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Transcript of Jamie Presentation
Close in Age
Since we were so close in age, I never thought of her as "being different"
*Ground rule - Not to use it as an insult!
- Explain procedures to siblings, it takes away fear from what is happening and how this is going to help
- Have other family members or friends who can take siblings for a walk. Outside, around the hospital, nearby park, etc.
- Activities bag or a backpack full of fun things will make waiting rooms easier to handle (snacks, handheld games, book, art supplies, etc.)
- I loved learning the layout of the hospital and showing others around. For instance, take your grandparents to the cafeteria or show your uncle where the vending machines are located
Journaling and Art
- Writing in a journal proved helpful
- Finding outlets for frustration, anger, depression is helpful and improved overall outlook, optimism, and passion
- Sharing her work improved confidence and allowed her to express her thoughts and ideas
Laughing at Yourself
- Our family always found it important to joke with each other and to be able to laugh at yourself, but takes time and practice
- If everyone is light-hearted about their looks, then joking with each other becomes a family activity. Took focus off of Jamie and allowed her to crack jokes about my buck teeth, big feet, and skinny physique (believe it or not....)
- Call out starers, whisperers, and pointers! Make them feel uncomfortable! Very empowering!
- Difficult to console sibling after bully insults them
- Tae Kwon Do lessons helped with self-esteem, helped with confidence that she could kick me in the face...if she wanted to
- Parents encouraged me to defend my sister against bullies
-Often it was the same bully who always got the same reaction
- Difficult time for all siblings, trying to find identity
- Cliches were very different, but overlapped some
- Despite her issues with her appearance, she went to more dances and dated more than I did
- Being in marching band together gave us common ground and similar goals
- Different outlooks on life infuriated both of us, but kept sibling rivalry strong!
- Kids with cleft lip get a lot of negative attention, get them involved in something to give them positive attention. Siblings need the same...but we know there is a lot going on!
- Siblings are going to fight, which is OK, but don't let cleft lip or surgeries be a weapon
- A family that can laugh at themselves...and each other...is stronger and better prepares kids for life's challenges
- Teach kids with cleft lip and their siblings to care for and defend each other, physically and mentally
Final Thoughts (cont.)
- Hard to see sibling doing things you disapprove of, but know that they are finding social acceptance and loyal friends
- SIBLING RIVALRY IS NOT ONLY GOOD, IT IS NECESSARY!
- No matter what, know that because of the hardships they have endured throughout their life, they will grow up to be the strongest people you will ever know!
I AM NOT A TRAINED PSYCHOLOGIST OR A LICENSED THERAPIST! MY PRESENTATION SIMPLY COMES FROM MY LIFE EXPERIENCES AS A SIBLING OF A PERSON WHO WAS BORN WITH CLEFT LIP AND PALATE. BY NO MEANS IS THIS
A DEFINITIVE LIST NOR DOES IT INCAPSULATE THE FEELINGS OF ALL SIBLINGS IN A SIMILAR SITUATION!
Not actually my sister!