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hmw
01-24-2010, 06:42 PM
A frequent issue here is dealing with Emily's health issues frequently resulting in broken plans (or at the least, having to often readjust plans or not being able to commit in advance to certain things.)

This understandably results in resentment on their part when they have to miss something they've been looking forward to because 'Emily is sick AGAIN'. I do the best I can for this not to happen but it's not always possible for things to go on 'like normal' for them when she's too sick to go anywhere and I am tied home doing treatments 4x/day, etc.

How do I help the boys when they feel like Emily's CF is taking over THEIR life too?

hmw
01-24-2010, 06:42 PM
A frequent issue here is dealing with Emily's health issues frequently resulting in broken plans (or at the least, having to often readjust plans or not being able to commit in advance to certain things.)

This understandably results in resentment on their part when they have to miss something they've been looking forward to because 'Emily is sick AGAIN'. I do the best I can for this not to happen but it's not always possible for things to go on 'like normal' for them when she's too sick to go anywhere and I am tied home doing treatments 4x/day, etc.

How do I help the boys when they feel like Emily's CF is taking over THEIR life too?

hmw
01-24-2010, 06:42 PM
A frequent issue here is dealing with Emily's health issues frequently resulting in broken plans (or at the least, having to often readjust plans or not being able to commit in advance to certain things.)

This understandably results in resentment on their part when they have to miss something they've been looking forward to because 'Emily is sick AGAIN'. I do the best I can for this not to happen but it's not always possible for things to go on 'like normal' for them when she's too sick to go anywhere and I am tied home doing treatments 4x/day, etc.

How do I help the boys when they feel like Emily's CF is taking over THEIR life too?

hmw
01-24-2010, 06:42 PM
A frequent issue here is dealing with Emily's health issues frequently resulting in broken plans (or at the least, having to often readjust plans or not being able to commit in advance to certain things.)

This understandably results in resentment on their part when they have to miss something they've been looking forward to because 'Emily is sick AGAIN'. I do the best I can for this not to happen but it's not always possible for things to go on 'like normal' for them when she's too sick to go anywhere and I am tied home doing treatments 4x/day, etc.

How do I help the boys when they feel like Emily's CF is taking over THEIR life too?

hmw
01-24-2010, 06:42 PM
A frequent issue here is dealing with Emily's health issues frequently resulting in broken plans (or at the least, having to often readjust plans or not being able to commit in advance to certain things.)
<br />
<br />This understandably results in resentment on their part when they have to miss something they've been looking forward to because 'Emily is sick AGAIN'. I do the best I can for this not to happen but it's not always possible for things to go on 'like normal' for them when she's too sick to go anywhere and I am tied home doing treatments 4x/day, etc.
<br />
<br />How do I help the boys when they feel like Emily's CF is taking over THEIR life too?

izemmom
01-24-2010, 09:03 PM
I'm glad you asked this question, Harriet! We've not had to miss too much, due to illness, but often things get worked around treatments, trips to the doctor and CF fundraising. For example, My non-cf'er never gets to have me put her to bed because CPT is being done then. And, at girl scout cookie time this year, I was hesitant to let her do too much door to door since we'll be making the rounds for CF in a few weeks. None of these are major things, but, I really don't want the older one to grow up resenting her sister or the time that CF stole from all of us.

I'll be watching this thread and Rebecca's thread about helping non-cf'ers with thier self esteem very closely!

izemmom
01-24-2010, 09:03 PM
I'm glad you asked this question, Harriet! We've not had to miss too much, due to illness, but often things get worked around treatments, trips to the doctor and CF fundraising. For example, My non-cf'er never gets to have me put her to bed because CPT is being done then. And, at girl scout cookie time this year, I was hesitant to let her do too much door to door since we'll be making the rounds for CF in a few weeks. None of these are major things, but, I really don't want the older one to grow up resenting her sister or the time that CF stole from all of us.

I'll be watching this thread and Rebecca's thread about helping non-cf'ers with thier self esteem very closely!

izemmom
01-24-2010, 09:03 PM
I'm glad you asked this question, Harriet! We've not had to miss too much, due to illness, but often things get worked around treatments, trips to the doctor and CF fundraising. For example, My non-cf'er never gets to have me put her to bed because CPT is being done then. And, at girl scout cookie time this year, I was hesitant to let her do too much door to door since we'll be making the rounds for CF in a few weeks. None of these are major things, but, I really don't want the older one to grow up resenting her sister or the time that CF stole from all of us.

I'll be watching this thread and Rebecca's thread about helping non-cf'ers with thier self esteem very closely!

izemmom
01-24-2010, 09:03 PM
I'm glad you asked this question, Harriet! We've not had to miss too much, due to illness, but often things get worked around treatments, trips to the doctor and CF fundraising. For example, My non-cf'er never gets to have me put her to bed because CPT is being done then. And, at girl scout cookie time this year, I was hesitant to let her do too much door to door since we'll be making the rounds for CF in a few weeks. None of these are major things, but, I really don't want the older one to grow up resenting her sister or the time that CF stole from all of us.

I'll be watching this thread and Rebecca's thread about helping non-cf'ers with thier self esteem very closely!

izemmom
01-24-2010, 09:03 PM
I'm glad you asked this question, Harriet! We've not had to miss too much, due to illness, but often things get worked around treatments, trips to the doctor and CF fundraising. For example, My non-cf'er never gets to have me put her to bed because CPT is being done then. And, at girl scout cookie time this year, I was hesitant to let her do too much door to door since we'll be making the rounds for CF in a few weeks. None of these are major things, but, I really don't want the older one to grow up resenting her sister or the time that CF stole from all of us.
<br />
<br />I'll be watching this thread and Rebecca's thread about helping non-cf'ers with thier self esteem very closely!

Mommafirst
01-24-2010, 09:19 PM
I think this is a great question.

I'm dealing with some sibling things as well. My oldest is more like me in his body type and he LOVES to eat and sits in the 85% for BMI. He doesn't have CF. Alyssa (and my other non-CF son) both need to gain weight. Alyssa gets pretty much whatever she will eat....ice cream for breakfast? OKay. Shakes made especially for her. Yup. And then my oldest wants it all too and he just can't. His body can't have the extra calories that Alyssa needs to survive. So I have to say yes to her and no to him and it SUCKS. He tells me constantly how unfair it is.

