How Do You Deal with Jealousy Among Siblings?

How do you deal with sibling jealousy, especially when your "baby" is jealous of your older kids? Check out our parenting tips to make the situation easier.

Looking for parenting tips for dealing with a jealous sibling? We feel your pain!   Having one child is easy (ok, I can hear you laughing).  Compared to having two children, one is easier in certain ways.  No matter how far apart your children are, one will always go through a phase where they are jealous with the attention you are giving the other.  You could be hugging one and the other gets jealous.  It might be more obvious when the younger child is really small.  Here are some parenting tips consider when dealing with a jealous sibling.

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Parenting tips for dealing with a jealous sibling

They are individuals:

It can be easy to forget sometimes that your children are their own person.  Individuals.  There is nothing wrong with saying to a small sibling ‘You can do that, you are a big boy’.  You want to be careful of comparing and saying things like ‘You can do that, just like your big brother does, because he is a big boy’.  Being careful how you word things with kids can be tricky!  Weird I know, since they don’t seem to know all of the words yet! 

Affection:

If you are showing some love to one child and the other seems to be getting upset, show them some love too!  Keep it light hearted, don’t draw attention to the fact that they seemed to get jealous.  That will only fuel some resentment and jealousy.  Gather them both in your arms and give them both a big hug and lots of kisses!  More likely than not, one will squirm out of your motherly, affectionate grasp!

 Quality time:

It can be hard, but it can be done.  You want to make sure you spend quality time with each of your kids, just the 2 of you.  It can be very easy to get lost in caring for a younger sibling, they simply need you more.  Be sure you are paying attention to other siblings just the same.  Enlist their help!  Kids love to be helpful.  I know my daughter likes to help me bake and cook, and of course it is just faster if I do it myself, but its that quality time she will remember, not the fact that I made her brownies.  Once a month try to plan a ‘date’ with each child, just you and that child and do something fun.  It doesn’t have to be anything expensive.  Go out to lunch or ice cream or just plan a day where you can do arts and crafts or watch movies. 

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Don’t use names:

What? I thought they were individuals!  Yes and that is not what I mean.  Please, use the names you gave them.  Try to avoid negative nicknames or family labels.  For example, avoid labeling one ‘the family klutz’ or something referring to their height.  It may seem harmless to you, but it singles everyone out. 

Sibling jealousy can be a challenge, but you can overcome it!  Making sure each child knows he is loved very much and not any more or less than his sibling.  Doing things together and separately is important.  What every child needs is quality time with you, regardless of how many children you have.  It can be tough when a younger sibling requires more of your attention, but that is just an opportunity to help the older sibling grow and be more independent and helpful to you.

Have you dealt with a jealous sibling before?  What parenting tips do you have to offer others? Share with us below your expertise in this department!

 

25 thoughts on “How Do You Deal with Jealousy Among Siblings?”

  1. I only have 1 child. I can’t even imagine what it must be like. Even though, I have 2 brothers, our gender & age differences never made way for any jealousy.

  2. My son acts out when he is feeling neglected. And I’ve learned quickly it just means he is in need of some affection. I learned his love language, as he is different from his brother. And he prefers hugs and cuddling. His brother just wants to talk your ear off and have your attention. So making sure you spend quality time with each child doing what will make them feel loved is so important!

  3. This was the perfect article for me! We just welcomed baby number two into the family so my son has been quite jealous! I think giving him special one on one time is helping the most!

  4. Hooo. I have been down this road. And down this road. And once more down this road. They key in my case was to make sure all of my kids knew that I loved them all equally but differently. That’s the lamest thing in the world, but I explained it to them. Like I’m not really into some of the things my son is into, so he does them with his dad. He knows it doesn’t mean I don’t want to spend time with him. It just means I don’t love explosions as much as he does.

  5. I only have one child, so I’ve never had to deal with this. I have some friends with more than one kid, and I’ve heard absolute horror stories.

  6. With three kids, we often have issues with jealousy. I often try to take time to spend with each child individually… so this is a great help. Thanks so much for your post.

  7. We are battling this a lot lately. Older brother is in Kindergarten and younger one is working on developing his own interests while his brother is away. Lots of jealousy from both. What wonderful tips, and reminders!

  8. I had to deal with a slight case of jealousy with my first child and second child. I nipped it in the bud pretty quickly. Luckily they were both super excited when they found out they were both going to have a younger sibling.

  9. These are great tips. I only have one child, but I’ve seen families with more than one child give their kids nicknames that are harmless to adults but that had the potential to make the kids feel bad. It wasn’t malicious. I think adults just forget how sensitive kids can be.

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