Jealousy between siblings

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Jealousy between siblings

Jealousy between siblings is not something that you should be scared of because its very common for children to feel jealous of each other, however, its your way of treating your siblings that can either result in containing this jealousy or in planting seeds of hatred between them!

In my previous article, jealousy and competition I explained how jealousy can't happen unless the person finds himself in a direct competition with someone else (or at least believes that he is competing with him)

For example, You might not be jealous of bill gates when you see him on the TV but you might feel really jealous of your coworker who is competing with you on the same post. This means that jealousy, including siblings jealousy, only happens when people think that they are competing with each other.

Containing the jealousy that happens between siblings

The major mistake parents make when raising children is that they try to force them to take the exact same path which results in continues comparisons and perceived competitions.

If the parents decided to let the first child learn how to draw then they usually let the second child join him too which elevates the sense of competition I talked about earlier. (see Mistakes parents make with children)

The second mistake parents make is that they make the competition more intense by using verbal comparisons, “Can’t you just be nice like your brother?”

Some parents do even worse by treating one child better than the other either because he is the preferred child or either because he is the younger who deserves more attention.

The other child will never get the idea that younger children need more attention and he will only find another person taking the attention he used to get and this will increase jealousy.

In the Solid Self confidence program i pointed out that parents who keep praising one child in front of the other make the other child feel unimportant compared to his brother which results in excessive jealousy.

How to treat siblings?

Just as you saw the jealousy one kid develops in his early years affects the way he interacts with others for the rest of his life. A child who always felt that his brother was favored over him will very likley feel jealous of the other people he interacts with in life.

For example, that person might get jealous of his friends if they seemed a bit more successful or he might get jealous of his work mates in case he felt that his manager prefers them over him.

In order to solve the problem of jealousy between siblings, find their talents and then let each one of them excel in a different field according to his talents.

Don’t praise one of them in front of the other and never make them feel that they are competitors.

Of course giving more attention to one of the children on the account of the other Is totally out of question. Even if one of them needs more attention let it happen behind the scenes.

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Want to know more?

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How to stop comparing yourself to others

Why do people Envy others?

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