I've tried explaining to him that food is a medicine for Alyssa.

I've tried explaining that his non-CF body doesn't need the quantity of food, nor the fat content, that Alyssa needs.

I've tried explaining that life is not usually fair.

But the bottomline is he becomess envious of her. He wants her ice cream, he wants to be able to eat whatever he wants and plenty of it. I get it. I'd like to be able to eat ice cream every night and not have anyone tell me no or for it to grow on my hips like it does. But I'd never wish FOR CF just for that small benefit. But I'm an adult and I understand, and even though he gets it, it doesn't stop his feelings of envy and unfairness.

Soooo....any advice is always welcome on this. We can't be alone.

Mommafirst
01-24-2010, 09:19 PM
I think this is a great question.

I'm dealing with some sibling things as well. My oldest is more like me in his body type and he LOVES to eat and sits in the 85% for BMI. He doesn't have CF. Alyssa (and my other non-CF son) both need to gain weight. Alyssa gets pretty much whatever she will eat....ice cream for breakfast? OKay. Shakes made especially for her. Yup. And then my oldest wants it all too and he just can't. His body can't have the extra calories that Alyssa needs to survive. So I have to say yes to her and no to him and it SUCKS. He tells me constantly how unfair it is.

I've tried explaining to him that food is a medicine for Alyssa.

I've tried explaining that his non-CF body doesn't need the quantity of food, nor the fat content, that Alyssa needs.

I've tried explaining that life is not usually fair.

But the bottomline is he becomess envious of her. He wants her ice cream, he wants to be able to eat whatever he wants and plenty of it. I get it. I'd like to be able to eat ice cream every night and not have anyone tell me no or for it to grow on my hips like it does. But I'd never wish FOR CF just for that small benefit. But I'm an adult and I understand, and even though he gets it, it doesn't stop his feelings of envy and unfairness.

Soooo....any advice is always welcome on this. We can't be alone.

Mommafirst
01-24-2010, 09:19 PM
I think this is a great question.

I'm dealing with some sibling things as well. My oldest is more like me in his body type and he LOVES to eat and sits in the 85% for BMI. He doesn't have CF. Alyssa (and my other non-CF son) both need to gain weight. Alyssa gets pretty much whatever she will eat....ice cream for breakfast? OKay. Shakes made especially for her. Yup. And then my oldest wants it all too and he just can't. His body can't have the extra calories that Alyssa needs to survive. So I have to say yes to her and no to him and it SUCKS. He tells me constantly how unfair it is.

I've tried explaining to him that food is a medicine for Alyssa.

I've tried explaining that his non-CF body doesn't need the quantity of food, nor the fat content, that Alyssa needs.

I've tried explaining that life is not usually fair.

But the bottomline is he becomess envious of her. He wants her ice cream, he wants to be able to eat whatever he wants and plenty of it. I get it. I'd like to be able to eat ice cream every night and not have anyone tell me no or for it to grow on my hips like it does. But I'd never wish FOR CF just for that small benefit. But I'm an adult and I understand, and even though he gets it, it doesn't stop his feelings of envy and unfairness.

Soooo....any advice is always welcome on this. We can't be alone.

Mommafirst
01-24-2010, 09:19 PM
I think this is a great question.

I'm dealing with some sibling things as well. My oldest is more like me in his body type and he LOVES to eat and sits in the 85% for BMI. He doesn't have CF. Alyssa (and my other non-CF son) both need to gain weight. Alyssa gets pretty much whatever she will eat....ice cream for breakfast? OKay. Shakes made especially for her. Yup. And then my oldest wants it all too and he just can't. His body can't have the extra calories that Alyssa needs to survive. So I have to say yes to her and no to him and it SUCKS. He tells me constantly how unfair it is.

I've tried explaining to him that food is a medicine for Alyssa.

I've tried explaining that his non-CF body doesn't need the quantity of food, nor the fat content, that Alyssa needs.

I've tried explaining that life is not usually fair.

But the bottomline is he becomess envious of her. He wants her ice cream, he wants to be able to eat whatever he wants and plenty of it. I get it. I'd like to be able to eat ice cream every night and not have anyone tell me no or for it to grow on my hips like it does. But I'd never wish FOR CF just for that small benefit. But I'm an adult and I understand, and even though he gets it, it doesn't stop his feelings of envy and unfairness.

Soooo....any advice is always welcome on this. We can't be alone.

Mommafirst
01-24-2010, 09:19 PM
I think this is a great question.
<br />
<br />I'm dealing with some sibling things as well. My oldest is more like me in his body type and he LOVES to eat and sits in the 85% for BMI. He doesn't have CF. Alyssa (and my other non-CF son) both need to gain weight. Alyssa gets pretty much whatever she will eat....ice cream for breakfast? OKay. Shakes made especially for her. Yup. And then my oldest wants it all too and he just can't. His body can't have the extra calories that Alyssa needs to survive. So I have to say yes to her and no to him and it SUCKS. He tells me constantly how unfair it is.
<br />
<br />I've tried explaining to him that food is a medicine for Alyssa.
<br />
<br />I've tried explaining that his non-CF body doesn't need the quantity of food, nor the fat content, that Alyssa needs.
<br />
<br />I've tried explaining that life is not usually fair.
<br />
<br />But the bottomline is he becomess envious of her. He wants her ice cream, he wants to be able to eat whatever he wants and plenty of it. I get it. I'd like to be able to eat ice cream every night and not have anyone tell me no or for it to grow on my hips like it does. But I'd never wish FOR CF just for that small benefit. But I'm an adult and I understand, and even though he gets it, it doesn't stop his feelings of envy and unfairness.
<br />
<br />Soooo....any advice is always welcome on this. We can't be alone.

hmw
01-24-2010, 09:29 PM
Yeah- the doctor's appts get in the way of a lot too, sometimes as much as the illness. The kids don't understand that we have to 'take what we get' when it comes to these appts sometimes, rescheduling is simply not an option given how booked up these drs are- so sometimes things we'd much rather do get missed...

