Contrary to popular belief, jealousy starts at home. Kids who have been the only children in their families usually feel jealous when a new baby comes along. This is because they see the new member as a threat – that all the attention and privileges they enjoy will soon be gone as they’re no longer the youngest.
Although jealousy between siblings is normal, it must not be left unresolved because it can result to friction, verbal abuse and physical violence. You can always help your child to respond appropriately to the calls of jealousy. The following tips will show you how.
Prepare your child – Not all surprises are welcomed by children with open arms. And having a baby brother or sister is one of these surprises. Inform your child about the coming of a new family member. Instead of teasing your child about the changes or the privileges she might lose, encourage her to be a caring, loving and responsible older siblings. Tell her the joys of having siblings based on your personal experience.
Don’t take sides – Once your newborn has grown into a kid, don’t take her side all the time when she gets into a fight with her older sibling. Hear out both sides and be ready to discipline both of them appropriately to prevent jealousy from brewing.
Initiate bonding – Create an opportunity for the siblings to bond often. They are less likely to fight if they enjoy each other’ company. Moreover, this will help them love and care for each other without having you remind them again and again.