Reasons for jealousy
Cause and effect of child jealousy
Each one of us is familiar with the complex, contradictory and unpleasant feelings that appear and manifest themselves in us in relation to our closest, most valuable people. This feeling of jealousy.
It often comes as a surprise to us, it can be provoked by the smallest of things. Jealousy is not an emotion, i.e. it does not become a reaction to a situation.
This is exactly the feeling, a kind of marker of attitude towards a person we are afraid of losing, a reluctance to share it with anyone or anything. Jealousy becomes a source of anxiety and fear, of insecurity. And the most unpleasant thing is that not only men and women, but even children are exposed to it.
Yes, there is a child's jealousy, and the reasons for its appearance are the same as in adults: lack of love, attention from the loved one, fear of losing it.
How is jealousy recognized and what can we do to prevent it from happening, and if it has already happened, how can we rid a child of this negative and painful feeling and give him confidence that he is still loved? These and many other questions are being answered not only by parents, but also by teachers and psychologists for several generations. We'll try to find them, and you and I will.
Children's jealousy – what is it?
Causes that cause children's jealousy are most often the same as in adults. This feeling can be defined first and foremost as an unwillingness to share a loved one, a dear person with anyone or anything else. A child can be jealous of the most unexpected things – work, machine or computer.
Anything that takes your attention or time from a child can be a subject of jealousy. For example, the wonderful writer Dina Rubina in her story “Ternovnik” boy is jealous of the typewriter on which she works.
Childhood jealousy tends to personify everything that separates and separates a child from his beloved person.
Jealousy of the child can be manifested in very different ways. For someone, disobedience or aggression against adults will be a form of protest, and the child will simply not be able to be made to obey, but will demonstratively ignore both persuasions and requests.
Someone, on the contrary, demonstrates to parents in all available ways that they are helpless and unable to do without them. A preschool child suddenly “learns” to do things that he or she already knew how to do: use a pot, dress himself or herself independently, requires special attention in almost any situation, and behaves as if he or she were a few years younger.
Jealousy can also take more disturbing forms for parents.
If a child suddenly loses his appetite, even though he hasn't had anything like it before, or if the colds, which used to be rare in your home, suddenly appear in your child without a break, all this can be nothing but jealousy on the part of the child.
The need for parental attention is so strong that the child's body begins to demand it physiologically. In medicine, this phenomenon, when the psychological state is reflected in the physical, is called psychosomatics.
A teenager's jealousy can be manifested in isolation, emphasized by a sharp response to any most harmless remark from parents. Difficulties are compounded by the transition age at which adolescents become very emotional, and the combination of these two factors can create a truly “rattling mix”.
Reasons for jealousy in children
Primary problems and situations that can cause jealousy in a child are similar to those in adults. There are several common situations in which a child becomes jealous:
1. A new baby. First of all, it is the appearance of a new child in the family, in which suddenly there is a competitor for parental attention. This could be the birth of a younger brother or sister, who almost all children experience jealousy.
2. Jealousy for parents. This is the period that characterizes one of the stages of a child's growing up. This jealousy is related to gender identity and the little person's self-awareness as a person. A boy may become a little jealous of his mother and father, and vice versa, the girl is jealous of his father and mother.
3. Stepmother or stepfather. If the child's parents are divorced and the mother or father is trying to build a new relationship with another person, the child may also be perceived as a threat to themselves.
A person who shouldn't be there in the first place burst into the familiar world of the child, already transformed by the parents' divorce.
Naturally, the little person will consciously or subconsciously resist such an invasion.
If the first item is clear in general terms, the second and third item should be described in more detail. The phrase “jealousy of parents” sounds strange at first glance, but don't let it frighten you. It's an absolutely natural stage of a child's growing up. At this age, children begin to associate themselves with a particular gender and build a model of gender relations, the main example of which is the family.
During this period, the boy can voice thoughts like “When I grow up, I'll marry my mother”, and the girl turns into Dad's real “daughter”, openly competing with her mother for her father's attention.
There is no need to repel a child in such a situation with his or her “romantic feelings”, but it is worthwhile for parents to gently explain that the relationship between mom and dad and their relationship with the child are slightly different. Subconsciously, the child wants the right roles to help him or her form a model of his or her own future family.
The child and the parents' second marriage
The birth of the child today, sadly, is not a guarantee of protection against divorce.
But since life does not end with divorce, after a while in the life of the child's parents there appears a new person with whom you want to build a relationship, perhaps to try to build a family again.
But then the question arises, how to present this news to the child, how to imagine your chosen one, so that he becomes a child, if not a native, then at least a friend?
The acquaintance of these two important and close people is better to start from a distance. First of all, tell them about each other. It's easier for kids to accept someone they've even heard of. But you don't need to position the new person as your chosen one right away, choose a neutral characteristic, position him/her as a friend or acquaintance.