I don't want resentment either... and the stress this adds to the family when things can already be overwhelming is difficult.

eta&gt; oh my goodness, I get the food thing too!!! Feeding kids with CF has got to be so much easier when they are only children or when all sibs have it... because trying to come up with two sets of snacks/meals without there being all out warfare is very hard sometimes. The boys notice if she has extra whipped cream, an extra .000001 ounce of icecream, nevermind an extra scoop...! Even stuff like cheese and 'healthy' high-fat food- if you are trying to teach your children healthful ways to eat, they can't go nuts on it like our children with cf that have trouble gaining enough weight. (OK, that little vent felt good. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif" border="0"> )

I teach the 'why' part, etc... but they are kids. Of course they are going to want what she gets and want what tastes 'better'.

hmw
01-24-2010, 09:29 PM
Yeah- the doctor's appts get in the way of a lot too, sometimes as much as the illness. The kids don't understand that we have to 'take what we get' when it comes to these appts sometimes, rescheduling is simply not an option given how booked up these drs are- so sometimes things we'd much rather do get missed...

I don't want resentment either... and the stress this adds to the family when things can already be overwhelming is difficult.

eta&gt; oh my goodness, I get the food thing too!!! Feeding kids with CF has got to be so much easier when they are only children or when all sibs have it... because trying to come up with two sets of snacks/meals without there being all out warfare is very hard sometimes. The boys notice if she has extra whipped cream, an extra .000001 ounce of icecream, nevermind an extra scoop...! Even stuff like cheese and 'healthy' high-fat food- if you are trying to teach your children healthful ways to eat, they can't go nuts on it like our children with cf that have trouble gaining enough weight. (OK, that little vent felt good. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif" border="0"> )

I teach the 'why' part, etc... but they are kids. Of course they are going to want what she gets and want what tastes 'better'.

hmw
01-24-2010, 09:29 PM
Yeah- the doctor's appts get in the way of a lot too, sometimes as much as the illness. The kids don't understand that we have to 'take what we get' when it comes to these appts sometimes, rescheduling is simply not an option given how booked up these drs are- so sometimes things we'd much rather do get missed...

I don't want resentment either... and the stress this adds to the family when things can already be overwhelming is difficult.

eta&gt; oh my goodness, I get the food thing too!!! Feeding kids with CF has got to be so much easier when they are only children or when all sibs have it... because trying to come up with two sets of snacks/meals without there being all out warfare is very hard sometimes. The boys notice if she has extra whipped cream, an extra .000001 ounce of icecream, nevermind an extra scoop...! Even stuff like cheese and 'healthy' high-fat food- if you are trying to teach your children healthful ways to eat, they can't go nuts on it like our children with cf that have trouble gaining enough weight. (OK, that little vent felt good. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif" border="0"> )

I teach the 'why' part, etc... but they are kids. Of course they are going to want what she gets and want what tastes 'better'.

hmw
01-24-2010, 09:29 PM
Yeah- the doctor's appts get in the way of a lot too, sometimes as much as the illness. The kids don't understand that we have to 'take what we get' when it comes to these appts sometimes, rescheduling is simply not an option given how booked up these drs are- so sometimes things we'd much rather do get missed...

I don't want resentment either... and the stress this adds to the family when things can already be overwhelming is difficult.

eta&gt; oh my goodness, I get the food thing too!!! Feeding kids with CF has got to be so much easier when they are only children or when all sibs have it... because trying to come up with two sets of snacks/meals without there being all out warfare is very hard sometimes. The boys notice if she has extra whipped cream, an extra .000001 ounce of icecream, nevermind an extra scoop...! Even stuff like cheese and 'healthy' high-fat food- if you are trying to teach your children healthful ways to eat, they can't go nuts on it like our children with cf that have trouble gaining enough weight. (OK, that little vent felt good. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif" border="0"> )

I teach the 'why' part, etc... but they are kids. Of course they are going to want what she gets and want what tastes 'better'.

hmw
01-24-2010, 09:29 PM
Yeah- the doctor's appts get in the way of a lot too, sometimes as much as the illness. The kids don't understand that we have to 'take what we get' when it comes to these appts sometimes, rescheduling is simply not an option given how booked up these drs are- so sometimes things we'd much rather do get missed...
<br />
<br />I don't want resentment either... and the stress this adds to the family when things can already be overwhelming is difficult.
<br />
<br />eta&gt; oh my goodness, I get the food thing too!!! Feeding kids with CF has got to be so much easier when they are only children or when all sibs have it... because trying to come up with two sets of snacks/meals without there being all out warfare is very hard sometimes. The boys notice if she has extra whipped cream, an extra .000001 ounce of icecream, nevermind an extra scoop...! Even stuff like cheese and 'healthy' high-fat food- if you are trying to teach your children healthful ways to eat, they can't go nuts on it like our children with cf that have trouble gaining enough weight. (OK, that little vent felt good. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif" border="0"> )
<br />
<br />I teach the 'why' part, etc... but they are kids. Of course they are going to want what she gets and want what tastes 'better'.

Rebjane
01-25-2010, 01:50 PM
Just chiming in here too that my non-CFer would love to eat the way my daughter eats..Why does she get gatorade? Extra salt on her pasta? The other day he was making hot chocolate for his friend and himself. He was explaining Maggie gets whole milk but he gets skim in his hot chocolate. They notice everything! This past week both my kids had the exact same cold/cough. Sammy was complaining that Maggie gets to stay home from school, he did too; he actually ran a fever while she didn't. I said to him "you body is just stronger, it's just the way it is" I think he "gets" it but it doesn;t make it easier when naturally who wouldn't want to be able to eat an endless supply of junk food. The funny thing is Maggie ; if you ask her what her favorite food is she'll say CELERY! I often call her my little rabbit; she loves raw veggies.

Rebjane
01-25-2010, 01:50 PM
Just chiming in here too that my non-CFer would love to eat the way my daughter eats..Why does she get gatorade? Extra salt on her pasta? The other day he was making hot chocolate for his friend and himself. He was explaining Maggie gets whole milk but he gets skim in his hot chocolate. They notice everything! This past week both my kids had the exact same cold/cough. Sammy was complaining that Maggie gets to stay home from school, he did too; he actually ran a fever while she didn't. I said to him "you body is just stronger, it's just the way it is" I think he "gets" it but it doesn;t make it easier when naturally who wouldn't want to be able to eat an endless supply of junk food. The funny thing is Maggie ; if you ask her what her favorite food is she'll say CELERY! I often call her my little rabbit; she loves raw veggies.

