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I am starting to have some major sibling issues with my healty child being very, very jealous of my kid with health issues. Abi says she wishes she was sick, too, but it's also manifesting in aggression and anger towards Nitara even with normal stuff. Like today I took Abi to a movie with a school friend and her mom, and then we went out to eat afterwards. Yesterday Abi attended a bday party and Nitara did not go. Abi gets plenty of extra attention and praise for being who she is and doing the things she's good at. Today when we got home from the movie/dinner she saw that dh had spent time with Nitara building stuff with Legos. She was extremely jealous of this and next thing I knew she was telling me she wanted to leave this family. She says that a lot. What do I do? I need some help before this destroys their sibling bond and creates a bigger problem in the family. Nitara adores her older sister and is very often crushed when Abi is just plain mean to her for no reason.
 

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The sibling issue is so hard! Dd has two older siblings, and they have expressed a lot of jealousy and anger over the fact that dd gets more of our time and attention. Both of the older kids usually take that anger out on us and generally don't direct it towards dd -- I think because they see her as "fragile" in some ways. I just try hard to reinforce that everyone in our family gets what they need and whoever's need is greatest at the moment gets their need met first. When dd is doing well from a health perspective, then her need to have a snack RIGHT NOW won't get met before her sister's need to have help with homework. I try to remind them, too, that if they were the ones sick or in the hospital (they've only ever really been to the ER, and that when they were younger) that they'd want mom or dad there with them, too.<br><br>
One of the best things we've ever done for them is to take them to a SibShop in our area. It's basically a day (usually 4 hours or so) where the kids get together with other kids who have sibs w/SN to just be themselves. Ours has been done with a local outdoor recreation group, so there's a lot of trust-building activities and stuff. It's not really a meeting kind of thing where kids talk about their feelings -- it's more about the opportunity to share similar experiences with other kids who understand. If Nitara is/was in EI, they may be able to help you find a SibShop in your area.
 

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I was going to say the same thing about Sibshops. many siblings of children with disabilities / health issues feel this way. Good luck!
 

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If you haven't read "Siblings Without Rivalry," it might be a good time to pick it up. It addresses all sorts of "rivalry" and jelousy situations and I believe, if memory serves me right, it has scenarios regarding siblings with special needs siblings. It really is a very good book.
 

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Just wanted to send some <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> and say that I am right there with you on this one. There's some major rivalry going on here too. I have never sent my older DS to a sibshop, but I am thinking it might be a really good idea. I have heard they are wonderful.<br><br>
Namaste,<br><br>
Michelle
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">its hard isnt it?! I just went to a workshop on this a couple weekends ago and the book a pp mentioned <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Siblings Without Rivalry</span> was on the suggested reading list. I havent read it myself yet though<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks so much for the support. I have tried to read Sibs without Rivalry a couple of times and something about the book just puts me to sleep. I should just try to read the special needs chapter first I guess.<br><br>
I called the Child Life person at Phoenix Children's Hospital. She spent a lot of time on the phone with me and I felt good about the whole conversation. She said I was doing a lot of things right and made me feel great, when I went into the phone call thinking I was not doing so great or this wouldn't be happening to us.<br><br>
--She liked the idea that I let Abi journal. I will sit down and let her narrate a story or feelings or whatever is on her mind. She said that was wonderful, and that I should try to do this regularly. In fact she said that she really suggests that the big key is to make a schedule of special things for Abi that she can always count on. We do things with her but not on a regular schedule. The child life person said to make, for example, every Monday night Abi time with game night, a bike ride, or other similar things. If the child does not have a regular time for doing things with mom or dad they can start to feel anxiety. If they can count on it happening with one parent or the other-- even if Nitara is sick-- then she will start to relax and be happier.<br><br>
-- She said we must be a pretty open family and Abi must feel comfortable with us to act out and share feelings in front of us. The kids she is more worried about are the ones who bottle it all in and won't talk about it. Sometimes it's just personality and sometimes it's because the parents act worried and upset over the health issues so the kids don't want to burden the parents further with their own feelings.<br><br>
-- She said that we need to create an Angry Box for Abi that has things in it that help her to express her anger in more appropriate ways. Abi still has horrible tantrums sometimes, does a lot of yelling and somtimes hitting. She said that when Abi starts to do these things we need to ask that she do something out of her anger box for a set number of repetitions or a set time. For example throwing a balled up sock against the wall 30 times, shaking a water bottle with marbles and water for 2 minutes without stopping, smashing play-doh for two minutes, and anything else I can think of. Abi can choose which thing she wants to do. She can decorate her box and store it where she wants, and hopefully over time she will learn to go there on her own and do those things. But if she doesn't we will have to ask her.<br><br>
-- Abi should get a special job in helping to care for Nitara's health needs. It should not be a chore. She does not have to do it, but we want her to feel that she is needed and included in the care. Dh says maybe he can involve Abi in putting the tubing in the pump for the night feed and doing auto prime. She will probably think that's fun.<br><br>
-- If Nitara gets a special thing from the doctor like a sticker, then we need to make sure Abi gets on e, too. Nitara actually will ask for one for sister, now.<br><br><br>
Then I called my insurance company's mental health number and got the name of some child counselors. I found one that is taking new clients and we have an appt next week for Abi. I got some numbers for adults. I told dh that it's important that we all get some counseling for the sake of the kids and a good family life. He agreed!!!! We have needed marriage counseling for a long time, but he will do it for the kids. Whatever it takes to get him in the door. I gave him the choice of a male or female and he chose female. I will try to call after the lunch hour and see if there are openings.<br><br>
I feel a lot of hope.
 

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It sounds like you got a lot of good advice and are doing some stuff to really help your family as a whole - I hope it gets better for all of you and good luck!
 

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Thank you for sharing those great ideas! Might need those someday. . . .<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/notes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notes">:
 

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Thank you for sharing all the good ideas. I'm really happy that you connected with counselers and that your husband agreed to go - that's HUGE - I wish you all the best.
 

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Good ideas for sure. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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It sounds like you've got some great ideas to help Abi. Good luck with the counseling. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Similar to this,but not quite the same- Katlyn seems to want to be 'injured' in the same way someone close to her is. A friend at school broke her leg, was in a cast and wheelchair and for the 2ish months, Katlyn's leg was 'broken' every time she had the slightest little scratch. She used anything she could find for crutches. Once her friend healed, she's 'broken' her leg a lot less.<br><br>
Again, not quite the same, but I think a little piece of it may be an age/developmental thing.
 
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