As a parent of two neurodivergent children, I am constantly learning and growing with them. Remii, my four-year-old daughter with autism, has a big personality and a bossy streak. Meanwhile, Chayce, my ten-year-old son, has always been calm and cool. But lately, he’s been moody and irritable, a departure from his usual demeanor.
It wasn’t until I started paying closer attention to their interactions that I realised what was going on. Remii’s bossiness was causing frustration for Chayce, and it was starting to wear on him. As much as I love my little girl, I knew I needed to address the situation before it escalated.
I started by talking to Chayce and acknowledging his feelings. We talked about how Remii’s behaviour was not her fault, but her autism made her see things differently. We brainstormed ways he could communicate with her better, and how they could work together to avoid conflict.
At the same time, I made sure to give Remii positive reinforcement when she showed kindness and consideration towards her brother. We also worked on teaching her the importance of sharing and taking turns, skills that don’t come naturally to her but are essential in building positive relationships.
It’s not always easy, and there are still moments of conflict, but I’m proud of the progress we’ve made. Remii’s unique intelligence and endearing personality make it easy to overlook her bossy tendencies, but it’s important to remember that she is still learning how to interact with the world around her. As her parent, it’s my job to help her navigate those challenges while also supporting Chayce in his frustrations.
If you’re a parent of neurodivergent children, it’s important to recognise that sibling dynamics can be complex and challenging. But with patience, understanding, and a willingness to learn, it’s possible to create a harmonious family dynamic that works for everyone.