Rafed English

Causes of Jealousy - Position in danger

When a new baby is born in the family, the child who was the youngest (or the only one) feels threatened. He is accustomed to being the center of attention and now has to contend with someone who takes away the parent’s love and attention. This is especially true of younger children who cannot understand that the parents have enough love for all their children. The demands of a new-born are often misunderstood. In such a situation the feeling of sibling rivalry can be reduced through the following ways.

a) Talk to the child before the baby arrives. Prepare him and involve him in the preparations for the new arrival. It could become a very exciting event if handled properly. The child will begin to feel attached to the baby before it comes, and will await the arrival anxiously.

b) When the baby arrives, involve the child as much as possible. He could carry out minor chores according to his age, such as bringing diapers, holding the towel, etc. The feeling of being a big brother or sister creates a sense of importance and makes the loss of position more bearable. The child is now evolving towards a higher status and must be taught to appreciate that.

c) Talk to the child constantly. Discuss the baby with the sibling/s. Talk about his waking up at night, his crying, his babyish gestures etc. Keeping communication open with the children assures them of the love of the parents.

Adopted from the book: "Raising Children" by: "Tahera Kassamali"

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