Sibling Spotlight: Ana, Elizabeth and Ronald
Our Sibling Support Services encourages social emotional learning by having participants identify and discuss various emotions. Social emotional learning is important for children and adults in order to understand and express ourselves better. This is especially true when a sibling has been diagnosed with an illness. It raises various emotions for all family members. Some emotions that arise include sadness, anger and jealousy. In addition, through the difficult times families experience moments of joy and love. It is also possible to feel several emotions in one moment.
One way we provide social emotional learning is seen in this example from Ana (7 years old), Elizabeth (5 years old) and Ronald (4 years old). We read the book Color Monster by Anna Llenas. The kids each made their own monster that depicted each feeling. They shared how they felt at different times while Elizabeth was ill with Neuroblastoma. Elizabeth was sad when she couldn’t go to school. Ana had feelings of jealousy because her sister received her Mom’s attention. Ronald shared that he was loved when he was with his sisters. The siblings shared that since Elizabeth is not going to the doctors as often, things have been calmer. Providing the vocabulary and the space to talk about feelings is important for the siblings to get along and for parents to understand how their children are managing through this difficult time.
It can be hard to talk about feelings, especially when we feel like we are complaining. But it is important to remember that there are no good or bad emotions. All emotions are important and help us learn about ourselves and our needs. Thank you Ana Sofia, Elizabeth and Ronald for sharing your art monsters and your feelings!