Jealousy, sometimes called “the green-eyed monster” can sometimes get the best of us, kids and adults alike. It’s the feeling of being envious of another person, for various reasons. Though it’s a normal human emotion, it can be especially problematic in children because they tend to act out negatively as they work through this emotion.
Here are some tips on dealing with jealousy in your kids.
Get to the Source
Whether it’s someone else’s possessions, academic ability, personality traits or social status, your child might find themselves envious of a friend or classmate. However, there is always a root to this envy. Ask questions and listen to find out the true emotion behind the jealousy.
Does what others have make them feel inadequate? It’s good to find out what exactly makes them jealous and their perspective on why they feel jealous first before dealing with how to stop being jealous.
Encourage Individuality and Ambition
It’s natural to compare oneself to others but not always productive. Point out to your children their best traits and what makes them unique, eventually they will come to appreciate those traits. If your child is jealous of something else’s possessions, make sure to comment on their traits rather than stuff. This way will show your child what they should truly value.
When it comes to academics, encourage them to study more often but not for the purpose for matching the person they are jealous of, but to meet their own academic goals. It’s important that they learn to be ambitious for themselves, not for others.
Never, Ever, Ever Compare
As parents, it’s only natural that you may compare your child with their siblings. We all have unique traits and interests and that can make for interesting kids with different personalities. As tempting as it may be (especially in a heated moment), never compare your kids with their siblings or their friends.
Instead, acknowledge those differences and celebrate them. No one wants to hear that someone is better at something else than them, so always comment on what they are good/excel at.
Learn how Anne deals with jealousy in Anne:The Animated Series on DVD which comes with a FREE animated tote bag! Watch this kids talk from the episode “Idle Chatter,” when Anne is initially jealous of Gilbert’s academic success.