March 1, 2014 § 4 Comments
So looking through my posts I realize my son gets very little “press.” This post is dedicated to him.
He is 13. He is amazing and he always makes me smile. I am treading cautiously as I write because this post will end up on Facebook and I know he will be embarrassed enough as it is.
I am wondering if there is a trend with older siblings of children with needs? My son is quite the caretaker as much as he has heard from us “your not a parent or worry about yourself” he can’t help it. He watches over his sister like a hawk. He is the number one homework helper and knows every detail of her medical needs simply because he absorbs it the moment he hears it just like I do.
It carries over into sports as he always plays “protective” roles – he is a offensive and defensive lineman in football and a Lacrosse goalie. I love that people call goalies “keep” and the title sums him up perfectly.
I wonder if he will feel pressured next year because that is what this is really about – the pressure these siblings feel, or rather if it’s pressure at all? It is something I see siblings just take on themselves even when it’s discouraged.
Next year they will be in the same school – I am guessing she will inevitably try to hug him and his friends if she sees them. He’s always just kind of dealt with it and so have his friends who also watch out for her. I think she’s pretty much got the full weight of the 8th grade football team standing behind her heading into middle school – which is nice.
I’m not saying their relationship is perfect. They fight like siblings do but they also look out for each other.
Teachers – please realize the weight typical siblings can carry about their sibling with needs. Please be sensitive to the fact that they are likely to worry more and have more genuine worries. Also know that the typical sibling is just as much a working member of the family. These siblings love to make decisions about who future teachers should be and they keep an eye on how you are treating their brother or sister. They can’t help it. Help honor this bond, help it flourish.