Rebjane
01-25-2010, 01:50 PM
Just chiming in here too that my non-CFer would love to eat the way my daughter eats..Why does she get gatorade? Extra salt on her pasta? The other day he was making hot chocolate for his friend and himself. He was explaining Maggie gets whole milk but he gets skim in his hot chocolate. They notice everything! This past week both my kids had the exact same cold/cough. Sammy was complaining that Maggie gets to stay home from school, he did too; he actually ran a fever while she didn't. I said to him "you body is just stronger, it's just the way it is" I think he "gets" it but it doesn;t make it easier when naturally who wouldn't want to be able to eat an endless supply of junk food. The funny thing is Maggie ; if you ask her what her favorite food is she'll say CELERY! I often call her my little rabbit; she loves raw veggies.

Rebjane
01-25-2010, 01:50 PM
Just chiming in here too that my non-CFer would love to eat the way my daughter eats..Why does she get gatorade? Extra salt on her pasta? The other day he was making hot chocolate for his friend and himself. He was explaining Maggie gets whole milk but he gets skim in his hot chocolate. They notice everything! This past week both my kids had the exact same cold/cough. Sammy was complaining that Maggie gets to stay home from school, he did too; he actually ran a fever while she didn't. I said to him "you body is just stronger, it's just the way it is" I think he "gets" it but it doesn;t make it easier when naturally who wouldn't want to be able to eat an endless supply of junk food. The funny thing is Maggie ; if you ask her what her favorite food is she'll say CELERY! I often call her my little rabbit; she loves raw veggies.

Rebjane
01-25-2010, 01:50 PM
Just chiming in here too that my non-CFer would love to eat the way my daughter eats..Why does she get gatorade? Extra salt on her pasta? The other day he was making hot chocolate for his friend and himself. He was explaining Maggie gets whole milk but he gets skim in his hot chocolate. They notice everything! This past week both my kids had the exact same cold/cough. Sammy was complaining that Maggie gets to stay home from school, he did too; he actually ran a fever while she didn't. I said to him "you body is just stronger, it's just the way it is" I think he "gets" it but it doesn;t make it easier when naturally who wouldn't want to be able to eat an endless supply of junk food. The funny thing is Maggie ; if you ask her what her favorite food is she'll say CELERY! I often call her my little rabbit; she loves raw veggies.

FosterClineMD
01-26-2010, 11:52 AM
Note: I have also posted this same response under the "sibling self-esteem" question since they are both dealing with a similar issue:

I have so much enjoyed reading all your responses. So many of you are very creative, and it's understandable and reasonable that a non-CF kid is resentful of their brother or sister. Their sib gets to eat more, takes up more parental time and energy and their needs are primary in scheduling, etc. General Bummer!

However, our general come-through as parent is so important! Sometimes it is so hard for us to walk the essential line between overly sympathetic/overly matter-of-fact. While it is effective to be empathetic, it is often not wise to be overly sympathetic. If we are overly sorry or sympathetic or show angst and pain ourselves, it could overly validate the anger and resentment. It's the difference between a parent saying (with a look of pain):

"Gee, honey, I'm so sorry. I know how you feel. I'm upset too."

v.s. saying (with understanding):

"I can understand you are feeling a little left out. I'm glad that you cope with the situation as well as you do so much of the time. Come here and give me a hug. I would, however, appreciate your handling it without the whining. Thanks!

Time alone, even if it is short, is helpful in dealing with healthy siblings. And involves them in the a reasonable spot of care for the ill child in an appropriate way. Help foster a spirit of family cohesion and cooperation, without robbing the brothers or sisters of a healthy childhood of their own.

We give the following example in our book. I'll paste it in here, and would certainly welcome any of your comments.

Dale was home from the hospital for a week before Paul joined the family after living with his grandparents. Paul had always been a pretty quiet, stoic little kid. But shortly after coming home he became loud, obnoxious, and disruptive. At dinner-time, the second week after homecoming, Paul was obnoxiously playing with his food when a slippery beet flipped from his plate and hit Dale on the cheek. Dale's cheek was splattered with bright red beet juice, which dripped down below his innocent, big blue eyes. He turned to his mother and said calmly, "Mama, please make him stop." Seeing the red liquid splattered across Dale's face, Nancy lost it completely. She screamed at Paul, "Why are you always such a problem! Can't you settle down?!! Get up to your room now!" Later that night Nancy's husband, Robert, put his arms around his wife and said, "You were a little rough on the kid, don't you think, honey?" Nancy burst into sobs. She tried to justify her behavior while Robert simply held her but her words sounded hollow even to herself. That sleepless night, Nancy resolved to speak to Paul. But more importantly, she resolved to do it right!

Let's eavesdrop here on a beautiful transcripted conversation with a resolution that leaves an angry child with good feelings and high self esteem:

"Honey, do you have a minute?"

Paul, resentfully, "I guess."

"Come on over here and sit with me on the couch.... Good." Nancy tries to put her arm around Paul, but he is stiff and rigid. "What are your thoughts about last night?" Note that Nancy did not start right out with an apology. She gave her son a chance to focus on his behavior, not hers, and happily he did!

"I got too mad, I guess."

"I think we all do at times. What do you think is going on?"

(Snippy, with anger) "I didn't mean for my beet to hit him in the face. I'm sorry! Okay?!"

Nancy ignores the sassy answer, "I am sure you didn't Honey, but I'm not just talking about the beet. You don't seem very happy these days." Wise mom! She focuses here on his feelings, not his tacky behavior.

"What?"

"I think you know what I'm talking about, Paul. You just don't seem like the old happy kid I used to know."

"It's just not fair!"

"What's not fair?"

"I don't know, just everything!"

"Tell me more."

"I hate Dale."

Nancy neatly avoids saying, "You don't mean that" or "That's not a nice thing to say." "Really. Tell me about that, Paul."
Paul starts crying angrily. "He gets everything. You guys spend all your time with him. You love him more than you love me! I hate him!"

"This whole year and Dale's cancer have been pretty hard on you, haven't they?" Imagine how easily Nancy could have said what a hard year Dale had experienced! Or the whole family had experienced! But she continues to focus on Paul and empathize with his feelings.

"Yeah."

"I'm sure it has, honey. I'm sorry. You've been pretty left out, haven't you?" Nancy reaches out to Paul and he snuggles into her, suddenly racked by sobs. She holds him for 30 seconds saying nothing at all.

"How do you feel about hating Dale?"

