Notes to Brothers and Sisters
Having a brother or sister with a bleeding disorder is not always easy. In fact, having a brother or sister who does not have any health problems can be hard. Some children wish they did not have to share their parents' love and attention with a brother or sister. They also wish they did not have to share other things such as a bedroom, toys, or TV. All children feel ignored at times. All children feel that at times parents reward or punish one child more than the other.
Quarrels and hurt feelings are normal in any family. However, if you are unhappy about the way you get along with your brother or sister, it will help to talk about it with your parents. Being able to talk about problems is the first step to solving them. Your parents may think everything is okay unless you tell them about your worries.
Sometimes children are afraid they have caused their brother or sister to bruise or bleed. They may feel guilty or ashamed. If you have these feelings, your parents can help you understand them. They can explain the bleeding disorder to you and answer your questions. It is not anyone's fault that your brother or sister has a bleeding disorder. He or she will have bruising and bleeding all his or her life, even if you never have fights.
Sisters of boys with hemophilia often wonder if they will have sons with hemophilia. A young girl may really worry about it.
This section of The Handbook explains how sisters can be tested to see if they carry hemophilia. If you are the sister of a boy with hemophilia, finding out whether or not you carry the hemophilia gene may relieve your worries. When you are older and begin to decide about having children of your own, you will have the test results to discuss with your partner. Of course, hemophilia treatment is always improving. The treatment and outlook for someone with hemophilia may be very different when you grow up.
Growing up has never been easy. Having a brother or sister with a bleeding disorder may make you feel even more mixed up at times. It will help if you share your thoughts and feelings with your parents or other adults who care about you. You may find the social worker at the HTC a helpful person with whom to talk. Your parents can make an appointment for you. As you learn new ways to solve problems, you will grow into a mature and independent person.