There’s no denying that children with special needs often take up most (if not all) of the attention of parents. While it’s normal for parents to want to pay attention to these children who need it most, such an attitude often leaves siblings feeling left out and even invisible. Hence the term “glass child.” It’s gaining popularity on TikTok, but it’s not just a social media trend.
Meet the Glass Child
The term dates back to the 2010s when Alicia Maples addresses the issue in her TEDx Talk. With the wording, she compared siblings of children with disabilities to glass children because parents often see right through them.
In truth, siblings of children with various disabilities often feel left out of the whole family picture. They might also be given multiple responsibilities that aren’t appropriate for their age. In any case, pediatrician and Advanced Parenting: Advice for Helping Kids Through Diagnoses, Differences, and Mental Health Challenges author Kelly Fradin, M.D., says that it’s not okay to force these children to grow way too quickly or hold inappropriate expectations about their development.
How to Support Siblings of Children With Disabilities
One of the most important things parents need to understand is that siblings experience disability like the rest of the family. That’s why it’s not advisable to avoid providing appropriate information about their siblings’ disabilities. Be honest and communicate openly, also strive to answer questions. Remember that these children are perfectly capable of understanding the needs of their sibling(s.) Finally, don’t forget that not talking about a particular topic can make the children feel like a given topic is off-limits and mustn’t be discussed.
Of course, it’s hardly just about providing honest and age-appropriate information. To make the children feel really a part of the family, try to include quality time for the siblings as a part of your everyday life. Even if it’s just watching their favorite TV series together for 20 minutes or reading a book, children without disabilities need their parents’ attention just as much as their siblings with special needs.
Another thing to remember is that the “glass child” should feel it always has someone to turn to and share their feelings of anger/resentment/fear or whatever. Also, if possible, try to include siblings in plans for the future. That’ll help them cope with the “future” more adequately and not fear it.
How To Tell a “Glass Child” Apart
Keep an eye out for any of the red flags we’ll briefly explain below. A glass child is typically more withdrawn from other kids at their age. If the child quickly loses interest in hobbies or friends, or if their emotions and behavior shift considerably in a matter of minutes, it may be time to consider a way to help them.
Finally, never forget that while children with disabilities undoubtedly require more time, they’re by no means more important than other children. So, parents who fear raising a glass child must always strive to show their children without special needs that they are important as well.
Those who are looking for lush, rolling hills in the summer and spring, and fluffy snow all winter, should look no further than this Swiss town called Zermatt. No matter the season, it’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. However, there is also a ton of culture, shopping, and cuisine to enjoy. Check out these places to eat, see the sights, and have fun.
What to Know Before Visiting Zermatt
This Swiss town is car-free. This doesn’t mean that it’s inaccessible, though. Visitors can use a taxi, train, or even a helicopter with Air Zermatt. Those who want to drive can park their cars in the garages in Täsch. It’s located three miles outside of Zermatt. Shuttles to town are available every 20 minutes. There are also electric buses that can help visitors get around town upon arrival.
Where to Go in This Swiss Heaven
It’s a matter of personal preference. If you want to visit Zermatt during summer and when the birds are chirping, it’s best to look into a trip between June and September, when the average temperatures hit above 69 degrees Fahrenheit. However, those who like the snow might want to go there between December and March, when the average high temperature falls below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also the time when Zermatt has the most snow.
The Best Things to Do in Zermatt
If you want to go to Zermatt, chances are you know about Matterhorn. If you don’t, add it to your list. Being one of the tallest mountains in all of Europe, it’s a stunning sight to behold. While you can view it from the town, you should also make plans to ride the Gornergrat Bahn railway. It takes passengers to the best vantage point so that you can get a closer look. Tip: Sit on the right side so you can observe the entire journey.
Shop at the Bahnhofstrasse
Even though Zermatt is a small Swiss town, it packs a major punch when it comes to shopping. You can visit the Bahnhofstrasse and shop for clothing at Bijou Les Boutiques. Fan of jewelry? No worries, Atelier Marcus Marienfeld has you covered. After going on a shopping spree, you can buy souvenirs for your loved ones back home at Ceramic Studio Zermatt.
Go Skiing During Winter
If you come in the winter, you must go skiing. The mountain has more than 200 miles of trails. That said, everyone can find a trail that suits them. It doesn’t matter if you are an expert or a beginner. You can spend the entire day on just one slope because it extends for a whopping 15 miles. It’s called the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise.
Take a Hike During Summer
If you are visiting this Swiss paradise during summer, spend some time hiking through the lush surroundings on those same trails. There are more than 100 trails you can discover. Give yourself a full day to finish it so you can stop for a break or you can take in the scenery whenever you like.