Explaing ghg behaviour to siblings?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lovelyboy, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    At what age did you find is understandable to explain ghg behaviour/impairment to siblings.....
    Little brother is 4 yr now......how do I explain to him why we tollerate or ignore some inappropriate behaviour of ghg, but that he must behave differently....as a rule I would say no inappropriate behaviour is exceptable....but I just cant be around all time policing....
    What the little one already picked up was that if his brother is rude or upset, the little one will ask him if he is stressed.....if ghg says yes, liitle brother just say ok....I will leave you alone a bit......I feel I need to explain to little one that his brother loves him and diesn t always meen to be so rude or irritated with him.....
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    If your 4yo is already able to express awareness that the older one is acting out because of feeling stressed, then I'd say he's ready for a talk about why the brother has that type of response. You can frame it in terms that are simple -- perhaps something like brother's brain is wired differently. That there are medicines that can help, but it can take a long time to figure out which ones will work best. It doesn't excuse bad behavior or give license for it -- just explains it. It's important for the younger ones to know that they don't have to put up with abuse by the older difficult child. If they need a safe place to go to get away from an abusive older sibling (regardless of the reason), then it's up to you to figure out a plan to help them feel safe. They need to know that you are there to help THEM just as much as the child with challenges.
  3. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Little brother already knows, I would also say he is ready for a simple explanation. Don't feel like you have to go into details. Maybe something along that line: "big brother is different. He has ANXIETY and sometimes it makes him hard for him to be nice. We are all working very hard to understand and control it better. It's not fair but we are a family no matter what. He loves you very much, but sometimes you know he needs some space. If YOU need anything, just come and ask me. I can help you too."
    The reason I would use "anxiety" to name the problem is : little brother can repeat that around and it is not too technical or stigmatizing. The last thing you want to do is tell him another hard diagnosis and then ask him not to repeat it to anyone. That would just add a level of complexity for your little guy.
    I'm the kind that believes in talking at a very young age.
    My boys have always responded to it VERY good (Sweet Pea is too young! at least too young to respond since she is non verbal).
    We already had a small talk with Partner about being V's brother. But of course it is different for us: Partner is the big brother.
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Maybe even use the words " lots of extra worries" or some such words if anxiety is hard to explain. My little neighbor when I was younger had a sister with Rett's syndrome. while playing on the porch with friends one of the kids asked him...what is wrong with your sister anyway? He said, "Oh, her brain is just broken"

    My nieces have told their friends things like that too. they will tell their friends that Q can't help being mean because part of his brain got taken out...lol. Well, that is how they see it. We have done simple explanations too.... and always let them know they can come ask for help because no matter what, no one should feel sad or unsafe.
  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    difficult child 1 had a friend in primary school that was amazing. When difficult child 1 would act out towards another kid, friend would tell the other kid "he doesn't know any better, he's got____" and then would quickly whisk difficult child 1 away and say "dude, you can't do that!" I wish we could have just kept that friend.

    I just explain it like you might any other physical ailment. If you know anyone in a wheelchair, its a good comparison. Just because they can't walk, doesn't mean the rest of us get to sit in a chair all the time. We are expected to do what we are capable of.
  6. ready2run

    ready2run New Member

    i started explaining it to difficult child's sibs when it became obvious. my 5yo was only 2 at the time but it was apparent to him that what difficult child was doing was not okay or what was expected and i had to do something to keep him from getting involved and trying to 'help mommy' and from copying it or thinking it was acceptable behaviour. things i have told him over the years are that difficult child can't think right, his brain isn't working right right now, that he has trouble understanding what is going on so he is getting angry about it and mostly just that he thinks different. i have also told them all about autism and it is pretty obvious to them that difficult child's problems are different than theirs even though they all have the same label. by four he is definitely old enough to know and understand and should have an explanation to give friends as well when they meet difficult child. mine are instructed to tell others that 'difficult child is autistic' which usually comes out as 'he is autism.' but hey that works too.