"I wish I didn't"

"I know that. You know, it is always hard on an older kid when a younger one comes along and is the baby of the family. Lots of kids have trouble handling that. But, when the younger one has cancer, he takes even more of our time. You get a triple dose to deal with, don'tcha? A lot of kids would have trouble handling that. However, Paul, you have always been a tough and wonderful kid. I am so appreciative of the help and understanding you do show."

"Thanks, Mom," Paul responds, still sobbing.

"I've always thought that if anyone could handle a tough situation, Paul, it would be you. I think, in the long run, you're going to be stronger than most kids because of all you have gone through. And I think you'll be more understanding and loving than a lot of others, too. That's what I think. What do you think? What are you thinking?

"Maybe"

Nancy and Paul sit on the sofa for another four or five minutes, just holding each other. They explore briefly what Nancy and Robert can do just with Paul.
"Thanks for talking with me, Paul."

"I love you, Mom."

"I love you too, Paul."
Why did this conversation work so well? Let's look at the seven steps in successful communication and problem solving:

1. Nancy thought about how she wanted to approach Paul and practiced the
conversation in her head.

2. Nancy waited until both of them were in a good mood.

3. Nancy gained Paul's respect by requesting, not demanding, to talk with him. She
didn't just lay it on him, she obtained an agreement to discuss this issue. This is called obtaining contract for the conversation.

4. She explored his point of view. She explored his anger and his blaming of her without becoming defensive (Gold star! This is difficult!).

5. She shared her thoughts and observations gently, with love.

6. She expressed high expectations and gave her son the "can do" message.

7. She ended the conversation with a hug.

FosterClineMD
01-26-2010, 11:52 AM
Note: I have also posted this same response under the "sibling self-esteem" question since they are both dealing with a similar issue:

I have so much enjoyed reading all your responses. So many of you are very creative, and it's understandable and reasonable that a non-CF kid is resentful of their brother or sister. Their sib gets to eat more, takes up more parental time and energy and their needs are primary in scheduling, etc. General Bummer!

However, our general come-through as parent is so important! Sometimes it is so hard for us to walk the essential line between overly sympathetic/overly matter-of-fact. While it is effective to be empathetic, it is often not wise to be overly sympathetic. If we are overly sorry or sympathetic or show angst and pain ourselves, it could overly validate the anger and resentment. It's the difference between a parent saying (with a look of pain):

"Gee, honey, I'm so sorry. I know how you feel. I'm upset too."

v.s. saying (with understanding):

"I can understand you are feeling a little left out. I'm glad that you cope with the situation as well as you do so much of the time. Come here and give me a hug. I would, however, appreciate your handling it without the whining. Thanks!

Time alone, even if it is short, is helpful in dealing with healthy siblings. And involves them in the a reasonable spot of care for the ill child in an appropriate way. Help foster a spirit of family cohesion and cooperation, without robbing the brothers or sisters of a healthy childhood of their own.

We give the following example in our book. I'll paste it in here, and would certainly welcome any of your comments.

Dale was home from the hospital for a week before Paul joined the family after living with his grandparents. Paul had always been a pretty quiet, stoic little kid. But shortly after coming home he became loud, obnoxious, and disruptive. At dinner-time, the second week after homecoming, Paul was obnoxiously playing with his food when a slippery beet flipped from his plate and hit Dale on the cheek. Dale's cheek was splattered with bright red beet juice, which dripped down below his innocent, big blue eyes. He turned to his mother and said calmly, "Mama, please make him stop." Seeing the red liquid splattered across Dale's face, Nancy lost it completely. She screamed at Paul, "Why are you always such a problem! Can't you settle down?!! Get up to your room now!" Later that night Nancy's husband, Robert, put his arms around his wife and said, "You were a little rough on the kid, don't you think, honey?" Nancy burst into sobs. She tried to justify her behavior while Robert simply held her but her words sounded hollow even to herself. That sleepless night, Nancy resolved to speak to Paul. But more importantly, she resolved to do it right!

Let's eavesdrop here on a beautiful transcripted conversation with a resolution that leaves an angry child with good feelings and high self esteem:

"Honey, do you have a minute?"

Paul, resentfully, "I guess."

"Come on over here and sit with me on the couch.... Good." Nancy tries to put her arm around Paul, but he is stiff and rigid. "What are your thoughts about last night?" Note that Nancy did not start right out with an apology. She gave her son a chance to focus on his behavior, not hers, and happily he did!

"I got too mad, I guess."

"I think we all do at times. What do you think is going on?"

(Snippy, with anger) "I didn't mean for my beet to hit him in the face. I'm sorry! Okay?!"

Nancy ignores the sassy answer, "I am sure you didn't Honey, but I'm not just talking about the beet. You don't seem very happy these days." Wise mom! She focuses here on his feelings, not his tacky behavior.

"What?"

"I think you know what I'm talking about, Paul. You just don't seem like the old happy kid I used to know."

"It's just not fair!"

"What's not fair?"

"I don't know, just everything!"

"Tell me more."

"I hate Dale."

Nancy neatly avoids saying, "You don't mean that" or "That's not a nice thing to say." "Really. Tell me about that, Paul."
Paul starts crying angrily. "He gets everything. You guys spend all your time with him. You love him more than you love me! I hate him!"

"This whole year and Dale's cancer have been pretty hard on you, haven't they?" Imagine how easily Nancy could have said what a hard year Dale had experienced! Or the whole family had experienced! But she continues to focus on Paul and empathize with his feelings.

"Yeah."

"I'm sure it has, honey. I'm sorry. You've been pretty left out, haven't you?" Nancy reaches out to Paul and he snuggles into her, suddenly racked by sobs. She holds him for 30 seconds saying nothing at all.

"How do you feel about hating Dale?"

"I wish I didn't"

"I know that. You know, it is always hard on an older kid when a younger one comes along and is the baby of the family. Lots of kids have trouble handling that. But, when the younger one has cancer, he takes even more of our time. You get a triple dose to deal with, don'tcha? A lot of kids would have trouble handling that. However, Paul, you have always been a tough and wonderful kid. I am so appreciative of the help and understanding you do show."

"Thanks, Mom," Paul responds, still sobbing.

"I've always thought that if anyone could handle a tough situation, Paul, it would be you. I think, in the long run, you're going to be stronger than most kids because of all you have gone through. And I think you'll be more understanding and loving than a lot of others, too. That's what I think. What do you think? What are you thinking?

