Normal conflict is a part of healthy social development, even if it is difficult to watch. Typically developing children, like all children, get angry, misbehave and fight with their siblings sometimes. While it may make our lives more difficult, telling them “You should know better” or “It is your job to compromise” can result in feelings of guilt and undue pressure on the typical child.
Holding all children to similar expectations promotes independence and helps quell resentment that often stems from having two sets of expectations.
Having a child with special needs in the family makes attending events more challenging. As much as possible, one child’s special needs should not steal the spotlight from another child’s achievements. Acknowledging milestones of other children often requires arranging respite resources, creative problem-solving and flexibility on the part of all family members.