How siblings may be feeling

  • Left out because the sudden focus is on the child with diabetes – Why all the fuss? Why do we have to rush home for injections? Why do we have to worry about food all the time?
  • That their brother or sister is the favourite. If they thought this prior to the diagnosis, diabetes may add to the problem.
  • That they are loved less and pushed to one side in favour of the child with diabetes.
  • Worried that diabetes is catching or that their brother or sister with diabetes might die.
  • Guilty and believe that something they have done has given their brother or sister diabetes – such as breaking a toy or not sharing. They may have nightmares, suddenly start wetting the bed or cling to you.
  • Worried that they might get diabetes.
  • Overwhelmed and responsible for their sibling.
  • Resentful that their sibling with diabetes gets ‘special treats’ eg. Jelly beans when they are having a hypo or their own ‘special food’
  • Confused about diabetes – what it is and how to look after it. 

These concerns may be displayed in varying behaviours by siblings such as:

 being withdrawn or sad; anger / aggressive behaviour; attention seeking behaviour; regressing to behaviours of a younger child.