsibilities, imo.

EnglishWeddingGuest Sat 26-Dec-15 08:27:55

wethree - that sounds extreme - in my circle no parent expects their child to be carer for another child who has sn

DorothyL Sat 26-Dec-15 08:45:36

I have always tried to make things easier for the dd's - alone time with them, ds at his grandmother's house if the girls had friends round so he wouldn't interfere etc
Things are not helped by some friends and relatives implying that it is my parenting that makes ds the way he is - now that dd is a stroppy preteen she picks up on that

DorothyL Sat 26-Dec-15 09:02:11

The thing is all I ever wanted was for the dd's to have a happy and carefree childhood, it didn't happen and that makes me feel so sad, and then When others say I caused ds's behaviour I feel even worse

WeThreeMythicalKings Sat 26-Dec-15 09:48:42

Maybe print off details about DS's diagnosis and give it to relatives who believe you are to blame.

Sometimes DF enabled her DS's behaviour because it was easier to give in. In the long run that wasn't helpful to him or anyone else.

DorothyL Sat 26-Dec-15 10:17:22

That's exactly what people say about me, but they're not living my life

WeThreeMythicalKings Sat 26-Dec-15 10:33:59

For example when DS was crying to play with his DS their DM would persuade her DD to give in, instead of removing DS to leave DD in peace. That's what I mean by enabling. DD was rarely given a choice.

zzzzz Sat 26-Dec-15 10:50:40

Well perhapsDF made the right parenting decisions and perhaps she didn't. I'm not sure you are a "friend" though 3kings.

In our family we embrace all parts of each other good, bad, life enhancing and limiting. It seems slightly unreasonable to expect your dd to joyously give up stuff for her brother all the time or for them to get on well at every stage.

DorothyL Sat 26-Dec-15 11:24:01

But how do I respond to snide remarks or unkindness? How do I " embrace" that?

DorothyL Sat 26-Dec-15 11:30:28

We3, and you were there all the time?

DorothyL Sat 26-Dec-15 11:32:28

I've asked the dd's to play with ds before, many a time... Something else to feel guilty about... He can't entertain himself and needs an "opposite" to engage... So when dh is absent, the options are me, one of the dd's, or put him in a front of a screen.

WeThreeMythicalKings Sat 26-Dec-15 13:32:10

I am no longer a friend, zzzzz. I tried to support DF's DD and felt she was being treated unfairly and she was so very unhappy and asked for support. DF didn't like that, so we had a parting of the ways. I am still close to DD, though.

Dorothy, I was there a lot of the time. DD was expected to do childcare while little more than a child herself. That's not fair.

zzzzz Sat 26-Dec-15 14:27:54

"DF didn't like that" I can imagine. shock. It sounds like a totally unhelpful and innapropriate dynamic.

OP how do you respond to snide remarks and unkindness about other things? I think you are over thinking this. If dd was being shitty about being polite to an elderly relative how would you correct her? If she was making racist remarks what would you say? If she was being mean about you being fat or her dds spots?

zzzzz Sat 26-Dec-15 14:29:38

Dsis not dds!!!

zzzzz Sat 26-Dec-15 14:31:02

Have you ever talked about what would happen if she was ever disabled? Have you talked about how hard you sometimes find it to balance all their needs?

zzzzz Sat 26-Dec-15 14:57:18

We3 after reading your thread about your friend who didn't want to accommodate a boy with additional needs at her craft club, is it perhaps that you really don't like the idea of inclusion? Perhaps a thread started by a Mum looking for help including ALL her children within a family isn't the most helpful place to be airing those oh so unhelpful "don't let disability effect your average children" views? angry

WeThreeMythicalKings Sat 26-Dec-15 17:50:14

That's a bit creepy, zzzzz, looking at past posts.

If you searched a little longer you'd have found that I spent a lot of my teaching career working with DCs with challenging behaviour (for various reasons, including autism), which is why my DF asked my advice in the first place. I was still teaching at the time. I'm retired now.

Of course having a DC with SNs is going to have an effect on the family but when one child is expected to provide childcare for another then that's not fair. Especially not when her education is being adversely effected, or do you think that's OK?

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