Having children is a blessing. Unfortunately, sometimes siblings might not always feel the same way about each other. Sometimes they can even feel jealousy toward one another for the attention of a parent or peers for a number of possible reasons. If you can sense jealousy among your children, this is a quick guide to assist you in handling the situation.
Having a New Baby with a Young Child(ren)
Young children depend on their parents for virtually everything, particularly under the age of four. When a young child gets a new sibling, the new baby will inevitably reduce the amount of attention that the child gets from their parents. In order to reduce jealousy, do your best to include the older child in activities with the baby. They can feel like they are helping and may even learn a couple of things and be able to help in the future. Also, have one parent play with the older child while the other parent tends to the baby.
Your children will compare themselves to each other without any help from you. For that reason, you don’t need to make any comparisons between your children. If they hear it, it will encourage the competition. It could even damage self-esteem.
Getting involved in fights
Younger children may require a mediator. They may not have the skills to handle conflict very well yet. Even in these situations, you do not want to pick sides unless it is very clear that one child is in the wrong.
Younger children may get angry when they don’t have the same privileges as older children. Remind them of the age difference and prohibit older children from gloating in front of younger children.
Older children can typically handle arguments themselves. It’s actually a good lesson in conflict resolution. Only step in with older children if the argument gets violent or out of control. In these situations, any party who was violent should be punished.
Getting punished by a parent is humiliating. For children who are jealous of each other, it can be especially humiliating if it happens in front of a sibling. If a child does something and deserves to be punished, do not yell at them or punish them in front of their siblings. You should also tell any of the other siblings to mind their business if they start asking questions or taunting the punished sibling.
Each of your children deserves individual time with you. Do things alone with each of your children so that you can grow the specific bond. That will reassure that they have a strong and unique bond with you, so they won’t be as jealous when you spend time or tend to the other children.
Encourage your children to bond. Find things for them to do together. Encourage them to go to events together. The roles might reverse when the siblings start to team up against you, but at least you know that they will always have each other. It’s also much better than them fighting all of the time.
Sibling rivalry is natural. It’s your job to keep things safe and as fair as possible among them, but they will learn how to hand these things themselves. Let nature take its course.