Friday, July 6, 2012

ADHD and Siblings

Kiera and Dillon
Like any family, my kids will fight like crazy sometimes. My oldest two, Dillon and Kiera, are the worst fighters though, which I think is because they are closest in age (2 yrs apart). But, as they got older, I started to notice some jealousy developing in Kiera towards Dillon. This was because Dill got more "attention" due to his ADHD. Does this ring a bell to any of you?

You see, Kiera is the complete opposite of Dillon. She is an honor role student, very motivated and strives to do everything perfect whereas Dillon struggles more in these areas. Now don't get me wrong, Kiera gets a lot of attention and praise for all of her hard work and achievements, but, she also doesn't need much help with homework or have doctors and counseling appointments, school meetings and behavioral issues. It's hard to impossible to give all of your children the exact same attention, especially when you have a child with special needs. Every child is different, while some require more help and assistance, others are more independent. 

Kiera and Dillon
I found that one of the best things you can do is to talk to all your children and teach them about ADHD and to understand your ADHD child's needs and struggles as much as possible. There are actually even children's books about ADHD that you can read with your children to better understand ADHD that I found to be wonderful for all the kids to learn about and understand ADHD, even Dillon. You can find some great ones at my Child ADHD Store. I feel the more all the kids are aware of and understand ADHD and it's challenges the more supportive they will be of their ADHD sibling.
Dillon, me and Kiera
 It is so hard to split your time up evenly among all your kids all the time, especially when one is independent with homework while you're fighting half the night with your ADHD child. Even though we may be arguing or struggling with our ADHD child and it may be considered a more "negative" attention, it still can make others jealous of the attention.

The most important thing you can do though is to make sure all your kids know how much you love them and that they are all important and special to you! I have been looking into more ways to help with siblings of ADHD kids and will be posting a list shortly.

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