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Change is hard for everyone, even if the change is something you look forward to. Your family’s transition at the end of your child’s cancer treatment is no different.
This transition can be exciting and scary all at the same time. It’s normal for everyone in the family, including siblings, to have a wide range of emotions. Those emotions might include relief, joy, fear, and jealousy.
It may take time for siblings to adjust to this transition and the changes in family routine during this time.
Young siblings may take a step back in development during big transitions. An example is having toileting accidents when children were previously potty-trained.
They might also want your attention more than usual or have trouble separating from you. Some young siblings may have more behavior problems than they typically would. During this transition, it is helpful to maintain consistent limits and boundaries.
Some teen siblings feel protective of their brother or sister following treatment. They may struggle with their brother or sister getting sick instead of them. They might feel as if they should have done more for their sibling during treatment.
They may also feel frustrated that their parents needed to be with their brother or sister during treatment. As a result, their primary caregivers may have missed some important events, such as a game the sibling played in or a performance they gave. Encourage teen siblings to share how they are feeling.
For more information for siblings of childhood cancer patients, check out:
Reviewed: January 2021