Family Feud: Teen Sibling Rivalry (How Ugly it Can Get)!
If parents aren’t careful, this awful weed, jealousy, will grow up and take over the family. The bickering and fighting will ruin every family event. Children generally don’t grow up, and out of jealousy, instead, jealousy grows up with them. Cain and Abel were the first siblings in which jealousy reared its ugly head. It ended in death then, and it has the same effects today. In this recent story, out of jealousy, one brother killed another brother. So that parents lost both children on the same day.
Definition of Jealousy:
Jealousy is defined as the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something that the person values, such as a relationship, friendship, or love. Jealousy often consists of a combination of emotions such as anger, sadness, and disgust. Everyone has experienced jealousy at some time or another. If it is acknowledged and dealt with, it’s not a problem; however, when individuals stew in jealousy, it becomes a very harsh, destructive taskmaster.
How do parents contribute to sibling rivalry?
Personality, birth order, and stress all contribute to sibling rivalry and jealousy. Unknowingly some parenting practices add to teen sibling -rivalry towards each other. Comparing siblings, encouraging siblings to tell on each other, and not spending one on one time with teens are some ways that parents increase sibling rivalry. Read this article which outlines more parenting behaviors that promote sibling rivalry.
What to do:
Start with empathy. Too often, adults forget what it was like trying to find their identity. Sometimes parents spend a great deal of time scolding their teens about feeling jealous and don’t spend enough time with teens discussing their feelings, thoughts, hopes, and joys. Parents’ relationships can become stuck, and the only thing that progresses is the growth of jealousy.
To stop the growth of jealousy, parents can do much.
1. Start with normalizing jealousy as a feeling as well as an experience. Normalizing the feeling helps teens to judge themselves less harshly.
2. Avoid scolding your teen for feelings of jealousy. Instead, seek ways to help your teen focus on their excellent qualities.
3. Stop comparing your teens to others. What if your boss compared your work to your coworkers, or your spouse compared you to their friends’ spouses.
4. Put some structure in the house. Acknowledge the difference in age groups, talents, and maturity. Also, maintain parental authority and power in the home.
5. Give your teens positive affirmation. Some, one on one time, will go a long way to helping teens feel valued and accepted for who they are. Little to no attention increases attention-seeking behavior.
6. Give help in resolving problems.
There are times when parents need to step in and facilitate resolutions for teen siblings. Too often, families ignore small issues until they erupt into open feuds, that affect and even destroy familial relationships.
7. This Article gives more ideas to help your teens overcome jealousy.
Here are seven Bible verses that will be helpful to teens in their struggle to overcome sibling rivalry:
1. 1 Corinthians 10:13 "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. God is faithful He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. However, when you are tempted, He will also provide a way of escape."
2. 1 Corinthians 13:4 "Love is patient love is kind. It does not envy; it does not boast; it is not proud."
3. Ecclesiastes 4:4 "And I saw all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind."
4. Proverbs 14:30 "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones."
5. Proverbs 27:4 "Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?"
6. Philippians 2:3 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Instead, in humility, value others above yourselves."
7. Psalm 37: 1–3 "Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong. For like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the LORD and do good, dwell in the land, and enjoy safe pasture."