Living in peace, love, and harmony at home are what most parents want to achieve. Both mummy and daddy ensure that their roles as parents are being done towards a happy family life. So, parents see to it that good moral values are imprinted among their children. This is highly significant in early learning. Parents are the ones who set good examples for the children to follow and imitated. But as much as parents want to establish a very harmonious relationship among the children, there will always be the times when conflicts occur among the kids because of sibling jealousy or rivalry.
This feeling of jealousy is always displayed at a very young age when an older or younger sibling complains that the toy of a brother or sister is much better than the toy given to him or her. If such feeling is not immediately addressed, the child will be constantly making comparisons in everything that they receive and the thought that they are always inferior develops that feeling of animosity towards the sibling they think is most favoured. And the constant dispute can lead to arguments that affect the relationships and atmosphere at home, if not handled accordingly.
Most sibling jealousy starts at an early age when kids start to identify the meaning of the word “mine”. The idea of having one plaything or attention to himself only promotes the prioritising of the concept “me, myself, and I”. From the concrete ownership of things, the idea goes beyond that and towards the ownership of affection given by the parents and other family members. The feeling of being wanted less and loved less makes them display some amount of hostility and aggression to the object or the person whom they are jealous of.
Indeed, parents should be quick to detect such signs of a growing jealousy and find ways and means to manage such feeling, and address instructions for the child to minimise negative feelings and enjoy a healthy relationship with his siblings.
So how can we manage jealousy among siblings?
Teach the children the joy of sharing
It is already accepted that children demands sole ownership of things. But the idea of sharing can be taught in as early as a toddler and kindergarten by explaining that when one shares something with their sibling, they gain a friend. When siblings treat each other as friend, they learn to practice the art of sharing things the parents provide to them. Explain to them that when one shares, the receiver feels the joy and the giver becomes happy because the situation becomes pleasant; as opposed to when the situation is filled with selfishness, everyone feels unhappy about it.
Allow kids feel the love and concern of parents
Parents should be quick to identify when the children need sympathy and understanding. Know why the children are excited and anxious and when they are interested in something. The parents’ responses to these kinds of feelings the children are experiencing will make them feel important and the feeling of being unloved will fade. If all the siblings in the family will be given the same treatment, each one will gain confidence and the feeling of inferiority will have no place in a child’s heart.
Being considerate among the children
Children should be taught to respect and value the rights and feelings of each other. Parents should not compare as this may result to ill-feelings among the kids. When children are treated equally and with consideration, they gain confidence and also value their siblings. Each child should learn to respect others not only as a member of the family but as a person and be accepted as they are. Kids who are considerate are able to forgive when a sibling make mistakes.
Value of cooperation
Working together will help the siblings understand the weakness and strengths of each other and the knowledge will help them work together, complementing each other to come up with a good result. As a result, the bonding will build their love for one another. Strengthening the love that binds them will give no place to feelings of envy, jealousy, and disgust for one another.
Favourable times to practice the Golden Rule
The Golden rule – the principle of treating others the way as one would like or wish to be treated. If one can do this to someone; to a classmate in preschool, a friend at a childcare, or someone who is outside the family, why can’t the siblings do the same? By practising kindness, helpfulness, and tolerance with one another, families will never allow jealousy of rivalry to start in the hearts of siblings.
Handling sibling jealousy can be a tough challenge. Parents are therefore encouraged to being sensitive to the needs of each child and to become involved in their lives in a fair manner. When parents are involved, an open communication is established. The kids will be able to honestly express themselves and freely air their grievances without hesitation and fear of being rejected, which can be useful in addressing issues, finding the root cause of conflicts, fixing arguments, and eventually managing sibling rivalry before it gets worse.
Indeed, some days are easy; and some days are hard! But your family will find this journey ultimately meaningful. Nurturing each child and inspiring values will make your home a happy and harmonious one — one with happy kids that gives out a positive self-image.
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