Jealousy is a big ugly monster. We have all felt it. We have all been consumed by it. And we have all hopefully realized that being jealous is not constructive. Right now, in our family, we are in the thick of it.
Parker get's jealous of the fact that Matilda still sneaks into our bed in the morning and gets away with it. Matilda gets jealous of Parker because he can reach things she can't. Parker gets jealous that Matilda has two pairs of snow pants. Matilda gets jealous that Parker is good at Mario Kart. And the list goes on and on.
So, we talk about that monster often. Now, nothing seems more annoying than when someone accuses you of being jealous. I get that, I remember hating that! So instead, I model how I take myself away from jealousy.
"So-and-so has a new puppy and it makes me feel jealous because I really want a puppy. I have the choice to be happy for them, to borrow some puppy love, to enjoy watching him grow, OR to be sad, upset, and distant because it doesn't feel fair that we can't have one. What do you think I should do? Can you help me think of the good in NOT having a puppy? Can you help me think of all the wonderful things that I do have? I wouldn't want to lose a good friend because I couldn't find a way to push jealousy to the side and let happiness take over. That would be REALLY sad. SO, I am going to choose to love that little puppy, enjoy my friend's happiness, and count my own blessings."
I also say things like, "I see that you are looking angry and upset right now. Why do you think you are having those feelings?" Once they come to the conclusion of jealousy, then we talk about what to do and how to move forward.
I believe that this kind of education is just as important as regular schooling. Mental health affects quality of life and is as vital as nutrition to growing a healthy child. So even if they begin to think I am annoying, I hope that they walk away with a better understanding of self love.