A sibling of a blind child may feel that his or her brother or sister is getting more attention than they are. With all of the therapists and special care a child who is blind needs, their siblings sometimes take the “back-seat”.
Here are some tips for parents to help foster the relationships of their children:
- Have the same expectations:
If you expect your children to help out with the chores, make sure that your visually impaired child also helps out with the chores. This is not only to avoid sibling rivalry but it is also good parenting. Every kid can have a chore list suited to his or her skill level and age. You may need to be a bit creative in making a chore list for your visually impaired child, but I’m sure you can do it!
- Inclusion – Both Ways:
You want to make sure your visually impaired child is included in activities with your other children, but you should also make sure to include your other children in the activities you do with your visually impaired child. Learning Braille can be a very fun activity for children.
- Fun Activities:
Finding activities that all children like to do is hard for any family, but especially for families that have children with special needs. Make sure everyone gets a chance to choose an activity, and let each child know that their input matters.
Teach your visually impaired child how to interact with his or her siblings. You may need to consult with your child’s teacher or therapist on the best way to go about this. Healthy interaction is very important for your children to have a loving relationship. Your visually impaired child should not be able to get away with anything his other siblings would get in trouble for.