Samo, it's better to meet him/her on neutral territory. Like going for a walk in the park together. All children are somewhat afraid of change, so you don't need to put your child in front of the fact that you have a new serious relationship.
Let your two dearest people make friends gradually, better before you start living together. Gradual changes will allow your child to adapt better, without creating a sense of threat to his or her familiar world.
Your behavior should make it clear to your child that even after the appearance of someone else in your family, you have not given him or her less time, less love.
After your loved one and the child have made friends, feel free to give them some general assignments, even the simplest ones: read a book or go wash your hands. This will accustom the child to the idea that the new adult in the family is directly involved in his or her life.
Never try to compare your new partner with your former partner in front of the child. These comparisons, whoever they are directed to, will not do any good.
A child should know that both parents love him/her, whatever their personal relationship, and should not try to change the concept even in the best interest of the child. If the child wants to, he or she will call your beloved “dad” on his or her own initiative, and make things happen in a hurry.
Let the child feel loved and needed, and then no change can destroy your mutual trust with him or her.
Adding to the family: how to file this with the child?
All the main reason for child jealousy above is the appearance of a baby in the family. The familiar world of the family is changing dramatically and irrevocably, and these changes cannot but affect the older child.
On the contrary, they affect him or her more than the rest of the family.
Even the most caring parents are not immune from the fact that, instead of the joy of having a long-awaited second child, their mother and father, like a sea storm, are not jealous of their first child.
It is better to start preparing the child for the thought of a brother or sister beforehand. Tell us that at first, when the baby is very young, he can do almost nothing, but then when he grows up, they will be able to play together.
After the appearance of the baby, try to organize life in such a way that this event as little as possible reflected in the mode of the day and the rhythm of life of the older child. He shouldn't feel like he's useless or out of touch.
Auntie, grandparents and grandmothers to help with the baby, while you pay attention to the firstborn: walk, fairy tale, read aloud, and just a hug in this difficult period will help the child very much.
“Mom, let you take the baby back to the hospital! Such a reaction may seem inadequate to parents and to some extent frighten them. But that's not true. Little children are very emotional, and therefore sincere in such statements. Try to look at the situation through the eyes of a child.
His familiar world has changed unimaginably, it has a lot of incomprehensible words, events, sounds and smells, and the most incomprehensible – another child has appeared! Naturally, it will be difficult for the elders to control their emotions, even to understand their nature and accept them as something of their own.
And it is the task of the parents not to punish, shame or scold, but to let the child speak out and, if possible, make it clear that their emotions are not something that will cause them to be rejected by the parents, that they will always be heard, understood and accepted.
This will allow the baby to accept his or her own feelings, and he or she will be happy to share them with you in the future, both negative and positive. But the possibility of a dialogue, readiness for it on the part of the child is a guarantee of his mutual understanding with his family members and, accordingly, harmonious relations in the family.
Older and younger: Relationships between children
In spite of age differences, relationships between children in the family can be very different. But conflicts are inevitable in any case, and the main pedagogical task that falls on the shoulders of parents is to extinguish children's differences before they become forest fires. What should we do? The first and most important rule is to forget once and for all that the older child owes something to someone only because of his or her age. Of course, moms and dads are eager for the older child to show care and attention to the baby. But this desire may, firstly, not coincide with the desire of the child.
And secondly, responsibility cannot be imposed artificially. Well, it's possible to impose, but that's what it's gonna do? A child who is always responsible not only for himself, but also for his younger brother or sister, inevitably begins to perceive it as a clear competition, feels deprived of parental attention.
Of course, it is impossible to treat two different children in exactly the same way, and many parents can form their attitude unconsciously, taking into account many side factors. The clear preference of some of them, whether they are young children or not, is more painful, and so on, is likely to spoil the relationship between children.
Brothers and sisters will begin to perceive each other as rivals in the struggle for parental love.
Education is not an easy job. And in order to succeed in this daily work, it is necessary to learn the quality of empathy. Try to look at your family through the eyes of every child in it, and you'll see a lot of new and unexpected things.
Another good tip: if possible, remember your childhood, all that you missed in your relationship with your family. And compare your memories to how your family lives.
This critical analysis will help to determine where to work so that everyone, parents and children alike, can learn to take care of each other, help each other, and understand each other.
What to read to parents
For those who are interested in pedagogy or just looking for useful advice, it is worth paying attention to the book of two foreign writers and moms, Eileen Mazlisch and Adele Faber “How to talk to children to listen to and how to listen to children to talk. This is a summary of the parental experiences of many families, presented in a simple and accessible way.
There you will find many examples of how to resolve conflicts between brothers and sisters, how to behave in a difficult situation of child jealousy towards each other.
All of the suggested tips are very easy to check in practice, they are simple and have one indisputable advantage, tested in practice by many grateful parents – they work!
