Envy between siblings is to some extent a common situation in all families. In many occasions, this is a slight sibling competition that shouldn’t be entirely negative if it doesn’t go to extremes.
Many times it is even subconsciously that we can become jealous of our brothers, but whether this is a problem or not will depend on how we handle this situation to prevent it from becoming a real problem.
In this article, we’ll go over some tips you should know how to deal with this situation between siblings, both from the point of view of the siblings themselves and the role of parents.
How can sibling rivalry arise?
Some situations that explode the presence of envy between brothers and sisters is the fact of wanting to be taken more into account by parents and the immediate environment (friends and family). this it is particular in the early stages of development, in children and adolescents.
In the adult stage, this urge could also persist, but for different reasons; perceiving that my brother is more successful than me in the workplace or in some other aspect can make this position reappear in adulthood.
How to manage envy between brothers?
Below is a list of helpful tips to properly channel the event.
1. Take it as part of the relationship
We must first keep in mind that we must not feel bad for being jealous of our brothers and sisters.
The relationship between siblings doesn’t have to be rosy all the time; misunderstandings can be frequent, and envy is a feeling that appears from an early age in the life of parents through blood.
However, the bond of brotherhood must be understood as something that transcends all these situations, typical of coexistence. We must be aware that these unique feelings we can have are just that, Fleeting experiences that do not define the real bond that one has with his brother or sister.
2. See the brother as part of the same team
The family is an institution made up of people with biological coincidences, but at the same time they have many different opinions and tastes from each other; siblings often have a rivalry relationship.
But when our brother is successful in personal aspects, which have nothing to do with us, the ideal is to understand this success as a goal achieved by a member of our team.
3. Examine certain aspects of yourself
When we have a feeling of envy towards our siblings, it can usually be motivated by aspects of ourselves that we don’t like.
Therefore, it is good to take the time to identify what these aspects might be and start working on them. Building self-esteem strengthens us in the face of envy and jealousy.
4. Have a strong communication channel with my brother
Practicing assertive communication brings us great benefits in our daily life. By setting up this form of communication with our brothers we can polish all kinds of roughness without giving up expressing our opinions.
The process of assertive communication is based on saying things honestly and adaptively; with an appropriate tone of voice and avoid using hurtful terms.
Facing this problem in our children
As parents of young children or adolescents, likewise, we must understand that this situation is typical of siblings. However, care must be taken don’t let it get out of hand. Parents are the guarantors of the emotional and physical stability of their children. Therefore, it is necessary to provide them with the necessary tools for the future.
As for the rivalry that may exist between siblings, parents should implement conflict resolution methods that can serve them for the rest of their lives. Let’s see what they are.
1. Teaching values education
As we educate our children about the importance of values, we reduce the likelihood that a senseless urge is generated among the brothers. Family is one of the most important values and we need to make sure our children understand it.
2. Avoid comparisons
Well, the saying goes that comparisons are obnoxious, especially with our children. The ideal is highlight the strengths of each of them without making comparisons as for the other brothers.
3.encourage them to spend quality time together
If we let our children know that they can have a good time with their siblings, we gain ground in hostility between them, As their bond grows stronger and empathy between them grows.
4.avoid showing preferably to one of the siblings
If one of your children thinks that you have a preference for their siblings, then the chances of them envying you are high, and that envy could transcend into adulthood, like an old grudge the past.
The ideal will always be to be egalitarian and fair in terms of rewards and punishments that your children care about; that way some of them are less likely to feel less than others.
- Cromdal, J. (2009). Childhood and social interaction in everyday life: introduction to the special issue. Journal of Pragmatics. 41 (8): 1473 – 1476.
- Upton, P. (2011). Developmental psychology: critical thinking in psychology. Exeter: learning problems.