Sibling Jealousy


Parents discriminating between children

parental conflict; forcing children to take sides,

Indifferent attitude of parents,

The child tries to win the eyes of the parents,

While the mother stays at home with the younger sibling, the older one starts kindergarten, kindergarten or school,

Parents comparing siblings with each other; showing one as an example to the other,

Parents talking negatively and critically about children in the absence of children, thinking that they will not understand because they are small, or that they will not hear because they are immersed in the game.

Rivalry between siblings is a normal emotion. This feeling plays a motivating role for the child. However, it can sometimes be experienced in the child to such an extent that it can lead to emotional destruction. Some measures should be taken to ensure that jealousy is not permanent and is kept at a normal level.

Jealousy is not being able to bear the sharing of someone who loves and is loved with someone else. Although it can be seen at any age, it is more common in childhood between the ages of 3 and 8 years. Sibling jealousy in children begins when the mother is pregnant with a second child. Because at this stage, children analyze life not in terms of logic, but rather with emotional orientations. When his sibling is born, the most basic reason is the discomfort caused by his own attention, love and attention being directed to his sibling or the risk of being directed. With the birth of a sibling, the decrease in the time allocated to him may cause the child to develop feelings such as anger, resentment, and irritability, which seem to be against the baby but are actually against the parents. The child may begin to feel abandoned, insecure and unsupported in that childlike world. The degree of sibling jealousy depends on the changes in parents’ attitudes with the birth of a new child, the established relationship between the older child and the parent, and the tolerance of the child to turn a blind eye to the baby behaving negatively. Another factor that plays a decisive role in the degree of jealousy is the age difference between siblings. There is an inverse relationship between the age difference and the degree of jealousy. As the age gap increases, jealousy decreases, while as the age gap decreases, jealousy increases. For this reason, a 6-8 age range is recommended between siblings. There may be a cyclicity of asking parents frequently and sometimes repeatedly throughout the day whether they love them or not, and not being sure of their love. If families have a preference for gender and they reflect this, it becomes inevitable to experience jealousy according to gender and traumatic situations that can lead to other symptoms. While some children openly show that they are jealous of their siblings, others hide their feelings as much as they can. They develop rhetoric that they don’t love the baby, that they don’t want him, that they want him to leave the house, and that even “let’s throw this in the trash”. Sometimes they may try to harm the baby or try to prevent it by overreacting when the mother takes care of the baby. With the emotional turmoil in such moments, they show the behaviors that their parents would not like at all with the courage of anger and try to keep them physically away from the baby, even at the cost of being punished, and they usually succeed in this. They may list needs unnecessarily and complain about their psychosomatic disorders. Some children choose the way of distorting the real feeling; They show excessive interest and love to their sibling and try to regain the lost interest of their parents and to miss the target. They may even develop a counter-response by pretending to be the baby’s parent, warning the parents to pay attention to the baby. In such ways, children who show excessive interest in their siblings suppress their natural feelings of jealousy. Some children may be overly concerned about their siblings because they are afraid of getting their parents’ negative reaction. Children who are jealous of their siblings experience conflicts between unhappiness, stress, anger, revenge and feelings of love, care and protection. This emotional state confusion causes various problems. The most common problems; regression in previously acquired behaviors, bed-wetting, thumb-sucking, irritability. Underlying their infantile behavior lies the plans to regain the attention that the parents have withdrawn.

Irritable, restless, angry and aggressive behaviors are frequently encountered in this period. Since they do not want to leave the mother and baby alone, they do not want to go to school or leave the house. Along with refusal to leave home, psychosomatic symptoms such as headache, nausea, restlessness, reluctance and other stress symptoms can often be observed. Since it is a stressful period for both jealous and envied siblings, they may exhibit aggressive behaviors that can harm them physically. For example, anger can sometimes be directed to one’s own toys and belongings, sometimes to the toys and belongings of the envied sibling, or it can be applied directly to the source. Sometimes, it can also change direction to people who have no interest in the communication environment.

Suggestions for Solutions in Sibling Jealousy – How to Behave in Sibling Jealousy -2

What Should Be Done Before Siblings Are Born?

 Before the birth of his sibling, in a language that he can understand, the future of a new member of the family, the environment at home

it may be more exciting and active than usual, for example; You often have guests coming to the house.

must be told to go.

 In this process, it should be explained by showing photographs that the mother will be tired and will have to spend more time with the baby, and that her mother spent a lot of time with her when she was first born. It can be said that a small baby is constantly in need of care, but the same things happen to him when he is born and everything will return to normal in time.

 Most importantly, parents and other relatives should be comfortable and calm. Children observe and calibrate the behavior of adults around them very well. They catch their fears and anxieties by reading their body language. This leads to the judgment that “I am right to be concerned”.

 One should stay away from logical explanations that the child cannot concretize in his mind. Even if the sentence “don’t be jealous, don’t worry, we will love you as much as the baby” is said with good intentions, it becomes a reason for the child to compete with the sibling to get the love of the parents. On the other hand, in expressions such as “don’t worry, don’t be jealous” -me, -ma are deleted at the subconscious level and the first instructions; Worry! BE JEALOUS! Expressions are activated. For this reason, when feelings such as anxiety or jealousy are noticed, the emotions and behaviors that we want to happen, not what we do not want them to happen, should be expressed.