Despite the ambiguous attitude towards it in the parent environment, Dr. Benjamin Spock, author of a number of books on child care and education, also deserves attention. In particular, the book “The Child and His Care”, in which the topic of child jealousy is discussed in detail, belongs to him.
Among the famous scientists and specialists in child psychology will be interesting works of such a child psychologist as the Czech scientist Josef Schwanzara.
His work is more specialized, but knowing the basics of children's perception of reality will help parents to better understand their child, to help them develop in harmony with their family, with themselves, and with the world around them.
Why does a child get jealous and how do you fight different kinds of jealousy?
/ 4 – 6 years old / Why is a child jealous and how to deal with different kinds of jealousy?
When a younger child or a new dad comes into the family, parents often see the jealousy of the older child towards a new family member. It is difficult for a child to accept new people into his or her “orderly” world who, in his or her opinion, can take away the love of his or her mother or father.
This fear is caused by the fact that the child is afraid of losing the love, the attention of his or her parents. Such emotional distress is not unnatural or dangerous.
In such cases, parents need to be sensible, patient, and listen to the advice that will be offered in this publication.
Why is there a child's jealousy?
Children's jealousy may occur for the following reasons:
- Unnecessary. The child is beginning to get complex because of the appearance of a new person in the family. Because because of this, the whole schedule in the house changes dramatically, and the child can not quickly adapt to the new conditions, believing that he was put on the back burner. This sense of abandonment and needlessness can accompany a child at all times if parents do not help him or her overcome these feelings.
- Lack of attention. A child may feel a lack of attention when there is another child in the family. Then the eternal words of Mom's mother: “Don't make noise, don't touch, don't do, don't shout”, etc. don't leave him the right to develop as he wants. Mom spends most of her time with her baby because he or she needs special attention, and the firstborn child receives much less attention than before her younger brother or sister.
- Strakh. A small child feels an irresistible fear of losing the love of his mother or father. When he sees that his mother has a new object of love, he is torn apart by a sense of fear and jealousy. In most cases, mothers don't take such trauma to their children seriously enough.
Types of childhood jealousy: how does jealousy appear in a child
Often parents do not immediately realize that their child is jealous. Therefore, seeing your child sad, offended, withdrawn or aggressive, you must necessarily talk to him unobtrusively. And if he doesn't come into contact, we need to monitor his behavior and determine the true cause of his bad mood.
In child psychology, the following types of jealousy are distinguished:
- Passive. Usually, a child doesn't seem to show any dissatisfaction. On the contrary, he closes himself in, gets sluggish and uninterested. Sometimes children show apathy for the world around them.
- Aggressive. In this case, the first-born child actively expresses his “no” to his younger brother or sister, stepfather or stepmother. The child won't let him take his things, is angry that they touch his toys, etc. Emotionally, the child becomes passionate, whiny, capricious, disobedient. He hurts the youngest child and does not want to share his things.
- Semi-transparent. It's the most unpredictable kind of jealousy For example, a child does not show his or her true attitude towards the little one, but being alone with his or her brother or sister, tries to do something bad: hurt, hit, take away toys, etc.
How to deal with different types of jealousy: answers in the table
Table. How can I help my child overcome jealousy?
|Who is my child jealous of?||Cause and manifestation of jealousy||How can we help a child overcome jealousy?|
|The child is jealous of his mother and father.||Often jealousy occurs when the father works hard and gives time to the family only in the evening. When the father is next to the mother, the child can actively prevent them from communicating. The kid is aggressive, trying to keep his father away from his mother, even sitting on the couch. Often a child scratches or hits Daddy. If a child sees parents hugging or kissing, he or she may start crying or hysterical. If the child wants to sit on the couch with the intention of sharing you, don't yell at him, but just hug him on both sides, be sure to say: “I love my mother” and “I love my dad”. If the baby pushes away the father, the mother needs to hug them both, showing that she loves them equally, and take it as a rule to give the father and child the opportunity to be alone: go shopping, walk in the park, spend the weekend together. Then the baby's gonna see that it's okay to love not only Mom, but Dad, too. This is often due to the fact that the father does not give enough time to the baby.|
|The baby is jealous of the mother/father's stepfather to the stepmother.||The baby does not want to accept a “new family member” into his world, in which he even without stepfather / stepmother felt comfortable and cozy.Childhood self-centeredness is a common phenomenon when a child does not want to share his parent with anyone.Negative attitude of stepfather/ stepmother towards the child: Excessive severity of the new “daddy/mother”, obvious change of home rules and regulations. Passive attitude of mother/daughter to conflicts between the new husband/wife and child.Most often children become irritable, unbearable in character and behavior, try to do everything in spite of each other, roll hysterics.||Initially, it is necessary to prepare the child for the fact that a new person will come into his world. This can be done by bringing in a potential new family member first just to visit. Everything should be done gradually, without traumatizing the child's psyche, and when the child gets used to the fact that this person visits, it is possible to go for a walk in the park with the guest or take a little ride on attractions. This can only be shown if the parent really thinks so. Do not let the “guest” immediately set the rules for the baby or punish him. Otherwise, the child may be protesting against the person who comes in. The stepfather/ stepmother needs to learn to respect and accept the child as he or she is, rather than to educate him or her in his or her own way. That's what a biological parent would do. The maximum that a new member of the family can afford is to give advice to the child and gain credibility with the mind, interest and care of the child.|
