Children's envy: how to educate children positively
Envious children grow up with a general dissatisfaction and that dissatisfaction makes them be much more aware of what others may have or do than what they do or have themselves. However, there are children who may have high self-esteem and have envy, because they think that they are the ones who deserve things. One would say that envy is due more to insecurity.
Adults, parents and guardians, we can make children envious, when we favor them little by little, to see the world as if it were at their service.
What to do with envy among brothers?
The jealousy is the first manifestation of envy, when one of them thinks that he is substituted by another (when a brother is born). Each child has a quality, it is a value in itself, each one is worth something and that parents must manifest it to each one individually. They have to experience joy for something good that has happened to a brother of theirs, in the same way that each one seeks the support of his brothers when something good happens to them. They have to discover that sharing the joy of others, it is very enjoyable.
Also, parents, to avoid envy between siblings, we have to check if we are valuing one child more than another and, of course, avoid comparisons, because that instead of helping the child, will create insecurity, low self-esteem and personal dissatisfaction.
Distinction between material envy and social envy
There are two types of envy:
1. Material envy. It is one in which the objects of others are desired (games, etc).
2. Social envy. It consists of wanting to be permanently the center of attention and not leaving space for others wherever they are, in school, at home ... Under social envy there is always insecurity.
My son is envious
Many parents do not know how to react when their child arouses envy in others, not because of what they have, but because of their qualities: because they get better grades, they are the best sportsman, they are good-behaved girls, beautiful and so on. Some parents, fed up with their son's suffering, choose to encourage him to send all his friends to the club, unintentionally causing double isolation.
These are cases that occur more and more frequently. There are children who come to the consultations for starting to get bad grades, in order not to feel so marked. Those who "triumph" are few and sometimes the rest join to defenestrate it.
In these cases, we have to make our son understand that when one triumphs, it is normal that at first, others feel envious: "Let's see Luis, everyone likes to win, you are a good sportsman, but you are born being very agile, you have merit, but in part you were born that way ". In this way, normalize your "gift" and we will avoid becoming "the cock", because you will realize that all the merit is not yours. At the same time, we will make him see the things that are not so good for him.
"So, it's not your fault that you're such a good sportsman, the one who is initially jealous is normal, the fact that they still have it at the end of time depends on your attitude. yours, if instead of seeing you light up, see that you try to help them, you will push them to feel good about your achievements and they will congratulate you.It is not about you hiding your values, but facilitating that, little by little, others they can also have them, they have to see you close and not give so much importance to your successes. " Mª Jesus Álava argues that this way of facing envy helps develop a sense of justice, and teaches them something as important as it is to be generous.
Never say to them: "Well, do not pay attention to them, you are the best, forget those friends", because then they will feel more alone. You can not isolate a child, because then you condemn him. And if it still remains the center of envy for a quality of his, we will say to our son: "When you see that the one in front of you is only humiliating you, do not argue with him. because the envious one, what he seeks sometimes is that the other one feels bad, you tell him that when he wants to understand you, you will pay attention to him ".
Are girls more envious than boys?
Envy manifests itself differently in boys than in girls, although it is not correct to say that they are more envious than they are or vice versa. In general, children are much more spontaneous in manifestations of envy, more abrupt, more vehement, and in that sense, less emotionally intelligent, although more transparent.
Girls, on the other hand, are capable of hiding that envy or putting it on, for example of injustice: "Look at the injustice that this guy has been given this prize and he does not deserve it."Being more complex in their reasoning, they are much more skilled in their manifestations, and sometimes less clear. That's why we parents have to work hard and be able to observe more to interpret girls' non-verbal communication well. The important thing is not what they tell you, but how they tell you.
Tips to work the envy of children at home
1. Work envy on children in a positive sense, without sanctioning and recognizing that what happens to him is normal. We can not tell you directly: "What happens to you is that you are envious." It's better: "It's normal and logical that you like to be the first, but in this life, you're not always the first in everything, you have other qualities, be happy for your friend."
2. When you detect your child too much envy of a friend or partner, make him reason in the first person: "When you get good grades, do not you like them to be happy with you? Would you have felt good if when you tell them, you see that the other one is angry? Well, the same happens to your friends when they see you who do not you're happy for something good that has happened to them. "
3. Parents must redirect the complaints of our children, encouraging them that authentic value is in those little things that they can achieve with effort.
4. We must find the best time to give reasons to our children why, For example, we do not buy shoes as expensive as his friend has: "Do you think you're going to be an unhappy one for your whole life if you do not have those super sneakers? Do you think you'll never laugh in life?" . Seeing us dramatize, our son will understand the absurdity of his insistence.
5. Evtia to negatively disqualify someone when they get something, this way he will also learn to disqualify others.
6. The best way to combat envy is for a child to feel good about himself, and for that, you have to feel valued. Your son has many values and can achieve small achievements with his effort, in order, in friendship, in his character. In addition, he has to experience how good he feels when he shares and rejoices at something good that has happened to a friend of his, just as he loves to let his friends rejoice when something good has happened to him.
Advisor: Mª Jesús Alava. She has been, among other positions, Coordinator-Psychologist of the Infant School of the Superior Council of Scientific Investigations and Psychologist of the Ministry of Public Works. She is the author of numerous books such as NO also helps to grow Y Emotions that hurt. At present Álava Reyes Consultores directs, a task that makes compatible with the practice of Clinical Psychology.