How to Avoid Sibling Jealousy

Ece was 3 years old and her sister was 1.5 years old. Since Ece had completed her toilet training in a healthy way, her mother was no longer diapering her. He was a very calm and compliant child. However, lately her mother’s tension and her father’s fatigue reminded Ece that she was less loved. On the other hand, the fact that her sister was constantly taking care of her brother since her birth was moving something in Ece and angering her.

His mother would wake up as soon as his brother cried, or quit immediately if he was busy with something. He gave special milk (breast) to his brother for food, and when he soiled his bottom, he cleaned and clothed himself. Sometimes even ‘Can you bring your brother’s diaper? Can you give me your brother’s rattle?’ He was making her do things she didn’t want to. Although his family could not take care of Ece as much as they used to, they did not deprive the child of their love, and they also spared time for Ece. But this was never enough for Ece and she wanted her mother completely for herself. That’s why Ece no longer goes to the toilet, she pees and poops under her clothes. Her mother said, “Why are you doing this? You can go to the toilet,” Ece said; ”Me too baby. He wanted to punish his mother by saying, “Clean it up.”

Ece was very jealous of her sister. Sometimes he would take his brother’s toys away from him and sometimes he would cry when his brother cried. Her mother was in despair and was exhausted from day to day, not knowing what to do to fix the situation.

How does the child think?

Jealousy is inherently part of our development. It is indisputable that this feeling is in the nature of every human being, together with the DNA we receive from the genes of our parents at birth, and even those we receive from three generations ago. However, a balance is required. At this point of balance, the attitudes of the parents are very important. It is much easier to teach a child who has not yet completed his personality, how to manage his emotions and how to overcome these processes. In the story, we see that Ece could not overcome this process and entered a more regressive period. The child did not want to share the mother in any way and did not like the division of attention.

Ece said, “My mother doesn’t love me anymore, she’s always taking care of her. Let me put it on my bottom, let me get myself dirty. Then she likes and takes care of me too.” She started to think. At this point, it is extremely important that you tell the child about the processes related to the new person who will join the family and talk about what will change in his life. Of course, the right attitudes you will show afterwards are decisive in the emotional state of the child.

What can you do?

Let’s say someone lower than your position, but much more successful than you, came to your workplace and got all the credit for himself. He was promoted to your position in a short time. How do you feel? Here, what feeds your feeling of jealousy is not the person himself, but your employer and your environment, who treat that person differently than you are treated. If you were not made to feel that there is a difference between you, this feeling would not awaken in you and the egalitarian approach would make you feel good. At this point, what causes your child to be jealous is not the presence of a sibling, but the changing behaviors and the deterioration of the equal approach. That’s why you should devote yourself first to understanding your child’s feelings and ask your inner self: What is my child feeling right now? Am I as relevant as before? How would I feel if it were me? What should I do for this? When you start asking all these questions, you are ready to understand your child.

The new sibling that joins each family overthrows the other siblings. Because it needs more attention and care. However, the smaller the age difference between siblings, the more difficult it is for the child to understand this situation. ( Ideal over 4 years old ) After all, the new sibling has stolen the parents and must find a way to win them back. That’s why you observe differences in your child’s behavior according to their age range. Like the child who does not wet the bed, or the child who does not have the act of hitting starts hitting. In fact, these negative behaviors have a message for you. “See me now.” The best approach here is to make him feel that you understand and love him. ‘I know you think I’m more interested in your brother. You’re right. She is too small and can’t do anything by herself. Too weak, too weak. If I don’t clothe his bottom, he can’t do it, if I don’t give him food, he can’t eat alone, he can’t even clean when his clothes are dirty. He needs me and I have to do these things. I did it all for you. So were you. But you were stronger, cleaner and walked faster. Your brother is weaker and needs me for a while. You can help me in this process if you want, or not. That will never change my love for you. It’s just that sometimes I get very tired and I can’t take care of you as much as I used to, I feel very sad. I will do my best to fix this. You help me too. I love you very much.’ By saying this, you can make the child see the situation more clearly.

When you are going to play with your child, you leave the game because of his sibling’s crying and you will meet the needs of your sibling. The message that the child receives from you here is “He is more important, I must go.” Such a situation prevents the child from loving his sibling. After all, he takes his mother away from her brother at the time she loves the most and ruins the game. At this point, what you need to do is to determine the play time with the child and show the child that nothing is left unfinished by completing the remaining time when his sibling cries. For example; You set a play time with your child (if possible, set intervals when the baby does not need you) and you start playing at that time. Since the concept of time is little or no in young children, you can say that the time you set as half an hour will end when the alarm rings on the phone. In the 20th minute, if your sibling cries or has a similar basic need, tell your child, “Your brother needs me right now. Our time is not over. You can play as you want until I return, when I return we will complete our remaining time.” You can say. You should talk about these divisions while determining the game time with the child, and you should be making these sentences to remember when this happens during the game. Otherwise, it may continue to feed negative emotions. If the age gap between children is higher, do not divide playtimes if possible and play with each of them equally. You can even set up shared game hours and set your rules. In this way, your interventions at the point of rules will not be misunderstood when there is a confusion or border violation.

Children’s wishes are variable. When you say you want a sibling for days or even months and finally this happens, you can hear sentences like “I don’t want it, I don’t like it, let it go” from the child. ‘But we did it because you asked for it’ or ‘Now you have to love it in our lives.’ Making sentences like these will cause the child to become more angry and feel excluded. For this reason, children cannot and should not be made by relying on the words and wishes of children. Such a responsibility cannot be placed on the child, avoid it.

When your children are fighting, when the other says, “Mom, it’s not my fault, she hit me” and the other says “No, I didn’t start it, she’s lying”, they usually punish both parents so that they are equal. This is a wrong and unfair approach. In such cases, your communication with your children should be: ‘You often fight and we often do not see who started the fight. That’s why we punish the other unjustly. But you are forcing us to do so. Please take care of each other and try not to fight.” You can show that you are trying to have a fair attitude and make children avoid fighting more. After all, no one likes to be punished unjustly, not even children.

In siblings who fight a lot, families are very afraid and they worry about children harming each other. If the siblings’ emotions are anger and resentment, that’s a problem. These negative emotions can cause them to hurt each other. If there is no grudge and hatred, there is no problem.

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