|The child is jealous of other children in the family. He feels lack of attention, needlessness, resentment at the fact that his parents do not love him as much as before. The firstborn does not allow to take his belongings, repels the youngest one, is jealous of the fact that his belongings are inherited by his brother or sister. Emotionally, the baby changes dramatically: there is aggression in the child's behavior or, conversely, the baby closes in. Jealousy may be caused by the following factors: 1. The baby's been given less time. And that's natural, because the newborn requires special attention. But the eldest child can't understand it yet and accept it. 2. The children's “Ego”. One child in the house is the favorite of all loved ones. When a newborn child appears, the older child perceives him/her as an opponent who tries to “topple him/her off the throne”.3 The parents' position is wrong. Sometimes parents themselves become the perpetrators of their firstborn's jealousy. The baby undoubtedly occupies all the free space and the excuses of parents: “Go read for yourself, I'm busy” or “you're an adult, you can do it yourself”, etc. is perceived as discrimination and can provoke the eldest to aggression, anger, even hatred for a brother or sister.||Parents should distribute the time between the children without giving the firstborn attention. When the youngest one falls asleep, spend time with the oldest child. You can do something with him in the kitchen, telling him interesting things for him (or apply the method of fairy-tale therapy, come up with a fairy tale on the existing problem of the baby). do not forget to hug, kiss the child, showing him your love. teach him to share from an early age, bringing up in him kindness. While there is no second child, teach him to share with you. Communicate with the baby. Try to explain to him that love cannot be shared, and that you love as much as before. The child will always feel the competition and therefore see the enemy in the brother or sister.|
Prophylaxis of jealousy in the child
To avoid situations where the child is jealous, it is necessary to take care of his mental balance in advance. There are a few good rules for parents:
- Teach your baby to take care of his family and friends.
- Teach your baby to share. Don't give him the best even in food. Don't emphasize that your child is the center of the universe.
- Don't push your child away if they come to you for a little caress and tenderness.
- Don't put your child in front of the fact that “soon you'll have a new daddy/mother”. This repels the baby, because he starts to think that his opinion is worthless and he is not so important member of the family.
- Not to provoke jealousy of the child at the time of the appearance of a brother or sister can, if you monitor your own behavior. Before you give a newborn baby's crib, buy a new bed for the firstborn child at least a couple of months before the arrival of a new family member. Psychologically prepare your baby to meet his brother or sister soon. Spend a few evenings explaining to your baby that the appearance of the crumb will not affect your love and relationship. If you have days dedicated to the eldest child, don't forget them.
- Teach your child not to feel a competitive spirit towards the newborn, but to feel the need to protect and take care of him/her.
Psychologists about children's jealousy
Psychologist P.L. Basansky:
Children's egocentrism is common. And it consists in the desire for constant and undivided attention to yourself. Sometimes we all really want to:).
And what about children? They also need it as a confirmation of the unconditional love of their parents.
Therefore, everything and everyone who distracts their attention from them is perceived by children as rivals. This is how children's jealousy arises.
Psychologist Elizabeth of London:
International children, especially the weather, competition for parental attention is not uncommon.
In my opinion, competition and jealousy between children and each other cannot be formed without the help of parents – that is, when parents fall for the desire of children to get involved in their “showdown”.
Just as important is the quantity and quality of communication with children. If children lack it, and parents are busy all the time, it creates good ground for the development of jealousy.
Doctor of Medicine, psychotherapist Victor Kagan
Preventing childhood jealousy is easier than fighting it. Once you've decided to get a second one, talk to your older child about it. The best time to do this is when he asks about his brother or sister, or there is a living example of another family in front of him.
It is already a matter of your art to talk to him then and in such a way that instead of a categorical “no” you get a sincere “yes” from the child. And then he gets involved in the process of nurturing, helps his mother, you know her meetings with the doctor.
The kid is involved in the preparation of a place in the house and given to a new member of the family – he can share something (voluntarily!), but only should not lose something. When the child in the womb starts to move, give the eldest a chance to put his hand on his stomach and feel his movement.
He will be surprised and maybe even a little scared – calm down, tell him how he moved and how happy you were about it. Then he'll start running to you and checking on the baby. So he got involved in the emotionally inducing bearing, so the future child – in a sense already his child.
