Jealousy in Children – Causes and Tips to Deal with It

In this Article

  • What are The Causes of Jealousy in Kids?
  • What are The Signs of a Jealous Child?
  • Consequences of Jealousy that Kids Might Face
  • How to Deal with Jealousy in Children?

Children are usually very explicit when it comes to expressing themselves. They may not hesitate to express love, hate, sadness, jealousy or other such emotions. As far as jealousy is concerned, it may start affecting your kid in more than one ways. Therefore, what should you do when you find out that your kid is exhibiting a jealous behavior? You may wonder, ‘Will it start affecting my kid’s nature adversely?’ If such questions are popping into your mind, then the following article may help you to know more about jealousy in children and how to effectively deal with it.

What are The Causes of Jealousy in Kids?

If you are wondering what may be the cause of jealousy in your child, then the following points may help you understand better:

1. Excessive Pampering

All parents love to pamper and spoil their kids once in a while. However, if you pamper your child excessively, then it may generate the feelings of being superior to others. Therefore, whenever your kid comes across someone better than him or someone in possession of something better than what your kid may possess, he may feel jealous and insecure.

2. Comparison

It is very natural for the parents to compare their one child with another or with other children. However, it is okay till the time you do not make a hoopla out of the situation that is, you do not let your kid know about it. But if you are explicit about your feelings of comparison and you keep comparing your child with a sibling or a friend, it may not only generate the feeling of rivalry, low self-confidence but it may cause jealousy too.

3. More Concerned And Protective Parents

Parents are protective and concerned for the well-being of their children. However, sometimes parents may overdo it and when they let go of their child, the child may feel lost and may develop the feelings of jealousy from the children who are more confident than him.

4. Unhealthy Competition

Healthy competition is important for every child but creating competition where it may not be necessary may have a negative impact on a child’s personality and may result in jealousy. This may happen when you may compare and expect a child to do what he may not be capable of doing, for example, if one child dances too well and you expect your child to do the same but he may not want or like dancing.

5. Over Controlling Or Authoritarian Parenting

When parents are too strict or too controlling and expect their kids to follow rules and regulations without even explaining the reasons for the same, may nurture the feelings of resentment and jealousy in their kids. Their children may feel lesser than their friends or peers by being constantly staying in a regulated and contained environment.

6. Skills Or Academic Jealousy

All kids are not the same, where some may excel in sports, other may be good in academic. And it very common for children to feel jealous of children who are doing exceptionally well in academics or co-curricular activities.

7. Sibling Jealousy

It is often seen that the older child is jealous of a younger sibling. This may happen when the parents shift their focus from their elder child to the newborn child. The elder child may find it difficult to deal with the situation and may develop the feeling of jealousy towards his own sibling.


What are The Signs of a Jealous Child?

We have learnt in the above section, what all may cause jealousy in your child but it is also important for you as a parent to register the signs of jealousy. Here are some signs of jealous child behavior:

1. Your Child May Become Overly Possessive

If your kid feels jealous, he may become overly possessive about everything. This attitude may not only be restricted to the materialistic things but he may become possessive about his parents, siblings and friends too. He may not want to share anything and this attitude may cause depression too.

2. Your Child May Compare

A jealous kid may compare his skills, belongings and other things with other children. In case he lacks or does not have something, he may exhibit his displeasure and throw tantrums too.

3. Your Child May Trigger Your Anger

If your kid is jealous of his sibling, he may try his best to gain your attention. The best way to gain a parent’s attention is by misbehaving. Your kid may do all sort of stuff that may make you angry and all these efforts are only to shift away from your attention towards him.

4. Your Child May Exhibit Aggressive Behavior

A jealous child may show rowdy and aggressive behavior. He may not only misbehave with his siblings or friends but he may bully them too. In some cases, you may even find your kid trying to harm a sibling or a friend.

5. Your Child May Feel Insecure

Your kid may feel insecure because of jealousy. This attitude becomes more pronounced due to the arrival of a new baby or sibling in your kid’s life. Your child may appear all needy and clingy and may eye for your love and affection all the time.

Consequences of Jealousy that Kids Might Face

Jealousy is a negative emotion and thus it may have a negative impact on your child’s personality. Here are some consequences that your kid may face because of jealousy:

  • Your kid may become aggressive
  • Your kid may turn into a bully
  • You kid may isolate himself and stay aloof
  • Your kid may exhibit a helpless attitude
  • Your child may develop a low self-esteem


How to Deal with Jealousy in Children?

Jealousy should be dealt with in a proper manner so that it may not affect your child adversely. Here are some ways that may help you deal with child jealousy issues:

1. Listen To Your Child

Jealousy is not superficial rather it is deep-rooted. Talk to your child and listen to his concerns and reasons that may be causing such behavior in your child. Listening to your child’s fears, worries and concerns may help him overcome his feelings of jealousy.

2. Channelize Negative Emotions Into Positive

Giving a positive direction to your kid’s negative thoughts may help him deal with jealousy. If his sibling or friend is better than him in studies, you should encourage your child to study hard and better grades himself rather than having ill-feelings towards others who are doing better than him.

3. Be Passionate Towards Your Child

Your child may be exhibiting negative and rowdy behavior but you have to be caring and passionate towards your child. Do not scold or punish your child. It is important to understand that your child is dealing with a difficult emotional situation and needs your compassion to help deal with it.

4. Explain The Importance Of Sharing

It is very important for every child to learn the importance of caring and sharing. When a child learns to share his belongings with other children, it may not only help him to make friends but it may remove the feelings of jealousy too.

5. Refrain From Comparison

Comparison creates negative emotional and devalues a person. Therefore, do not compare your kid with your other kid or with his friends. Every child is unique and has different talents. Find out what your child is good at and help him develop and master his skill rather than comparing him with others.

6. Do Not Over-praise Your Kid

As parents, you adore and love your kid and you may shower him with occasional praises for his efforts and hard-work. However, refrain from overdoing it. You may find yourself over-praising your child in situations when other children may have excelled and your words may come as reassurance to your kid. Refrain from doing this.

7. Refrain From Comparing Academic Performance

It is advised that you refrain from comparing your child’s performance at school with his siblings or friends. Doing so may generate the feeling of animosity and jealousy. In your kid may not show good results, you may encourage him to study hard and get good grades rather than comparing with others.

8. Instill Positive Behavior

Try as much as possible to stay away from things that may generate any kind of jealousy in your child. It is advised that feelings of love, sharing and caring are taught from a young age only. Also, teaching children about jealousy may help them deal with this emotion in a better way.

Jealousy is very common in children. However, if it is dealt with in a positive manner, your child may overcome it. In case you face difficulty in dealing with your child’s jealousy, taking help from a counsellor or a professional in the field may help.


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