An issue that some of us have faced at one time or another in our lives is jealousy. For some it’s something that was dealt with as kids by reassuring parents and for others it’s a monster that gets unleashed every once in a while by our own insecurities and inadequacies.
For the past 6 years Little K was the baby in the family adored by everyone with all her quirks (and boy does she have many). All of the sudden came not only 1, but 2 little people and no amount of preparation from our side has helped her, because naturally as a kid she feels left out. A few hours into my sisters arrival, Little K refused to have anything to do with the kids nor with her aunt. She kinda sorta started resenting me too (in a mere few hours) for lavishing the little bundles with attention. By bedtime she was teary eyed and confided in Middle K that she’s jealous. No drumroll required because I knew this was to be expected. I prepared myself for that moment too and dealt with it as best I could.
It was also something that had to be addressed immediately because she’s a kid and has yet to channel her emotions. Can’t have my kid growing up and be a bitter individual because of jealousy. It may not seem like a big deal to some people but it is a huge deal to me. Things can get out of hand so easily and I wouldn’t want jealousy turn into resentment and hatred. I’ve seen too many adults on self destructive paths because of not dealing with their issues and getting over it or themselves.
This is how I handled the issue:
- I explained to her that babies need more attention because they can’t talk and tell us what they need. I told her stories of when she was a baby and how she got all the attention when she couldn’t talk.
I cuddled and hugged her. A. Lot. I always do that with all my kids but she needed extras and I happily obliged.
We included her in all the baby duties from diaper changes to bottle feeds and winding.
She sang some lullabies because I got most of the words wrong. Not deliberately. I just don’t know all the words.
My sis and the whole family also doted on her so that she can know that she is still a very important part of the family.
I did her nails.
We cuddled and bonded under the blankies while watching a movie on Sunday evening.
Most importantly I reminded her that in our family we do love by the buckets. No one loves anyone more than the other unless you’re my kids then I’ll love you more than anything and anyone ever. That and the fact that nephews and nieces get a different kind of love but also a good few buckets full.
I explained that our hearts grow bigger and can ‘make’ more love for many people and all we have to do is to make it happen. Typing this doesn’t look right but Little K understood what I meant and that’s what important. Just this evening my heart swelled with pride because she came to me saying “Mommy my heart made a lot of love for the twinsies. I can’t tell you how much but it’s a lot and I’m not jealous anymore.”
This issue settled I’m once again reminded that kids understand way more than what we give them credit for most times. It’s the sum of the little lessons that teaches our kids to become emotionally healthy and stable adults.
How do you/ have you handled the green eyed monster with your kids?