Jealousy is common between kids as it is between adults. Children can experience feelings towards each others that can be harmful and hurtful. Usually as parents we tend to punish jealousy without knowing the cause and the situation that led our child to misbehave or be jealous from his brother or sister.
Jealousy can start at an early age and can be triggered by many reasons:
Arrival of a new baby
Friends and belongings as toys
Jealousy may lead to aggressiveness and children may act badly to get their parents attention. It can become devastating and lead to harmful acts.
How to deal with jealousy?
Spend enough time with your kids: give each child his time and talk about his feelings. They would feel more appreciated if you acknowledge their thoughts and share their experiences.
Treat your child as being unique: do not treat your kids equally, treat them as separate individuals. Giving them the same amount of time and love is not enough. You need to look for your child uniqueness and nurture it.
Keep away from comparisons: do not ever compare your kids to each others or to friends. Do not say “Why you don’t clean your room like your brother?” This attitude may ignite jealousy and possibly pushes your child to get even from his brother. It is preferable to give your comments and arguments by providing logical interpretations.
Set the house rules and persist on following them. No teasing, no hassling and always ask for permissions. Teach your kids to respect each others’ feelings and how to value relationship between siblings.
Always listen to both sides of the story: be fair and give each child his time to give his opinion. Do not always blame the eldest child. This way you spoil the little one and damage the self-esteem of the eldest. They are still both kids.
It is normal that your kids will compete with each other to get your attention. But when this jealousy becomes extreme and leads to unhealthy actions, this might create issues and problems inside your house environment. Be calm and supportive and try to be fair with your kids.