When Younger Siblings Are Left Behind: Case Study
In any family of more than one child, there will come a point when the older child leaves and goes to college or university, or moves out of the family home to live alone, with friends or a partner.
Although the fabric of a family remains the same, the way we live and the amount of contact we have with each other is bound to change. As children grow and develop and want to live their own lives, there will come a time when maybe a younger sibling is left a home with their parents.
Managing ChangeIn a step family, all of you will be used to change already, however, for the youngest child left behind change can be very hard to cope with and when an older brother or sister decides to flee the nest, there may well be some emotional fall out.
Lonely TimesAlthough your children and step children may seem to spend most of their time arguing, fighting and bickering, this is of course entirely normal behaviour and you may find that there may be an initial bit of relief when one child moves out, the one left behind may feel at a bit of a loss.
Jamie was 12 when his step brother Stephen went off to university. He said: “We had been step brothers since I was six, and we did used to fight a lot and wind each other up-especially as I got older. I used to do things to deliberately make Stephen mad and get him into trouble! When he left home I was just starting secondary school and my step mum also went back to work full time. She had only ever worked two days a week before and had always picked me up from school when my Dad was working.”