More than siblings

Aren’t my kids super cute?  I think so although one could say that I am a tad biased.  Well, maybe more than a tad.    As I sit here listening to them splash and play together in the pool, I can’t help but think that we are reaping the reward of all the hard work. What hard work you say?  The hard work of building their relationship.  My goal is to make them more than brother and sister.  I want them to be friends .
One way we do this is to encourage them to think of the other sibling .  You’re thinking, ya right.  Stay with me  here.  This is not hard.  For instance, Madison has to sit in the waiting rooms while Logan has therapy.  Having a sibling with autism is hard and tedious.  I started suggesting to Logan that he get Madison a prize when he was done therapy.  If there is something that he thinks Madison would like in the prize box then he could pick it for her.  It’s also simply a suggestion.  He can take it or leave it.  I only had to suggest this a couple of times before he started doing it himself.  Now when he gets a lollipop after physical therapy, he gets here one too.  Not just any lollipop mind you. He really looks in the bag to get her favorite flavor.  It is so stinking cute to see him trying to decide on a flavor.   

This had to be encouraged in Madison as well.  She didn’t just start thinking of Logan just because he was thinking of her.  She’s been a little harder than Logan.  He is so black and white in his thinking that I just needed to plant the seed.  Madison has needed constant watering.  It’s a great lesson for her.  Couldn’t we all learn to think of others more often?  For her, I have to constantly remind her to let Logan decide first or  be in charge.  She tends to overcompensate for his weaknesses as do all of us.  I have to rein her in and teach her to let him have a choice. 
 A great example of this would be the board games.  My children do not get to watch tv except for a certain time of day and for a limited time.  I try to keep board games among other things available for their use.  Madison would pick Uno Spin every time.  Logan really likes Clue and Monopoly.  I will just say out loud to no one in particular.  ” I like to let my friends pick first.”     I have to say this out of ear shot of Logan though or he willl automatically let her pick first.  Sometimes she gives me stank eye and still doesn’t let him pick. But sometimes she does.  It’s those times that I make a big deal about .  The other times I just let it go.  Like Logan and the prize, she can take or leave the suggestion.  
Another way that I teach her is to suggest little ways that she can serve him.  Walk the dog for him.  Do one of his chores.  Let him use her netbook before he asks for it.  He can do the same for her. Play in the pool with her.  Feed her cat.  Help her with her math work.  You get the picture.
A great friend thinks of the other friend first. I am not only fostering their friendship with each other.  I am teaching them how to be good friends period.  That is the added benefit of their friendship.  They get to practice their skills with each other and become life long friends.  What is their to lose?      
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Penny Rogers
Just a Florida homeschooling mom attempting to navigate autismland with my teenage son with autism and the rest of my goofy family. We love Jesus and live gluten free . One kid with celiac and one gluten free for his autism. We utilize the Charlotte Mason approach mixed with lots of field trips as well as jaunts to Walt Disney World. Just sharing my adventures to make you feel better about your family and maybe learn a thing or two that helps !
Penny Rogers

Penny Rogers

Just a Florida homeschooling mom attempting to navigate autismland with my teenage son with autism and the rest of my goofy family. We love Jesus and live gluten free . One kid with celiac and one gluten free for his autism. We utilize the Charlotte Mason approach mixed with lots of field trips as well as jaunts to Walt Disney World. Just sharing my adventures to make you feel better about your family and maybe learn a thing or two that helps !

0 thoughts on “More than siblings

  • September 3, 2010 at 10:54 am
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    More than 2 eProps if I could give ’em! I am not a parent, but I strongly believe in giving people a choice. I love how you make suggestions, not demands, when it comes to this because it has to come from the heart. And then when Madison chooses the game instead of Logan, you let it go, but when Madison decides to let Logan pick, you praise it. I like this method because you are not condemning Madison for her choice when she doesn’t let Logan pick. It’s empowering to let people have a choice. And it’s so great that you are instilling this when they are so young. They learn to think for themselves but also make the right decisions and still learn the lessons that you’re teaching them. If I ever become a parent, I think this will be a great tip to follow. Thank you for sharing 🙂

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  • September 2, 2010 at 11:45 pm
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    as the oldest in my family and a big sister of an autistic brother, i say…

    RIGHT ON! keep up the good work. fostering a friendship between the kids will make it better when they get older. madison will not be ashamed, but rather, she will be proud and say, “yeah, that’s MY brother. and i love him!”

    my brother daniel, sadly, doesn’t have any friends except for my siblings and i and one friend from elementary school. for a while he didn’t even have him. we are his friends, and he learns how to handle social situations from not just my parents, but from his older brother and sister (ME!) who have “been there done that”, and how to be a good older brother for his younger brother and 2 sisters, as well. i love him to death; i’m glad my mom made us all play together as children, and i’m glad we still do so!

    im at college now, and i miss my family. i skype and call them often, and yes, i talk to daniel about life. sometimes he even initiates the conversation. that makes me proud 🙂

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  • September 1, 2010 at 9:33 pm
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    Those are wonderful things to teach your children! Great idea! How old are your kiddos?

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