I have not been able to meet a single family in my practice who would be jealous of children during such preparation. And you can try and see for yourself.
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Children's jealousy is in our blood or the result of bad upbringing?
Children's jealousy is a frequent guest in families with two or more children.
Even if the child is alone, he still feels the same feeling, for example, jealous of his mother and father or vice versa.
Well, when a stepfather or stepmother comes into the family, the problem is inevitable.
How to deal with jealousy in children? This is what will be discussed in this article.
Mechanism of development
Why do kids get jealous of their parents' younger siblings or each other? The kid's afraid they won't love him that much anymore. That's why he's offended and jealous.
With the arrival of a new family member, the child feels perplexed.
He does not understand what to do now that he has a “competitor”. Doesn't that mean that Mom or Dad, or both at once, suddenly fell out of love with him? If we don't pay attention to this problem at the very beginning, the child's bewilderment sometimes turns into resentment to the new relative and the desire to get rid of him, and if we don't succeed, at least to get attention to ourselves. Everything from pranks and bad habits to severe illness simulation is being used.
Never put your child in front of the fact. Before a new member of the family arrives, explain to him that, despite the fact that a newcomer has arrived in the house, he will not cease to be loved. In this case, jealousy may be avoided.
Children's jealousy is divided into two types:
- External – independent of the child.
- Internal – formed taking into account the nature, upbringing or health of the child.
External causes in the family or in the child's life that deprive the child of some of their privileges. These include:
- the birth of a younger brother or sister;
- the beginning of a single parent's life together with a new chosen one;
- appearance in the group or classroom where the child, new pupils or students study.
Hard it is for a child to accept stepbrothers and sisters, which happens when a mother or father remarries a person who has children. In this case, the child decides that the other children get more parental attention and love, even if they don't.
The child may be jealous of the father or mother for their work. He doesn't understand why parents spend so much time and attention on this incomprehensible “work” and thinks they “steal” them from him.
Internal causes of childhood jealousy:
- Egocentrism. Children under the age of 10-12 consider themselves to be the center of the universe, so when a new family member arrives, they are simply not ready to share with him or her the attention, care and parental love that previously belonged to them alone.
- Responses. Occurs when a child is neglected what he or she regards as injustice to himself or herself. That's what he's protesting about.
- No ability to express feelings. When a baby is not yet able to express a feeling of love in words or deeds, he often attracts the attention of parents to himself with defiant behavior or resentment, and this is also one of the manifestations of his jealousy of them.
- Unreadiness to responsibility. It happens when after the appearance of a new baby the child perceives “seniority” not as a privilege, but as a burden and infringement of their own rights.
- Extreme anxiety. The child doubts himself and that he is worthy of love, which is why he is always worried and worried. No matter what happens in the family or in life, there are explanations for everything that are far from the real causes of what happened, but that are invariably related to the child and his or her shortcomings, and that are usually far-fetched.
- Creating competition. It's not without the intervention of the parents. They compare the child to other children, and this comparison is not in his favor. It spoils the relationship between brothers and sisters, making them hate each other.
- Sense of helplessness. Emerges in children who see changes in the family but cannot influence their outcome.
- Aggressiveness. The desire to hurt a “competitor” is manifested in the desire to hit, push, pinch, and sometimes even use fists to make it clear “who is the owner of the house”. In this case, there is also psychological pressure: the child may offend, call, discuss or talk to the “competitor” about a bad deed, and then set him up.
- Hyperactivity. In the event that a previously calm child suddenly begins to show excessive activity, his parents should think about the reasons for this behavior of the child, as it may also indicate jealousy.
- Neurotic reactions. In some children who are sensitive, jealousy is sometimes not a behavior, but a reaction from the nervous system. For example: hysteria, stuttering, nervous tic.
It turns out that the child experiences a sense of jealousy inside, without being “publicly visible”. But the absence of visible manifestations does not mean that there is no such problem at all.
In this case, signs of childhood jealousy are:
- Trimmetry. It is manifested by sleep disturbances, problems with the digestive system, changes in taste preferences, fears and worsening student performance.
- Mood change. If a child is suddenly sad and active before and starts crying all the time, it can mean that he or she is under stress from jealousy.
- Independence. Sometimes older children “learn” by having a younger brother or sister do what they used to do. The child resembles a baby because he or she thinks he or she will receive as much parental attention as his or her brother or sister.
- Health problems. The child is more likely to be sick because of stress and to have chronic illnesses that can be exacerbated without any apparent cause.
Sometimes children use simulation or even trauma to draw attention to themselves, thus blackmailing parents.
How to fight jealousy
Jealousy is a devastating feeling for the jealous person in the first place.
And jealousy in children also exacerbates the family environment and sometimes causes quarrels between children, their parents or other relatives.