"Maybe"

Nancy and Paul sit on the sofa for another four or five minutes, just holding each other. They explore briefly what Nancy and Robert can do just with Paul.
"Thanks for talking with me, Paul."

"I love you, Mom."

"I love you too, Paul."
Why did this conversation work so well? Let's look at the seven steps in successful communication and problem solving:

1. Nancy thought about how she wanted to approach Paul and practiced the
conversation in her head.

2. Nancy waited until both of them were in a good mood.

3. Nancy gained Paul's respect by requesting, not demanding, to talk with him. She
didn't just lay it on him, she obtained an agreement to discuss this issue. This is called obtaining contract for the conversation.

4. She explored his point of view. She explored his anger and his blaming of her without becoming defensive (Gold star! This is difficult!).

5. She shared her thoughts and observations gently, with love.

6. She expressed high expectations and gave her son the "can do" message.

7. She ended the conversation with a hug.

FosterClineMD
01-26-2010, 11:52 AM
Note: I have also posted this same response under the "sibling self-esteem" question since they are both dealing with a similar issue:

I have so much enjoyed reading all your responses. So many of you are very creative, and it's understandable and reasonable that a non-CF kid is resentful of their brother or sister. Their sib gets to eat more, takes up more parental time and energy and their needs are primary in scheduling, etc. General Bummer!

However, our general come-through as parent is so important! Sometimes it is so hard for us to walk the essential line between overly sympathetic/overly matter-of-fact. While it is effective to be empathetic, it is often not wise to be overly sympathetic. If we are overly sorry or sympathetic or show angst and pain ourselves, it could overly validate the anger and resentment. It's the difference between a parent saying (with a look of pain):

"Gee, honey, I'm so sorry. I know how you feel. I'm upset too."

v.s. saying (with understanding):

"I can understand you are feeling a little left out. I'm glad that you cope with the situation as well as you do so much of the time. Come here and give me a hug. I would, however, appreciate your handling it without the whining. Thanks!

Time alone, even if it is short, is helpful in dealing with healthy siblings. And involves them in the a reasonable spot of care for the ill child in an appropriate way. Help foster a spirit of family cohesion and cooperation, without robbing the brothers or sisters of a healthy childhood of their own.

We give the following example in our book. I'll paste it in here, and would certainly welcome any of your comments.

Dale was home from the hospital for a week before Paul joined the family after living with his grandparents. Paul had always been a pretty quiet, stoic little kid. But shortly after coming home he became loud, obnoxious, and disruptive. At dinner-time, the second week after homecoming, Paul was obnoxiously playing with his food when a slippery beet flipped from his plate and hit Dale on the cheek. Dale's cheek was splattered with bright red beet juice, which dripped down below his innocent, big blue eyes. He turned to his mother and said calmly, "Mama, please make him stop." Seeing the red liquid splattered across Dale's face, Nancy lost it completely. She screamed at Paul, "Why are you always such a problem! Can't you settle down?!! Get up to your room now!" Later that night Nancy's husband, Robert, put his arms around his wife and said, "You were a little rough on the kid, don't you think, honey?" Nancy burst into sobs. She tried to justify her behavior while Robert simply held her but her words sounded hollow even to herself. That sleepless night, Nancy resolved to speak to Paul. But more importantly, she resolved to do it right!

Let's eavesdrop here on a beautiful transcripted conversation with a resolution that leaves an angry child with good feelings and high self esteem:

"Honey, do you have a minute?"

Paul, resentfully, "I guess."

"Come on over here and sit with me on the couch.... Good." Nancy tries to put her arm around Paul, but he is stiff and rigid. "What are your thoughts about last night?" Note that Nancy did not start right out with an apology. She gave her son a chance to focus on his behavior, not hers, and happily he did!

"I got too mad, I guess."

"I think we all do at times. What do you think is going on?"

(Snippy, with anger) "I didn't mean for my beet to hit him in the face. I'm sorry! Okay?!"

Nancy ignores the sassy answer, "I am sure you didn't Honey, but I'm not just talking about the beet. You don't seem very happy these days." Wise mom! She focuses here on his feelings, not his tacky behavior.

"What?"

"I think you know what I'm talking about, Paul. You just don't seem like the old happy kid I used to know."

"It's just not fair!"

"What's not fair?"

"I don't know, just everything!"

"Tell me more."

"I hate Dale."

Nancy neatly avoids saying, "You don't mean that" or "That's not a nice thing to say." "Really. Tell me about that, Paul."
Paul starts crying angrily. "He gets everything. You guys spend all your time with him. You love him more than you love me! I hate him!"

"This whole year and Dale's cancer have been pretty hard on you, haven't they?" Imagine how easily Nancy could have said what a hard year Dale had experienced! Or the whole family had experienced! But she continues to focus on Paul and empathize with his feelings.

"Yeah."

"I'm sure it has, honey. I'm sorry. You've been pretty left out, haven't you?" Nancy reaches out to Paul and he snuggles into her, suddenly racked by sobs. She holds him for 30 seconds saying nothing at all.

"How do you feel about hating Dale?"

"I wish I didn't"

"I know that. You know, it is always hard on an older kid when a younger one comes along and is the baby of the family. Lots of kids have trouble handling that. But, when the younger one has cancer, he takes even more of our time. You get a triple dose to deal with, don'tcha? A lot of kids would have trouble handling that. However, Paul, you have always been a tough and wonderful kid. I am so appreciative of the help and understanding you do show."

"Thanks, Mom," Paul responds, still sobbing.

"I've always thought that if anyone could handle a tough situation, Paul, it would be you. I think, in the long run, you're going to be stronger than most kids because of all you have gone through. And I think you'll be more understanding and loving than a lot of others, too. That's what I think. What do you think? What are you thinking?

"Maybe"

Nancy and Paul sit on the sofa for another four or five minutes, just holding each other. They explore briefly what Nancy and Robert can do just with Paul.
"Thanks for talking with me, Paul."

"I love you, Mom."

"I love you too, Paul."
Why did this conversation work so well? Let's look at the seven steps in successful communication and problem solving:

1. Nancy thought about how she wanted to approach Paul and practiced the
conversation in her head.

2. Nancy waited until both of them were in a good mood.

3. Nancy gained Paul's respect by requesting, not demanding, to talk with him. She
didn't just lay it on him, she obtained an agreement to discuss this issue. This is called obtaining contract for the conversation.

