Welcome to the
• Understand more about the concerns of siblings
• Find out about books that have been written by or for siblings
• Join SibTeen, a Facebook group for teens, co-hosted by the Sibling Support Project in the US and Siblings Australia
• Read what other teen sibs say
Most importantly you will find that you are not alone. Other siblings share many of the feelings and experiences that you do. Some siblings have very close relationships with their brother or sister with disability or illness. They share fun times and are able to be just like any other siblings. But some siblings have a more difficult time.
The teen years present a number of challenges to young people. Sometimes things can seem even more difficult when your brother or sister has a disability or illness.
• Sadness about your brother or sister and the things he or she can't do
• Resentment that your parents spend so much time with or focussed on your brother or sister
• Anger and or embarrassment about how your brother or sister behaves
• Guilt about your own abilities and successes
• Fears about the future and who will care for your brother or sister
• Concerns about creating your own family
You may also feel that your feelings don't matter to anyone else, that you are not as important as others in the family. On the one hand, you might be trying to become more independent but at times that might seem difficult. You may have a close family, which of course is wonderful, but you might feel overly responsible for other family members and feel hesitant about independence.
It would be good if you could share your stories with each other. Contact us if you would like to share your experience of being a sibling – the good and not so good things. We might post some of the letters on the website so let us know if you don't want yours on the site (you can be anonymous if you like!).
What other teens say about being a sib
My twin sister has Cerebral Palsy. There are positive things and negative things about having a sibling with a disability. While it makes you more understanding of others and helps you to understand things that other people don't, it also means that you have to deal with stranger's negative reactions and obviously you don't have a "typical" sibling relationship. That can sometimes be difficult, but there are good times as well. Being a sibling of a person with a disability gives me more of a perspective of other people’s feelings and situations and makes me realise that there is no such thing as "normal" - I like knowing these things and would hate it if I didn't.
My twin sister has cerebral Palsy. It never use to bother me that my sister was different when I was a bit younger, but a few years ago I started seeing the way people looked at her and how we never went on holidays or went out much. I didn't like it and started feeling ashamed of my sister when we went out which then led to guilt for thinking like that. I hated people's looks and the way they talked to her like she was a baby. I felt depressed surely twins weren't meant to have these feelings towards each other. Then she got really sick and I was really scared. I stopped feeling ashamed of her; in fact I push her around in her wheelchair instead of pretending I don't belong with this dysfunctional family. I'm not saying my sister has blessed us, far from it, fear, guilt, anxiety, pressure, stress, sadness are just a few emotions to name. But with that comes the joy of having my sister. I really like this website, it's a great idea and a great place for us teens to talk freely about our opinions.
For more teen stories, see the downloads on the right column.