How to identify feeling of jealousy between siblings?

Some peculiar behaviours are indicative of the jealously children feel towards their sibling or other children.

Description: How to identify feeling of jealousy between siblings?

How to identify feeling of jealousy between siblings?

  1. They are unable to tolerate that parents are praising other children, including their sibling. They may throw a tantrum in such a case or may sulk saying that parents do not love them.
  2. The child goes out of the way to point out the mistakes or negative points of those s/he feels jealous of. At times, they could be fabricated stories.
  3. Child is unable to tolerate losing at games. S/he may either leave the game midway or disrupt the game by throwing away things.
  4. Such children leave no chance to show that they are better than others. For it, they may go beyond their usual capacity to please parents and display their superiority.
  5. They may either behave extra-good or exceesively mis-chievous – the sole aim is to get attention.
  6. They may secretly or, at times, even openly display hostile/destructive behaviour towards the other child by pinching, hitting, hiding some important thing, tearing books pr pages of the books or playing foul to cause some kind of harm to the other child. This may be discovered after some time and is a strong indicator of a deep-seated disturbance in the child’s emotional state.
  7. At times, they wiothdraw and may minimise interacion with others. Feelings of sadness and jealousy may lead to depression. They may also become indiffierent to the other child and stop caring for her.
  8. Sometimes older children start behaving in a childish manner by sucking their thumbs, clinging to mothers and talking in a babble. This is done to attract special attention.
  9. At times, children come down with physical symptoms like – bed wetting, recurrent fever or vague pains, which may not be easy to explain or diagnose. They do not do this intentionally. It is a psychosomatic reaction to the stress they are experiencing inside but are unable to voice.

How do parents deal with jealousy?

One cannot deal with jealousy; we have to deal with the child. Another important thing to remember is – punishments do not work, they only worsen the disturbance of the child and increase aggessiveness. Approach the situation thinking of it as a fresh opportunity to re-bond with the child. Here’s how you can help her cope with her feelings and teach adaptive methods.

1.    Avoid comparison. Each individual is unique. Understand the child’s individuality, his/her strengths and weaknesses. Relate to child as an individual rather than someone better or worse than others. Comparison between siblings or peers creates more negativity than motivation.

Description: Avoid comparison

Avoid comparison

2.    Show your love. Express your love for the first child even after the arrival of the younger one. It is important to continue hugging, kissing and praising the child even though it may need a little extra effort. This will pay great dividends later.

Description: Show your love

Show your love

3.    Take the child in. Involve the child in taking care of the younger sibling. Let her feel important and a part of the ‘elders’ that are responsible for the wellbeing of the little one. This automatically makes older children feel good and generates care and affection within.

4.    Teach ways to care. Show the child how to be gentle with the baby rather than keeping her away. Supervise and monitor her while she handles the younger one. Trusting older children with the younger one early, teaches them to be responsible.

Description: Teach ways to care

Teach ways to care

If you find them doing something to the younger ones that you don’t like, make it a point to understand what they were trying to do rather than shouting in panic. Often children have a good reason for their actions, only they may not know how to go about them right way. It pays to teach them correct ways of expressing care and concern.

5.    Appreciate. It helps to praise their responsible behaviour. This boosts their sense of self and reduces the competition that they perceive from the other child.

6.    Attend equally. Children in the house should be as far as possible given equal time and attention. If a child is too young or sick, you might tend to attend to her needs more and expect the older child to understand. If it is communicated well instead of taking it for granted, the other sibling feels responsible and helps in management rather than creating a problem.

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