4. She explored his point of view. She explored his anger and his blaming of her without becoming defensive (Gold star! This is difficult!).

5. She shared her thoughts and observations gently, with love.

6. She expressed high expectations and gave her son the "can do" message.

7. She ended the conversation with a hug.

FosterClineMD
01-26-2010, 11:52 AM
Note: I have also posted this same response under the "sibling self-esteem" question since they are both dealing with a similar issue:

I have so much enjoyed reading all your responses. So many of you are very creative, and it's understandable and reasonable that a non-CF kid is resentful of their brother or sister. Their sib gets to eat more, takes up more parental time and energy and their needs are primary in scheduling, etc. General Bummer!

However, our general come-through as parent is so important! Sometimes it is so hard for us to walk the essential line between overly sympathetic/overly matter-of-fact. While it is effective to be empathetic, it is often not wise to be overly sympathetic. If we are overly sorry or sympathetic or show angst and pain ourselves, it could overly validate the anger and resentment. It's the difference between a parent saying (with a look of pain):

"Gee, honey, I'm so sorry. I know how you feel. I'm upset too."

v.s. saying (with understanding):

"I can understand you are feeling a little left out. I'm glad that you cope with the situation as well as you do so much of the time. Come here and give me a hug. I would, however, appreciate your handling it without the whining. Thanks!

Time alone, even if it is short, is helpful in dealing with healthy siblings. And involves them in the a reasonable spot of care for the ill child in an appropriate way. Help foster a spirit of family cohesion and cooperation, without robbing the brothers or sisters of a healthy childhood of their own.

We give the following example in our book. I'll paste it in here, and would certainly welcome any of your comments.

Dale was home from the hospital for a week before Paul joined the family after living with his grandparents. Paul had always been a pretty quiet, stoic little kid. But shortly after coming home he became loud, obnoxious, and disruptive. At dinner-time, the second week after homecoming, Paul was obnoxiously playing with his food when a slippery beet flipped from his plate and hit Dale on the cheek. Dale's cheek was splattered with bright red beet juice, which dripped down below his innocent, big blue eyes. He turned to his mother and said calmly, "Mama, please make him stop." Seeing the red liquid splattered across Dale's face, Nancy lost it completely. She screamed at Paul, "Why are you always such a problem! Can't you settle down?!! Get up to your room now!" Later that night Nancy's husband, Robert, put his arms around his wife and said, "You were a little rough on the kid, don't you think, honey?" Nancy burst into sobs. She tried to justify her behavior while Robert simply held her but her words sounded hollow even to herself. That sleepless night, Nancy resolved to speak to Paul. But more importantly, she resolved to do it right!

Let's eavesdrop here on a beautiful transcripted conversation with a resolution that leaves an angry child with good feelings and high self esteem:

"Honey, do you have a minute?"

Paul, resentfully, "I guess."

"Come on over here and sit with me on the couch.... Good." Nancy tries to put her arm around Paul, but he is stiff and rigid. "What are your thoughts about last night?" Note that Nancy did not start right out with an apology. She gave her son a chance to focus on his behavior, not hers, and happily he did!

"I got too mad, I guess."

"I think we all do at times. What do you think is going on?"

(Snippy, with anger) "I didn't mean for my beet to hit him in the face. I'm sorry! Okay?!"

Nancy ignores the sassy answer, "I am sure you didn't Honey, but I'm not just talking about the beet. You don't seem very happy these days." Wise mom! She focuses here on his feelings, not his tacky behavior.

"What?"

"I think you know what I'm talking about, Paul. You just don't seem like the old happy kid I used to know."

"It's just not fair!"

"What's not fair?"

"I don't know, just everything!"

"Tell me more."

"I hate Dale."

Nancy neatly avoids saying, "You don't mean that" or "That's not a nice thing to say." "Really. Tell me about that, Paul."
Paul starts crying angrily. "He gets everything. You guys spend all your time with him. You love him more than you love me! I hate him!"

"This whole year and Dale's cancer have been pretty hard on you, haven't they?" Imagine how easily Nancy could have said what a hard year Dale had experienced! Or the whole family had experienced! But she continues to focus on Paul and empathize with his feelings.

"Yeah."

"I'm sure it has, honey. I'm sorry. You've been pretty left out, haven't you?" Nancy reaches out to Paul and he snuggles into her, suddenly racked by sobs. She holds him for 30 seconds saying nothing at all.

"How do you feel about hating Dale?"

"I wish I didn't"

"I know that. You know, it is always hard on an older kid when a younger one comes along and is the baby of the family. Lots of kids have trouble handling that. But, when the younger one has cancer, he takes even more of our time. You get a triple dose to deal with, don'tcha? A lot of kids would have trouble handling that. However, Paul, you have always been a tough and wonderful kid. I am so appreciative of the help and understanding you do show."

"Thanks, Mom," Paul responds, still sobbing.

"I've always thought that if anyone could handle a tough situation, Paul, it would be you. I think, in the long run, you're going to be stronger than most kids because of all you have gone through. And I think you'll be more understanding and loving than a lot of others, too. That's what I think. What do you think? What are you thinking?

"Maybe"

Nancy and Paul sit on the sofa for another four or five minutes, just holding each other. They explore briefly what Nancy and Robert can do just with Paul.
"Thanks for talking with me, Paul."

"I love you, Mom."

"I love you too, Paul."
Why did this conversation work so well? Let's look at the seven steps in successful communication and problem solving:

1. Nancy thought about how she wanted to approach Paul and practiced the
conversation in her head.

2. Nancy waited until both of them were in a good mood.

3. Nancy gained Paul's respect by requesting, not demanding, to talk with him. She
didn't just lay it on him, she obtained an agreement to discuss this issue. This is called obtaining contract for the conversation.

4. She explored his point of view. She explored his anger and his blaming of her without becoming defensive (Gold star! This is difficult!).

