Brothers and sisters may not like the sudden focus on the child with diabetes – Why all the fuss? Why do we have to rush home for injections? Why do we have to worry about food all the time? Your child with diabetes may well take advantage of this
Brothers and sisters who did not previously appear jealous of their sibling may begin to feel that way. If they thought their brother or sister were the favourite prior to having diabetes, this may add to the problem.
Brothers and sisters may fear that they will be loved less and pushed to one side in favour of the child with diabetes.
Brothers and sisters may worry that they might get diabetes.
IDEAS FOR COPING:
- Try to keep things as normal as you can (not always easy) and play down the diabetes as much as is possible. Try and spend some special time alone with your child without diabetes, doing something fun and that they really enjoy.
- Be consistent in the way you discipline all your children.
- Some children worry that diabetes is catching or that their brother or sister with diabetes might die. They may think that something they have done has given their brother or sister diabetes – such as breaking a toy or not sharing. They may have nightmares, suddenly start wetting the bed or cling to you (remember that there are health professionals to help you and your family). Your child’s brothers and sisters need to know what is happening and to feel involved. Involving siblings in the initial diabetes education may help them understand more about diabetes.
- Families often find that they have become closer because of diabetes, problems can be sorted out with patience and understanding.