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Our Father Favors Our Brother Over Us – II


Jealousy is misery and enmity:

Jealousy is common in children aged 1-5 years, but this emotion and feeling may be so overwhelming to the extent that it will disturb the child’s social adjustment.

In this case, jealousy is the origin of all the strange and abnormal behavior of the child, because, the jealous child can never feel safe or happy and his social interaction would be very little. He bottles up his sorrows until he feels that the whole world is working against him. This transforms the child into a source of trouble and misery for the whole family. However, we should note that jealousy takes many forms and all of them aim at getting attention.

Here are some examples of jealous children:

– He fights a lot with the other children and his behavior is aggressive 
– He demands that his mother devotes all her time to him 
– He is always bored, frowning and wants to be alone
– He is shy and does not have the courage to face the usual daily problems

We found that the feeling of jealousy is the cause of all of these problems. This feeling always arises from trivial reasons that were present in the child’s life when he was young. These reasons include the following:

• Ridiculing the child by giving him a funny or humiliating name. 
• Birth of a new child and making him the center of attention of the whole family and neglecting the elder child.
• When parents show kindness to other children in front of their children
• Praising the child’s sister or brother continually and referring to him/her as the example that everyone should follow, in addition to highlighting the faults and failure of the jealous child
If the child had a strong jealousy problem during his early childhood, it is most likely that it will remain with him for the rest of his life. The jealous child cannot be in harmony with his peers and this disappoints him greatly. This in turn makes him feel that he is unlucky, neglected, and wronged. Hence, he would start isolating himself until he turns into an introvert.

He may fall prey to despair or become very violent to get attention. Over time, this feeling grows until it prevents him from sharing other people’s feelings and it becomes impossible for him to watch others’ success without showing explicit discontent. Of course, this attitude makes people hate the jealous and envious person and this causes him to believe that they mean to treat him badly. In most cases, jealousy transforms into an overwhelming grudge that can lead to the worst consequences.

Jealousy and selfishness:

Jealously is not intrinsic or inherent; rather, it is a result of the wrong upbringing. That is because the child will not suffer from overwhelming jealousy if he learns to share a toy with others or to share his parents’ love with others, as well as if he realizes that his mother has other responsibilities other than all of his wishes. However, some parents who like to arouse their children’s jealousy will do that through comparing the child with others, or vexing him in order to enjoy his jealous reactions. Such parents do not realize that they are laying the foundations of many future difficulties in their child’s life.

Always remember that the jealous child will be a jealous man who will envy his friends for their success. He will be almost unable to work with others and he will always complain that people do not appreciate him as they should. In short, he will be an individual who can never adjust to his environment.

Dr. ‘Umayr Al-Haarithi, specialist in child psychology, said,

Jealousy is a natural feeling in children and it sometimes takes different forms such as involuntary bed-wetting at night, involuntary eye blinking, stammering, desire to urinate at short intervals, asking his mother to carry him and to feed him with her hands, desire to use the nursing bottle again, speaking like young children, negativity, rejecting food, showing violence and love for destruction.

The mother should observe such behavior in addition to his behavior with his toys and his attempt to break them.

Dr. Al-Haarithi added,

To determine the remedy of jealousy, we must first know what causes it and then try to stop it. As the time of the second childbirth approaches, the first child is kept away from his mother who usually stays in hospital. When she returns home, she cannot respond fully to the desire of the first child to get close to her because she would be tired and wants to get some rest.

After resting, she starts looking after the baby and dedicates the majority of her time to the newborn. This is usually accompanied by a set of instructions that limit the freedom of the first child. The young baby is always embraced by his mother, while the other one goes sadly to his bed to sleep alone.

When the elder child grows up, he finds that he is punished for things that his young brother or sister is allowed to do without a reason, or for a reason he cannot understand. Comparison and unequal treatment worsen the problem of jealousy.

The young child starts harboring jealousy when his elder brother goes to school accompanied by one of his parents happily.

The perfect solution is to avoid any change in the daily schedule of care for the elder child after the birth of the second one and keeping away from the causes of jealousy because treating it is more difficult.

One of the basic factors of treatment is to pretend that all that the child does is normal and to show him love and respect.

The jealous child is usually unhappy, and his mother has to do her best to make him happy.

Consequently, we must avoid censuring him even if he hurt his young brother. All that we want to do is to make him play with his brother and help his mother take care of him.

The mother should avoid censure and replace it with love and compassion. If the involuntary bed-wetting happens frequently, the mother should ignore this issue and try to make him busy by giving him something like a toy.

She should even refrain from censuring him if he destroys the toys, because censure will only worsen the problem.

Symptoms of jealousy also include attempts to get attention such as thumb-sucking, involuntary bed-wetting, desire for destruction. Treating this situation requires defining the causes behind the feeling of insecurity, which is usually harbored in the subconscious. Hence, superficial treatment will not be successful.

It is very important to know the cause of these symptoms in order to achieve happiness for all members of the family.