Michelle_Mc's picture
Michelle_Mc

Help with my daughter

I've been having trouble with my youngest daughter and I don't know what to do about it. I have a 9 year old daughter who is in a wheelchair and has a learning disability. Her and my 6 year old daughter get along really well. My problem is my 6 year old now wants to be like my 9 year old. She wants to set in a special chair at the table like her sister, She wants to go to a special school, She wants to ride in a wheelchair and she wants to wear diapers like her sister does. How do I get her to stop wanting to do this? My daughter's teacher said she had never seen this kind of reaction from the younger sibling. It is the special needs child that wants to be like their sibling. Not the other way around. She suggested I treat my 6 year old like her sister and let her see it isn't as much fun as she thinks it is. I'm not sure I want two in diapers and in wheelchairs. It is alot of work having one of them in diapers and in a wheelchair. Two is going to be even harder for me.



tamz's picture
tamz

Wow, that's a challenging situation! How wonderful that your six year old loves her sister so much and wants to be like her. I was thinking maybe your six year old can take some responsibility for caring for her sister. If she understands how difficult it can be for her sister and the people who care for her maybe that would help her understand better. Also, I don't think I would have my six year old back in diapers but maybe you can take the teachers advice on a smaller scale and talk with your six year old when she takes certain activities for granite. When she wants to play on the slides and bars tell her if she was in a chair she would not be able to do that. Remind her when she is doing things that her sister is unable to do that she is blessed. Above all, keep loving your girls and be patient. Good luck!!

Michelle_Mc's picture
Michelle_Mc

She does take some of the responsibility for caring for her sister. She moves Molly's chair up to the table. She gets out Molly's plate,cup and silverware and puts it on the table in front of Molly's chair. She gets Molly's diapers and changing supplies out of the closet and then throws the diaper away for me. She helps with getting Molly's dressed in the morning. I think that is what is causing the problem with her wanting to be like Molly. She sees that Molly doesn't have to do anything for herself. Everything is done for her. While Robin has to do things for herself. The two of them do their homework together in the livingroom. After their homework is done. They go outside to play or they play a game inside the house. Molly likes to play memory games and Candy Land. She is getting better at the memory game. I've talked to Robin about all the things she couldn't do if she was in a wheelchair like Molly. She said she doesn't care. She wants to be like Molly since Molly doesn't have to do anything for herself. Everything is done for her. I countered by saying. Do you think Molly likes not being able to do the things you can do? Do you think she likes being in a wheelchair and have to wear diapers? Robin said she didn't know, but she doesn't see what Molly wouldn't like it. It looks like alot of fun to have things done for you.

acitez's picture
acitez

6 is kind of young, but I wonder if you could get Robin involved in some community groups--not Girl Scouts, which works hard on the diversity issue, but ballet or soccer or community theater or martial arts, where Robin can really shine because SHE can do things. I know you don't want to make Molly feel bad, she has plenty to deal with. But if she could also celebrate her little sister's accomplishments, that would be excellent!

Michelle_Mc's picture
Michelle_Mc

I thought about getting her involved in some other activity like Ballet or Gymnastics,but she doesn't show any interest in it. Martial Arts sounds really dangerous for a 6 year old to do. You are right. I don't want Molly to feel bad because she can't do things like Robin can.

acitez's picture
acitez

They have really good instructors for younger kids in martial arts. Statistically fewer injuries than gymnastics.

Michelle_Mc's picture
Michelle_Mc

I see. I took Robin to one gymnastic class. She saw what the class was about and said she didn't want to take gymnastics. I'm sure they have some really good instructors for younger kids in martial Arts, but the images that comes to mind is breaking pieces of wood and bricks with their hands and head. I'm also worried that if she takes martial arts. She will use it against someone at school and hurt them or worst get mad at Molly and hurt her.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

What about swimming? If you find the right school, I'm sure you can get both of your girls lessons. I think it's good if you can get your girls to do activities together, but then also do their own things as well. My boys are very close in age, and I have a hard time separating them. Mostly it's b/c I don't have anyone to watch one, while I have the other. So when we do activities, it's hard to get them to socialize w/ other kids, when all they want is to play w/ each other. If you can have one-on-one time w/ each of your girls, that wld be good to. This way they each build their own identities, relationships and interests. Best of luck!

Michelle_Mc's picture
Michelle_Mc

Robin doesn't like water. She is afraid of it after she sank in the pool before I could catch her. She was standing on the side of the pool and I told her to jump and I would catch her. I misjudged and she went though my arms. She didn't go down too far just below her forehead. After that She will not go near water. Molly on the other hand loves to play in the water. She likes it because with the lifejacket on. She can float and doesn't have to worry about sinking. When we go swimming. Molly goes into the water and Robin sets on the side of the pool with her feet in the water or she sets on the top step inside the pool. While I was at home today. I got a call from Robin's school. It was her teacher. She called to ask if Robin had developed a wetting problem. When she took the class to the bathroom. She said Robin was wearing a diaper under her skirt and it was wet. Did I want her to put her in another diaper or did I want to bring Robin a pair of underwear from home. I told the teacher to put Robin in another diaper. After I hung up the phone. I went into Molly's room and I found one of her pull up diapers missing from the shelf. When I went to pick Robin up at school. She was wearing a thick diaper like Molly wears and her skirt was sticking out a bit. Robin didn't seem to care. When we got home. We had a really long talk about taking things that doesn't belong to her. It was wrong for her to steal one of Molly's diaper.

acitez's picture
acitez

Do you have a family therapist already? With Molly's disability being such a big factor in how your family functions, it would be good to talk to a therapist about Robin's issues.

Michelle_Mc's picture
Michelle_Mc

No I don't. I talked to the one at Molly's school about Robin and she told me it sounded like Robin was jealous of the attention that Molly is getting from me and jealous of Molly because as Robin sees it. Molly doesn't have to do anything for herself while she has to do things for herself. She talked to Robin and she told me that Robin said she didn't think it was fair that Molly got things done for her while she didn't get things done for her. She told me that Robin said Molly gets to wear diapers and use them. She had to stop what she was doing to go to the bathroom. Molly never gets tired from walking. She gets to ride in a wheelchair.