5. She shared her thoughts and observations gently, with love.

6. She expressed high expectations and gave her son the "can do" message.

7. She ended the conversation with a hug.

FosterClineMD
01-26-2010, 11:52 AM
Note: I have also posted this same response under the "sibling self-esteem" question since they are both dealing with a similar issue:
<br />
<br />I have so much enjoyed reading all your responses. So many of you are very creative, and it's understandable and reasonable that a non-CF kid is resentful of their brother or sister. Their sib gets to eat more, takes up more parental time and energy and their needs are primary in scheduling, etc. General Bummer!
<br />
<br />However, our general come-through as parent is so important! Sometimes it is so hard for us to walk the essential line between overly sympathetic/overly matter-of-fact. While it is effective to be empathetic, it is often not wise to be overly sympathetic. If we are overly sorry or sympathetic or show angst and pain ourselves, it could overly validate the anger and resentment. It's the difference between a parent saying (with a look of pain):
<br />
<br />"Gee, honey, I'm so sorry. I know how you feel. I'm upset too."
<br />
<br />v.s. saying (with understanding):
<br />
<br />"I can understand you are feeling a little left out. I'm glad that you cope with the situation as well as you do so much of the time. Come here and give me a hug. I would, however, appreciate your handling it without the whining. Thanks!
<br />
<br />Time alone, even if it is short, is helpful in dealing with healthy siblings. And involves them in the a reasonable spot of care for the ill child in an appropriate way. Help foster a spirit of family cohesion and cooperation, without robbing the brothers or sisters of a healthy childhood of their own.
<br />
<br />We give the following example in our book. I'll paste it in here, and would certainly welcome any of your comments.
<br />
<br />Dale was home from the hospital for a week before Paul joined the family after living with his grandparents. Paul had always been a pretty quiet, stoic little kid. But shortly after coming home he became loud, obnoxious, and disruptive. At dinner-time, the second week after homecoming, Paul was obnoxiously playing with his food when a slippery beet flipped from his plate and hit Dale on the cheek. Dale's cheek was splattered with bright red beet juice, which dripped down below his innocent, big blue eyes. He turned to his mother and said calmly, "Mama, please make him stop." Seeing the red liquid splattered across Dale's face, Nancy lost it completely. She screamed at Paul, "Why are you always such a problem! Can't you settle down?!! Get up to your room now!" Later that night Nancy's husband, Robert, put his arms around his wife and said, "You were a little rough on the kid, don't you think, honey?" Nancy burst into sobs. She tried to justify her behavior while Robert simply held her but her words sounded hollow even to herself. That sleepless night, Nancy resolved to speak to Paul. But more importantly, she resolved to do it right!
<br />
<br />Let's eavesdrop here on a beautiful transcripted conversation with a resolution that leaves an angry child with good feelings and high self esteem:
<br />
<br />"Honey, do you have a minute?"
<br />
<br />Paul, resentfully, "I guess."
<br />
<br />"Come on over here and sit with me on the couch.... Good." Nancy tries to put her arm around Paul, but he is stiff and rigid. "What are your thoughts about last night?" Note that Nancy did not start right out with an apology. She gave her son a chance to focus on his behavior, not hers, and happily he did!
<br />
<br />"I got too mad, I guess."
<br />
<br />"I think we all do at times. What do you think is going on?"
<br />
<br />(Snippy, with anger) "I didn't mean for my beet to hit him in the face. I'm sorry! Okay?!"
<br />
<br />Nancy ignores the sassy answer, "I am sure you didn't Honey, but I'm not just talking about the beet. You don't seem very happy these days." Wise mom! She focuses here on his feelings, not his tacky behavior.
<br />
<br />"What?"
<br />
<br />"I think you know what I'm talking about, Paul. You just don't seem like the old happy kid I used to know."
<br />
<br />"It's just not fair!"
<br />
<br />"What's not fair?"
<br />
<br />"I don't know, just everything!"
<br />
<br />"Tell me more."
<br />
<br />"I hate Dale."
<br />
<br />Nancy neatly avoids saying, "You don't mean that" or "That's not a nice thing to say." "Really. Tell me about that, Paul."
<br />Paul starts crying angrily. "He gets everything. You guys spend all your time with him. You love him more than you love me! I hate him!"
<br />
<br />"This whole year and Dale's cancer have been pretty hard on you, haven't they?" Imagine how easily Nancy could have said what a hard year Dale had experienced! Or the whole family had experienced! But she continues to focus on Paul and empathize with his feelings.
<br />
<br />"Yeah."
<br />
<br />"I'm sure it has, honey. I'm sorry. You've been pretty left out, haven't you?" Nancy reaches out to Paul and he snuggles into her, suddenly racked by sobs. She holds him for 30 seconds saying nothing at all.
<br />
<br />"How do you feel about hating Dale?"
<br />
<br />"I wish I didn't"
<br />
<br />"I know that. You know, it is always hard on an older kid when a younger one comes along and is the baby of the family. Lots of kids have trouble handling that. But, when the younger one has cancer, he takes even more of our time. You get a triple dose to deal with, don'tcha? A lot of kids would have trouble handling that. However, Paul, you have always been a tough and wonderful kid. I am so appreciative of the help and understanding you do show."
<br />
<br />"Thanks, Mom," Paul responds, still sobbing.
<br />
<br />"I've always thought that if anyone could handle a tough situation, Paul, it would be you. I think, in the long run, you're going to be stronger than most kids because of all you have gone through. And I think you'll be more understanding and loving than a lot of others, too. That's what I think. What do you think? What are you thinking?
<br />
<br />"Maybe"
<br />
<br />Nancy and Paul sit on the sofa for another four or five minutes, just holding each other. They explore briefly what Nancy and Robert can do just with Paul.
<br />"Thanks for talking with me, Paul."
<br />
<br />"I love you, Mom."
<br />
<br />"I love you too, Paul."
<br />Why did this conversation work so well? Let's look at the seven steps in successful communication and problem solving:
<br />
<br />1. Nancy thought about how she wanted to approach Paul and practiced the
<br />conversation in her head.
<br />
<br />2. Nancy waited until both of them were in a good mood.
<br />
<br />3. Nancy gained Paul's respect by requesting, not demanding, to talk with him. She
<br />didn't just lay it on him, she obtained an agreement to discuss this issue. This is called obtaining contract for the conversation.
<br />
<br />4. She explored his point of view. She explored his anger and his blaming of her without becoming defensive (Gold star! This is difficult!).
<br />
<br />5. She shared her thoughts and observations gently, with love.
<br />
<br />6. She expressed high expectations and gave her son the "can do" message.
<br />
<br />7. She ended the conversation with a hug.