Dealing with a jealous sibling in your family

Dealing with a jealous sibling in your family day in and day out can be trying. It's everything you…
Dealing with a jealous sibling in your family
Foto: Flickr / cheriejoyful

Dealing with a jealous sibling in your family day in and day out can be trying. It’s everything you can do just to keep the peace at times, and nothing you do seems to make it any more bearable. So what, if anything, can you do to keep the peace and retain some semblance of sanity through it all?

Sibling rivalry and all the ugliness that comes along with it can seem overwhelming at times. It affects the dynamics of your entire family in a variety of negative ways. So where do you begin with a jealous sibling in your particular family? It seems the best place to start is getting to the root of the jealousy and seeing where or what it stems from. If you can sort out the issues driving it, you may be able to start to return to some sort of normalcy in your daily lives.

First off, try talking to the jealous sibling amongst your children, and see if you can’t get to the bottom of their insecurity that’s prompting the jealous behavior in the first place. It, in all likelihood, does stem from some sort of insecurity, whether real or imagined. If the reasons behind a jealous sibling’s behavior aren’t obvious, start by taking mental notes of what triggers the negative behavior, or keeping a log or journal of the inner workings of your child’s daily life. By doing this, before you know it you should begin to see a pattern developing that can lend some insight to the situation. If this doesn’t work, you may want to seek the help of a professional, depending on the severity of the problem and how badly it disrupts your entire family.

If the problem is obvious, all the better for a starting point. It’s at least a third of the battle. If you know where or what your child’s jealous sibling behavior stems from, don’t ignore it in hopes that it will somehow just magically go away or they’ll outgrow it. That’s not probable or realistic. Dealing with it head on in a sensitive way, so as not to make them feel even more insecure, is a positive first step if you are aware of the problem. This too may require more than your good intentions, and may still require the help of a professional.

Helping your child to cope with their jealousy is obviously important. If left untreated or ignored, they’re bound to carry the role of jealous sibling throughout their entire lives, and it will inevitably impact on them negatively as an adult. Be nurturing and caring about it. Reassure them. They need to know the fears behind their jealousy are unfounded, but not to be made light of. Denying their validity may only serve to make your youngster hesitant to express themselves, and less likely to confide in you when they’re having a problem coping. Learning coping skills early on in life are invaluable lessons that will inevitably spill over to other aspects of life in a positive way.