Teenage Sibling Rivalry and Jealousy
The rivalry and love go together. Both are positive and play the role of socializing agents, especially love. Jealousy is normal among siblings because they live together and share everything, starting with their parents’ affection.
This affection is the hardest to share because it seems that if we share, we lose. Young children defend it with their teeth and nails, or whatever, with jealous outbursts that seek to preserve the exclusivity of love at all costs.
Sibling jealousy is very common and has a great variety of shapes and degrees. Therefore, we have to be attentive to fraternal relations. Do not think that they are ‘brotherly things’ and that nothing happens. We must bear in mind that when there is excessive rivalry between our children, there is always a victim, either because he is jealous or because he suffers the consequences of his jealous brother.
We should observe, albeit with some independence, fraternal relations, and not disregard saying that they are ‘childish things’, and act if we consider them pertinent. When parents cannot detect these situations and do not resolve them well, childhood jealousy can last into adolescence or resurface at that vital stage when Self-esteem is destabilized and rivalry increases.
Brothers Fighting the Absurd
First of all, we must differentiate between the trigger of envy and the reason that causes it. Many parents confuse them, for example, when they say ‘they fight for nonsense’. Keep in mind that these ‘nonsense’ is not the reason or reason for jealousy, but in any case what triggers the fight. If we are unable to detect the underlying reasons, we will not solve anything, but will waste energy uselessly trying to eliminate the triggers. The triggers of a sibling fight can be as insignificant as you might think: a word, a look, a toy, to get to that place first, to spend more time in the bathroom, to touch my things. We must be able to transcend the specific situation and investigate the real reasons (not necessarily objective, because objectivity does not count here, but the perception of each child) that drives jealousy: that one brother realizes that the other is his parents’ favorite or other family members (grandparents, uncles, older brothers…), that he is more needed, that he is treated differently, that he feels overcome by his brother, etc. Deep down always hits the perception of an affective disability.
Feeling Protected by Parents
We say that adolescence is a second birth, in this case to adulthood. In this trance, we parents should exercise midwives or whatever, attend birth, help birth, usually without special interventions, but be there to make them feel protected. We cannot be parents until we are 10 or 12 years old, and when the rain comes, defeat us in retreat. When it comes to these changes and sibling fights, parents also have to adapt to them, not always expecting them to adapt to us, accept their forms, calm down, listen.
Many parents do not know that their teenage children are being jealous because, in general, they do not know what is happening to them. At this vital moment, we must be especially attentive, because communication becomes more difficult in both directions. If we act as midwives, if we are there, if we listen to their comments, the relationship between the brothers, the way they talk about each other, if we can not be scandalized by what they tell us, and if they always know it, whatever happens, they tell. With us we can detect this and many other problems and thus have the opportunity to continue educating them.
Same Sex Brothers
Quarrels, jealousy, envy are more frequent among same-sex brothers of close ages. However, jealousy can occur at all ages and between siblings of different sex. The reason for jealousy will depend, above all, on the culture and family environment, on the scale of the values lived at home. If, for example, we are very fond of clothes and clothing, it is more normal for jealousy to be like this.
We must not forget the character of our son or daughter if he tends to be violent or resentful. We must be vigilant, because jealousy often causes more violent behavior. We also have to make sure that the ‘wounds’ were tightly closed. A situation of jealousy can be aggravated in such a way that the child does not feel loved or dressed and seeks the affection he needs outside the home, putting himself in risky situations.
Fathers and Daughters, Mothers and Sons
It has often been said, or children sometimes detect, that fathers (men) fall ‘drooling’ with their daughters and mothers, with their children. However, this is yet another topic, although sometimes a certain indulgence towards to girls being perceived by their father and boys by their mother. What is clear and worrisome is, in many cases, the father’s little intervention in the upbringing of teenage children, when it is the vital moment that they most need both their fathers and their fathers.
Learn From Your Brother
In the educational task, especially with teenagers, we have to be very clear and present, that comparisons between siblings is the most harmful thing that can be done. Comments like ‘learn from your very obedient, student, responsible brother.’ ‘You will never be the same as your brother, little difference of children,’ without bad intent on the part of the parents, but in order for the child to try harder and better, what they can do is to raise the embers of the jealousy.
We should never make comparisons between siblings. Moreover, we must be jealous of their individuality in every respect and respect their different way of being, their different qualities, tastes and preferences.
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