Belower, three types of jealousy will be considered: younger brother or sister; father or mother; stepfather or stepmother.
All these species have their own characteristics related to what caused jealousy, and each needs a different approach.
As the second baby comes into the family, there is a problem with its increase: the reaction of the older child to the birth of the younger child.
How do we do this?
- Neljah to give the firstborn a reason to think that the newborn baby is his rival in the struggle for parental love. Parents have to make him aware of the inevitability of having a young child. You can't ask a first-born child, “Do you want a brother or sister?” You just have to put him in front of the fact. Then the eldest child will think that this is what it takes to have a second baby in the family and will take his or her appearance as an unavoidable fact.
- The eldest child should be made aware that the parents will not stop loving him or her and that the appearance of a crumb will not change the way Mom and Dad treat him or her.
- Partners need to prepare their son or daughter for the care of the baby when it is not yet born, and say that they will definitely need the help of an older child to care for the newborn baby.
- To avoid jealousy of the eldest to the youngest, after the birth of the second baby can not say: “I love you equally. Each child should be treated in a different way – as if he or she were the only one in the family.
The older the first child, the easier it is for him or her to accept both temporary deprivations and parental explanations about the second child in the family. When such a child is properly prepared for the upcoming event, jealousy problems are minimal or non-existent.
When a family grows up with children of very different ages, it is important to avoid two extremes:
- The increased attention paid to only one child. In this case, parents may encounter a strong jealousy on the part of another son or daughter.
- To require the firstborn to take care of the youngest. Dad and Mom should remember that the eldest is also a child who needs parental attention and care. It is possible to involve the firstborn child in the care of the child and home affairs, but it is not possible to deprive him/her of his/her own life.
Parents should gratefully accept the help of the eldest of the children and always praise him/her for it.
By one of the parents
It turns out that even without the appearance of a young child in the family, jealousy cannot be avoided. The eldest of the children is not ready to share the love and care of Mom and Dad or vice versa, which is why he is jealous of one parent to another.
Ways to avoid jealousy with one parent:
- Talk to the child and explain to him that love for him and love for each other are different feelings, not substitutes for one another. And that the love and attention of a father or mother will be enough for all family members.
- If the other parent's feelings are expressed, the child is capricious or, even worse, is hysterical, it is in no way possible to separate from the husband or wife and run away to calm the baby. Try to involve him in the process: for example, invite your husband and child to kiss you at the same time, or take turns kissing you, or hugging them both.
- Distraction. If no persuasion or trickery works and the child continues to shout and cry, it is necessary to distract the child's attention and, if necessary, to take him/her to another room. And it's only after he's calmed down that we can discuss the reasons for the hysteria with him.
A new daddy or mom
When people who already have children get married, the problem of jealousy over the new mum or daddy's chosen one is almost inevitable.
The fact that the father and mother have different functions in the family means that children's attitudes towards the new adult members of the family are different depending on whether the child is a stepfather or a stepmother.
First, let's consider the situation when the child has a new mother.
To avoid the jealousy of the husband's children, the following rules should be followed:
- The new mother should be prepared for her husband's children to feel negative about her appearance in the family.
- Nelzya immediately show dissatisfaction with the behavior of her husband's children, or even more so, to blame them for it. The first thing to do is to get their respect and sympathy by taking care of them and paying attention to them.
- The new mother is expected to be constantly compared to the child's mother. Most of the time, these comparisons aren't in the stepmother's favor. In that case, she just needs to endure a situation like this. After a while, her relationship with her children will become more trustworthy. In the meantime, a new mother should let her husband's child know that she is not an enemy, but an ally and maybe even a friend.
- The child is surely dreaming that his mother, if she is alive, will return to the family. He may be aggressive towards his father's new wife, rude to her or simply disrespect her. In this case, it is worth telling the spouse about the behavior of his son or daughter, but it is unacceptable to blame the child or his real mother.
- If the child of the husband “stepped on the path of war” – complains, the father of the new mother, provokes or snaps at her, and sometimes attracts on his side other relatives, in no case can succumb to these provocations. The child should be shown that his or her stepmotherhood plan has been unraveled, but that no retaliation should be taken. It is not acceptable to transfer the negative effect of a child's actions to the husband or to spoil relations with other relatives. This won't solve the problem, but only aggravates it.
Materials and fathers not only need to be told in words, but also in deeds that their marriage is inviolable, and no provocation from their side will destroy the family.
The situation is different if a new dad comes into the family.
Father's stepfather sometimes feels not just dislike, but real hatred: he “stole” their mother, and they can't forgive their mother's “betrayal”. In this case, it is necessary to use all possible ways to build relationships with children, such as:
- Make it clear to the child that everyone has the right to love and be loved. We have to explain to the children that my mother's love is enough for both them and her new husband.
