Jealousy in kids
While jealousy is a complex emotion that adults experience frequently, jealousy in kids is often as simple as it gets. At that tender age, they are still grasping the world around them. Building relationships with people they can call their own, understanding ownership and belonging. Any situations that seem to threaten either of these is most likely to lead to jealousy.
Here are some things to keep in mind when your older child is jealous of younger siblings
- Give equal responsibilities to your kids when it comes to helping at home. This will make them feel equally valued.
- Avoid comparisons at all costs. Trying to motivate one child through the other child’s achievements is always going to lead to jealousy. Celebrating all achievements equally, whether big or small is crucial.
- Make time for them individually. Personalized attention is important when it comes to jealous child behavior.
Even a single child can experience jealousy. Here’s how you can help them cope.
- Acknowledge their feelings. Talking your child out of jealousy is likely to not work. Accepting their feelings and helping them express themselves is always more beneficial.
- Help your child understand that them being bad at something does not mean they will never be good at it.
- Highlight and celebrate strengths. Keeping your child’s focus on what his or her strengths are will help them focus less on what they struggle with and reduce their desire to want that more.
- Help your child understand the value of money. Kids are often jealous of their friend’s possessions. Helping them understand how much things cost and encouraging them to earn those items instead of receiving them as gifts will positively channel their feelings.
- Set examples that show the importance of values and quality time over materialism. When your child starts to associate physical objects with emotions, their desire for what those items stand for will overpower the desire for the items themselves.