Supporting Siblings

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    Mary Kent

    In order to support a child of a young person who has an ill or disabled sibling their school needs to be aware of the situation. Once aware, a simple thing a teacher can do is to always discreetly greet the young person on the corridor or in the classroom. A “how are you today?” lets the student know they have been seen. Not enquiring about their sibling does not mean they are ignored but the question allows the student to raise concerns in their answer if they want to. Consistency in greeting might lead to the student opening up from “fine thanks”, to “a bit tired” to “not good”. All of which can be helpful in giving them a voice and somewhere safe to express their feelings. Often young people, in an attempt to protect their parents, are always “fine”.

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