- Nelzya let her manipulate herself. It is necessary to stop all attempts to make the mother feel guilty. The child must realize for life that blackmail is unacceptable under any circumstances.
- Must pay attention to the son or daughter at least one hour a day. Let it be a time that belongs only to the mother and to him or her: for example, the tradition of talking to the soul before bedtime. Otherwise, the emotional loss of the child will be prohibitive.
- This family situation should not be discussed too often, with too much concern for the child and his or her new dad to become friends. This usually happens by itself. The older the child, the more time it may take to recognize the new adult in the family as “his”.
Younger jealousy arises because the child is afraid to lose the world where they are loved and cherished. You can't ignore the manifestations of child jealousy: you need to notice them in time and fight them. Remember that children's jealousy is the feelings and emotions that can last a lifetime and make it very difficult for them in the future.
14 effective ways to eliminate childhood jealousy
Hello, dear blog readers Hand Made life! In a previous article I wrote about how to prepare an older child for the birth of a younger child.
How to lay the foundation of their friendship and love for the rest of their lives even before the birth of the second child.
Today I want to understand such a concept as childhood jealousy, because it is it that poisons the life in the family and does not allow children to be friends and quietly interact.
Jealousy is not good or bad, it's okay.
But you have to understand what it is, what its causes are, how it can manifest itself, and what to do to reduce its negative impact on family life. In this case, we are talking about child jealousy between several children in the family.
What is childish jealousy
Jealousy is one of the basic human emotions. It appears when a person feels loved less.
And it doesn't matter if it's really true or it's a fantasy.
This emotion is negative, it torments the jealous person, and causes a lot of trouble to others.
This applies to jealousy in general.
And what is the peculiarity of jealousy in children?
For the beginning, let's find out who and to whom a child may be jealous.
Before everything, everyone and everything to Mom.
Mom should belong only to the child from birth. In the first few years of life, after three years of age, the connection is weakened by the expansion of the child's social world. Most kids go to day care, they have friends, then friends, etc.
But it's always important for mom to pay attention.
The baby is jealous of mom and dad. Our eldest son is used to the idea that he cannot marry his mother and will have his own family. The younger one is very indignant as soon as my husband begins to show me signs of love and tenderness. Hugs, kisses.
Kiryushka immediately enters between us!
Other direction of jealousy is jealousy of the older child to the younger one and vice versa.
There are many other directions for jealousy, but I will focus on jealousy between children.
He is the most relevant at the moment (and for almost two years now) for me and our family.
How can you tell if a child is jealous?
He doesn't understand why he's being sausage.
Not need to be a psychologist to see a change in the behavior of an older child at birth.
When you can see that your child is jealous of his or her siblings and needs your help:
- The child becomes more aggressive. In the case of a second child in the family, aggression can be both direct and indirect. In our case, we didn't immediately recognize jealousy in our eldest son's behavior. He's become more aggressive, but with other people. On the set, to Grandma's. His attitude to me and his younger brother, on the contrary, was very reverent and gentle. Denis was always in a hurry to help with his brother's care, kissing him, saying kind words. He just threw his fists at his grandmother, exploding with the slightest remark about him. It was indirect aggression. The object of the outburst of aggression is not the one who is jealous of, but a third person, usually a weaker one. In our case, Grandma's bad luck. It should be remembered that this is not a question of dislike, just a child needs to throw out what is boiling in it. He himself is not happy about it, either.
- One more obvious manifestation of jealousy is the “regression” of development. Your independent child, who already eats himself, dresses himself, goes to bed, suddenly turns into a helpless “lyalya”. He's capricious, asking for help in everyday situations, asking for pens. The baby's speech could get worse. It's really annoying for adults who have another baby instead of an assistant. This is a normal situation, and it also needs to be passed correctly.
- No disobedience and stubbornness. No reasonable argument can help when a child does everything to attract attention. Negative as it may be, it's noticed. This becomes a repetition of the crisis of 3 years in the development of the child, and even more fun when these two events coincide. When there is a second child in the family and the ego of the eldest child is in a transitional state. Uh, and a lot of glycine is necessary for parents to get over it!
Surely there are some other signs that the baby is breaking the jealousy, but I'm sure that's enough.
How to deal with children's jealousy
It seems to me the most important section of this article.
You have realized that the child's behavior is disgusting, the family relationship is crackling at the seams, and what can you do to improve the situation.
What can you do to bring peace and harmony back to the family, so that the children become the best friends and helpers in the fight for their mother?
There are a few basic recommendations that have helped us and that will certainly help you:
- We need to properly prepare an older child for the birth of a younger child. You can read about how to do this in a separate article.
- We need to be patient and accept that the older child is jealous and you need the help of the whole family. It's bad when Mom understands that the older child is behaving normally in this situation, and Dad begins to grab the belt. As a result, relationships of tension become unbearable. And instead of rallying the family together, there's a family breakdown.
