Communicating Effectively and Compassionately to Help Siblings Cope
From the time that their sibling is diagnosed with a serious illness, the other children will need support. The family dynamic shifts. New worries and anxieties are present for both the sibling and the parent. Parents may ask themselves, “How can I best parent my other children when so much of my energy and emotions are focused on my sick child,” and siblings question, “What about me?” or “What will the future be like now?” Being aware of the worries, yours and theirs, talking about them right from the time of diagnosis will help to strengthen relationships and create an environment that fosters good communication. It is important to always give the siblings a clear sense of what is going on and invite them in. Siblings want to be part of the conversation. We hope this guide will give you tools to start those conversations.