Children experience jealousy for a number of reasons, involving everything from a new baby to their mother›s new boyfriend to good old sibling rivalry. Some children have a more jealous nature than others and will be prone to comparing what she receives–material things, attention from parents, good grades–to what her sibling receives. In the case of a new baby, the child that was once the baby of the family now feels replaced, ignored or unloved, and feels jealous toward the new baby, who is receiving all the attention. Some children can become very attached to their parents and feel threatened when a new friend or romantic partner enters their mother›s or father›s life.
Before dealing with jealousy in your kid, be sure that you are not jealous of your siblings, friends, neighbors or anybody else. Unless you remove it from your system, you cannot deal with it effectively in your kid. Here are the ways to handle jealousy in kids:
1. Turn Envy Into Ambition:
Giving your child’s energies a positive channel is a great way to help him reduce his negative feelings and work towards enriching and positive goals. For instance, if your child is sad because his friend received good grades, encourage and motivate him to study more and get better grades. Once your kid gets caught up in the attempt to study, he won’t focus on how he’s supposed to outrace someone. He will divert his focus in the right direction.
2. Listen Up:
In most instances, jealous and envious behavior is rooted from deep within. They have a particular issue or concern behind such behavior. Talk to your child and know the reason as to why he is jealous of a particular person and then listen to him. There may be cases where your child may have a lower self-esteem and confidence. He may not be sure enough about his positive aspects, which may cause him to exhibit jealousy towards someone else.
3. Read Out from the Classics:
The classic stories and fables have a lot of moral messages conveyed underneath, and even if you don’t emphasize on them, your child will learn from those during the crucial stages of his development. Make bedtime reading a daily routine. Get your child more books with morals that talk about qualities like being helpful, caring and having good intentions in mind. This will help your child understand that what he’s doing is not right.
4. Explain Using Examples:
Another great trick to emphasize the importance of having positive feelings about everyone is by setting yourself as an example. Compliment others for their sense of humor, good behavior or any other quality that they may have. Be liberal in such compliments in front of your child.
5. Teach Your Child The Importance Of Sharing:
Kids tend to hold a grudge against other children for no reason. If that’s the case, teach your little one the importance of sharing and caring. This will help him remove any kind of insecurity. Sooner or later, you’ll find your child enjoying the company of a kid he once envied.
6. Love Your Kid:
We don’t say you don’t love your kid but this is to emphasize that he needs all the love and affection he could get during this stage of his life. No matter what the reason is, parental guidance coupled with love and care can always fix things up and make them right way faster.
7. Withhold From Comparisons:
Do not compare one child’s performance with the other, as it devalues him. It can develop long-lasting strains. These comparisons will make children conclude that “You love her more than me” or “You think he is better”.
8. Do Not Compare Schoolwork:
Never compare one child’s schoolwork, report cards and test scores with his siblings or friends. They will not help your child to work harder. Instead, they fuel up resentment in them.
9. Foster a Unique Strength In Each Child:
Every child loves to hear from parents about their strengths. Talking about that particular strength will nurture his self-esteem. You should foster a unique strength in each kid on their interests and temperament.
10. Reinforce Cooperative Behavior:
It is one of the simplest ways to let away the jealousy in children. Mold them in a way that they support each other. Give them the moments to share, help and work together and value their efforts. They will repeat these behaviors as they realize that you want them to be so.
So if you find your kid jealous over his classmate’s good grades or because his big brother just got a new bike, sit with your child and remind him of the instances when he achieved something in life and was rewarded for that. Your close involvement makes a huge difference for him.