Understand the jealousy of your child By Aneeqa Iqbal

September 2, 2020

Why is your child behaving strangely?

Have you ever felt that your 4-5-year-old child gets sad or cries in the presence of siblings? Have you ever noticed that your sweet and loving kid becomes a whole monstrous creature for siblings in your absence? Or why they try to beat or bite the younger siblings in front of you.

It is undoubtedly a very confusing state for parents as they do not understand why they are behaving in this way. To tackle the situation at that time, parents usually traditional strategies of scolding or beating up the trouble maker kid to teach them a lesson. But what if we say that you are worsening the situation by doing this!

Why children misbehave:

One thinks we should clear that this behavior of children is normal. It is very usual for older siblings to feel jealous of their younger ones. After the arrival of a new child in the family, we consciously ignore our former children as we focus on taking care of the younger ones. The attention our elder children received before suddenly gets divided, and it is very shocking and heart wrenching for them. As the older children are still too small to understand or demonstrate their feelings, they start to act strangely. They find the satisfaction of their jealousy and anger by crying or beating the smaller child.

Is this jealousy or hate?

We have to understand that thinking and ideology of children are very different from ours. According to Piaget’s cognitive development theory, children of 2-7 years old do not have a logical reason behind behaviors. They do not know how to relate emotions with individual attitudes. All the act of crying, beating, or misbehaving is their will for getting attention from parents. They do not understand what hate is and how to show jealousy. Even when you ask the child that why he beat up her younger sibling, they will answer like “I don’t know” or “maybe I don’t like her”. The behavior that we consider as jealousy or hate is the way of getting attention.

Coping with jealous children:

According to Sewall (1930), the jealous children desperately want the attention and love from the parents, so they do not understand when we tell that their attitude is wrong. They do not want to stop their behavior even after getting beaten or scolded by parents because somehow they are achieving their goal to get attention.

Understand them:

Before using the coping strategies, we should understand the feelings of children so that we can empathize with them in a better way. We should realize that their behavior is entirely normal and acceptable under the present circumstances.

Give more attention and control them wisely:

Spend your time with trouble makers, assure them that you love and care for them equally. Make them your center of attention so they can understand that their position is still the same. Your focus can also help to control your child. Tell your children that you will give more attention to them when they behave well. Whenever the child beat scolds, the younger siblings do not scold or punish them, but instead of it ignore them and focus on the other child who got beaten. The act of ignorance will make them understand that this way of getting attention does not work. They will gradually stop demonstrating bad behavior once they get no satisfaction of their will.


Children behave strangely as they do not know how to demonstrate their feelings appropriately. Their feeling of rejection by not getting proper attention makes them act up. We can not classify the honest emotions of children as jealousy or hatred as they do not understand these terms. We should understand them, provide proper love and attention draw some limits in their behavior by using attention as a tool.

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I am content writer, researcher and academic writer working on following platforms.

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