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Jealousy in Families with Multiple Children

Parents should not strengthen the feeling of jealousy by suggesting that

children bring each other victims:


  • The child needs your bed. You can sleep on the sofa.


The danger is that the child doesn’t regret the skates, but feels

a lack of love. It is therefore necessary to say things with love to a

child and with understanding of his or her real feelings.


How to “cure” jealousy


Small children express their jealousy diplomatically: they ask if it

is possible to send the newly born back to hospital. More aggressive children

start doing aggressive actions against babies: pull them while holding

their legs on the floor, pull their arm or legs, beat them, or hurt them

on every occasion.



Parents can’t afford for their children to pursue each other in

such a way. All types of sadistic speeches or actions should be stopped

at once because they are in the same degree harmful for both the harm

producer and his or her victim.



When we see that a three-year-old child hurts his or her small brother,

it is necessary to stop the behavior at once and openly explain the motives

behind such behavior.


  • You are angry with him.
  • Show me how you are angry. I will watch.


It is necessary to give the child an appropriate outlet for his or her




Parents should not allow a child to help in choosing a punishment. Our

task as parents is to observe the expression of feelings without showing

him or her our reaction, and to comment on what we see understandingly.

We should not be afraid or surprised of the fury or cruelty of his or

her behavior. It will be better if the anger falls on an appropriate outlet

rather than being poured out on a younger sibling.


Our comments should be brief and clear:

  • You are very angry, it is visible!
  • When you get angry, tell me -- ok?


With this method it’s easier to cope with jealousy, rather than

relying on any physical punishments or insults.



On the contrary, the following behavior from parents is absolutely undesirable.

When Walter’s mother saw Walter pulling the legs of his small brother,

she burst out crying:



Older children should be shown how to fight with jealousy. It is possible

to speak to them more openly.


  • You want to be the only child in the family.
  • You want me to be only with you.
  • You are angry when we are anxious about the child.
  • You want me to play with you.
  • You got so angry that you hurt your brother. You should not do it. If you feel lonely, tell me about it.
  • If you feel lonely, tell me about it. I will spend time with you in order to eliminate your feelings of being forgotten.

Love is unique


There is nothing more frightening then equally measured love. When a

mother can’t give one of the babies a bigger apple or kiss, the

life of the family becomes unbearable. Constant necessity to keep such

balance creates tension, and leads to anger and weariness. As for children

-- they don’t need love in equal proportions! They want love of

their parents to be unique in relation to everyone.


Yes, we love our children differently and there is no need to pretend

that this is not true. We love every child with a unique love, and it

is not worth hiding it. The more we aspire to achieve equality of feelings

towards children, the more attentive they look for the seemed injustice.

Against our desire, we start to defend having heard the children’s

cry, ”It is unjust!”

It is not worth giving in! It is inadmissible to prove to children that

it is not our fault. It is inadmissible to deny their accusations. It

is unnecessary to try to explain this created situation and our attitude

to it. One should not start debating about the “honesty” or

“dishonesty” of our behavior. We, as parents, do not need

to divide our love into “portions” to achieve unattainable

balance and equality.



It is necessary for our children to feel that every child in a family

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