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Nancy, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 746
Experience:  ABD for a PhD in Psychology, Psychotherapist for over 20 years
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I have a handicap grandson that is 7 yrs old. He is constant

Resolved Question:

I have a handicap grandson that is 7 yrs old. He is constant care and demands a lot of breathing treatments and medicine, he also has a trach. The problem is with his very normal 14 yr old sister she has noting to do with him, he gets really excited to see her but he cant talk or reach for her and she never demonstrates anything towards him. It has been like that since the day he was born. He was nine weeks early and was in the nicu for 3 months. We tried everything at that time to get her invloved and not make her feel left out. But she never makes any attempt towards him at all. She is graduating from the 8th grade and the family was planning on going to the church and then the banquet and taking Payden in his wheelchair. She called me today and asked me to watch him because she didnt think they could get the wheelchair in the church.Im a nurse so I often will care for him. My daughter in law is very hurt and so am I . Do you think she is embarrsed of her brother ? please advise
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Nancy replied 8 years ago.



Yes, she is probably embarrased, and ashamed -- and all of that is perfectly normal for her. Don't push her into accepting him YET. The more you push, the more likely she will resist- and that could last forever. Children have a great need to be accepted socially - having a handicapped sibling is often a HUGE deal for kids- it makes them feel different and fear they will be judged as people judge him.


It is often a lifelong issue for parents who push sibling to love and accept the handicapped child, but is always a huge mistake. Kids don't have the same cognitions adults do, and although we can require it - it won't be genuine. If you want her to genuinely love and accept him - let her come around on her own terms.


In that light - give her another 4-5 years. If not pushed, she will come around to love and fully accept him - and even involve herself in his life.


I hope this helps!



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