- Never combine the birth of a young child in the family with any other major changes in family life. Many parents send their eldest child to kindergarten just before or immediately after the birth of the youngest. It's hard enough for a child to accept a new world, he tries to find himself, to win his mother's attention again, and once he is sent to an unknown situation to strangers. It's a real thing! Some psychologists call “kindergarten – a little death for a child” for a reason. Don't make such mistakes if you don't want to complicate your life even more. Jealousy can be accompanied by a lot of other health problems here. And not only because the child will bring infections from kindergarten. The child may stutter, enuresis, ticks, and other neurological problems.
- The more stable the family life, the better for everyone. You shouldn't change your place of residence, your surroundings. At least for the first six months of a child's life there should be no new stresses.
- Of course, it is simply necessary to praise and encourage the help to the mother in taking care of the child. And the mother should understand that the older child will make it worse than she does, but the praise should be much more than the help itself. And then, the winged eldest child will come out of his last pants to help. But again, you shouldn't abuse it. It's all optional. Taking care of a young child is a desire, but not an obligation. If he wants, encourage him, no, don't insist. Remember, your oldest child is a child, not a babysitter. And because you decided to have another child, he didn't grow up. He's just the oldest.
- One of the most difficult points, but very important. Give the older child individual time. Half an hour a day, but only play with him. Read to him, watch the cartoon together, talk privately, keep him on his knees (unless he is 20 years old of course).
- Arrange dialogues with the baby. Just as you did while the youngest child was in the tummy (if you have taken note of my recommendations), continue after birth. The older one says something to the younger one, and you're responsible for him. It can be a very interesting and fun game. It is useful for both.
- All purchases for children should be duplicated. You can't buy something for the younger one and forget about the older one. They won't forgive you! Be a guide in situations of quarrel. Don't ignore the arguments between the children. Not a judge, but a mediator, a translator and a conciliator. Let both sides speak out and make a decision that suits two. And then you have to hug and perform a reconciliation ritual – “put up, put up, put up and don't fight again…” Or something individual for your family.
- Protect your eldest child from the youngest. As strange as that sounds. In most cases, when children quarrel, parents take the side of the younger one. And the older one always gets guilty. And in fact, your older child already knows how to interact more or less (if you, of course, were engaged in this issue and you do not have the weather). He already knows he can't, he can't. But the younger one only feels the ground, can attack and fight, check the boundaries and, of course, hurt his brother or sister. Even when our Kiryusha was a few months old, and he couldn't control his arms and legs yet, and hurt his older brother by accident, I would pretend to be a strict face and say, “Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, o, o, o, let'er, let'er, let'er, let's, let's, let's, let's iron and regret. And that teaches junior sympathy. You're setting the boundaries. And the older one has the feeling that his parents continue to love him and can protect him. This makes it more tolerant and noble towards the youngest.
- Never compare children to each other or compete. Forget the phrases like that: – “but you didn't know how to do it at that age, but Kiryusha does it better, etc.” Children should not even think about competing.
- The logical continuation of the previous point is the recommendation not to take children to the same sections. This is certainly convenient, especially if the children of the same sex and age group are close. But! The physical development of the older child will almost always be ahead of the younger child's development. And the medal for first place in one and the absence of a medal in another will ruin the life of the whole family for a long time.
- The procedure of “matchmaking”, which I described in the previous article, continue on. “The cuckoo praises the cuckoo for praising the cuckoo,” that's what I call this procedure. As a robot, I repeat to both: “How lucky you are to have such an older brother. How cool is it that there are two of you”.
- There are different techniques and ways to help a child understand the feelings and emotions he or she is experiencing. I wrote about it in more detail in the article about emotional intelligence. Read this, it's very strong!
Tips can also be given and given, but I would like to highlight the main idea of the article.
Parenting's task, as well as the work of a psychologist in advising the family, is to rally parents and rally children.
In the article about what a family is, I wrote that a strong family becomes stronger when the horizontal connections (husband-wife and child) are stronger than the vertical ones (mother-son, father-daughter).
In this case, both parents are happy and children are friendly.
Tools for this are plenty, choose those that are closer to you, your family. And then no jealousy can spoil your children's relationship.
When you have a second child, you become the head of the organization.
And it will depend on your wisdom whether it will thrive or go bankrupt!
And if my advice to you was not enough, I recommend you very detailed course of a professional, practicing child and family psychologist with 15 years of experience of Catherine Kes – “My children live together. How to improve relationships between children in the family”.
After the course, you will receive comprehensive information from a professional psychologist on how to teach your children to negotiate with each other, to be able to share and give in, to express their desires to each other, to ask politely, to play with each other and live together, without quarrels and conflicts.
World to your home and friendly children!
With respect, Margarita Mamaeva