 During pregnancy, the father or another family member (grandmother, paternal grandmother)

can start tasks such as feeding, bathing, and sleeping.

 Make sure that major changes you will make in your child’s life are possible before the baby arrives.

do it first so your child doesn’t feel like they’re being taken for granted, for example starting school,

like for replacement.

 It is beneficial to take your child to prenatal checkups.

 Involve your child in the preparations for the activities you do for the baby and determine the color of the baby’s room, the bedding.

Encourage her to choose about her cover, etc.

 If you have friends or relatives who have a newborn baby, they should be together with your child.

you can visit

 When you go to the hospital to pick up the baby and its mother, you should take your child with you. In the meantime, it is necessary to have the baby’s clothes, and especially the clothes that they choose with their own liking, carried by them.

 Spraying the mother’s perfume on the collar and pillow of your child’s clothing will also be a stimulus that will support them to remain calm at the subconscious level.

What to Do After a Sibling is Born

 Parents should try to take care of both children by division of labor among them.

 As much quality time as possible should be spent with the jealous child,

More opportunities should be created for him to realize the habits he likes.

 Going to the playgrounds and entertainment places you went to before with your brother Doğan, after dinner

activities such as reading stories should be continued as much as possible.

 Instead of showing excessive love and attention to the newborn baby, from the first moment

It would be more accurate to aim to share.

 Even the most educated guests tend to only care about the baby and forget about the older child. your relatives

to warn them not to only take care of the baby, but to show interest and love to the older child as they are accustomed to.

it will be useful. In the meantime, expressions such as “Your shoe has been thrown on the roof…” should also be prevented.

 Instead of constantly calling the baby “baby”, starting to say the name directly, the baby is not an object.

It will create the perception that it is a person.

 Parents to the child, your brother was born and nothing has changed for us in your world. Our love for you

It is necessary to convey the message that will always remain the same, not only with words but also with actions.

 Addressing the baby by starting with “our baby” rather than “my baby” and like “be quiet, your brother is sleeping”

Adjusting the child’s life according to the baby with words will increase jealousy. Because according to him, statuses should be used as they should be, since he is not a baby but a sibling.

 Trying to push the child away from the baby with anxious attitudes is the greatest thing that can be done.

Since it will be one of the errors, the remote calm control path should be chosen.

 Over-indulgence in the child to prevent jealousy will worsen the situation. For example; previously

It is not right to allow a child who is sleeping alone to sleep with his parents.


 Avoid comparisons between siblings. But your child was also once a little baby.

The child can be told that the same care and attention is given to him, and memories can be shared.

 The child can be asked for help in the work related to the baby. For example; while changing the baby’s diaper

such as bringing her diaper, holding her bottle, etc.

 Instead of trying to show that your love is equal; to each child when they are apart

There may be a concentration of attention and affection.

 Instead of allocating equal time, it is necessary to state the reasons for allocating time for each child according to his/her own needs.

 Separating the clothes that your sibling can wear, the clothes that are too small for him, and the toys that he can play with.

it may work.

 If there is a disagreement between them, it should be avoided to look for the guilty by asking who started this discussion. ‘Cause trying to find out who started it

It will also cause children to blame each other.

 It is necessary not to assume the role of referee in children’s fights. Parents to children’s arguments

When they participate, each child may come to the conclusion that their parents are taking the side of the other.

 It should be clearly stated that harming the baby is wrong.

*Child if it hurt your brother It should be stated that this seemingly very bad behavior is not intended to harm the baby in reality, but is nothing more than an attitude that includes a bit of rudeness. The important thing here is to react in a balanced way, to react politely and keeping calm (or he may repeat this behavior to annoy you) misbehavior should be buffered. Whether the child receives the message or not, it would be right not to leave the two siblings alone at this time.

 Phrases such as “How well do you brothers and sisters get along” encourage and motivate the child and lead them to strive to deserve your praise.

 Instead of rejecting and ignoring negative feelings towards siblings, they should be accepted and recognized and they should be given the opportunity to express their negative feelings.

 Telling role-model stories about children with mixed feelings about their siblings will encourage parents to share their first feelings about their siblings, and to understand and express their emotions.

 Your sibling It is wrong to say that he has to love.Instead of waiting for maturity beyond his age, it should not be remembered that he is still a child, saying, “You are now an older sister / older brother”.

 The feeling of being whole in the family should be felt by everyone. For this, activities such as strolling, picnic, shopping, watching movies that the whole family can do together should be repeated.

 The child will always feel safe and still a loved and cared person when the parents and the child are in one-to-one contact with the child, when they do joint activities together, and when the child is given small responsibilities for his sibling and home.

* The only way to avoid the problem of sibling conflict is to have an only child. Because two or more children sharing the same atmosphere inevitably produces conflict. Since the issue of time and interest that causes sibling quarrels cannot be eliminated, it will not be very functional to tell children not to fight.

Also, when the child is very young start learning to shareWhen he has a sibling, it will prevent him from floundering too much, and it will reduce conflicts arising from not being able to share.

* No matter how much jealousy, disagreement, and scuffles between siblings, they still miss each other when they are apart. This feeling of longing expresses that they love each other very much, even though we think that their relationship is sometimes very broken.

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