Google+ Authentic Parenting: Don't Seek What Isn't There - On Sibling Jealousy

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Don't Seek What Isn't There - On Sibling Jealousy

Welcome to the August 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Sibling Revelry
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about siblings - their own, their hopes for their kids, and more. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

As soon as my second child was born, people started asking: Isn't your
daughter jealous?
Fact was, she wasn't. At all. She was quite supportive and excited.
We did spend a lot of tiume preparing her for a little sibling and she was involved in the whole process of pregnancy and birth.

But still people wondered. And they would seek out any hint of 'jealous' behaviour. Each crooked look, cuddle that was a little bit too hard, conversation about death and people would say: "look, she's jealous, be careful".

She never was and never has been jealous and I actually think she's not even jealous by nature. I think in seeking out any hint of jealousy with new siblings, people are only aggravating the situation. You're making the other child into a boogeyman, alienating him from the parent. This cannot be a good thing.

Did others try to talk you into jealousy issues with your siblings? How did you respond?

Image source: By LEONARDO DASILVA (Flickr: IMG_0053) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon August 13 with all the carnival links.)
  • The Damage of Comparing Siblings — Comparing siblings can lead to hurt feelings and poor relationships. What Jana Falls has learned and why she hopes for more for her son.
  • Connecting Through Sibling Rivalry — With four children who are spaced so that each child grows up in a pair, Destany at They are All of Me shares her method for minimizing the competition so her children can focus on bonding, rather than besting each other.
  • Sibling Revelry — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares the two-week transition that happens every summer as her kids transform from bickering to learning how to play.
  • Baby Brother born from an OceanAbby Jaramillo describes how her toddler connects in a possibly mystical way with her new baby brother and his birth at home, and Abby draws parallels with her own sister's new baby.
  • Hard, But Worth It — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl discusses how difficult having two children can be, but how it's definitely worth it.
  • Raising Attached Siblings — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy and her husband are making conscious choices about how they raise their children to foster sibling connection and attachment.
  • It's Complicated — Henrietta at Angel Wings and Herb Tea reflects on how life's twists and turns have taken her from a childhood with no siblings to a constantly changing family life with five children, including one in spirit.
  • Supportsustainablemum reflects on how the differences between her relationship with her siblings and her husband's have affected their family and at a time of need.
  • Peas in a Pod — Kellie at Our Mindful Life enjoys the special relationship her oldest two children share.
  • Lessening the competitive enviornment in the homeLisa at The Squishable Baby discusses how downplaying competition in the home has led to cooperation, not competition.
  • The complex and wonderful world of siblings — Lauren at Hobo Mamareflects on her choices to have not too many children, spaced far apart — and how that's maybe limited how close their sibling relationship can be.
  • 5 Ways to Help Young Siblings Have a Loving Relationship — Charise I Thought I Knew Mama shares the strategies that help her three year old and 14 month old have a somewhat beautiful relationship and aid in keeping peace in their home.
  • 4 Steps to Encourage Sibling Revelry, even in Hot Moments of Rivalry — Sheila Pai of A Living Family share 4 Steps she uses to shift hot moments of sibling rivalry towards connected moments of sibling revelry and human compassion.
  • Twins Are Fun — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot witnesses the development of her twins' sibling bond.
  • Growing Up Together- Sibling Revelry in Our House — Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work realizes that there is great utility in raising siblings that are close in age, and is grateful to have been blessed with healthy siblings that both love and challenge one another every day.
  • Top 5 Ways to Reduce Sibling Rivalry — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares ideas that helped her two children be best friends along with Montessori resources for peace education and conflict resolution.
  • Sibling Uncertainty — Alisha at Cinnamon and Sassafras wonders how her children's relationship will change now that the baby is mobile.
  • Living with the Longing — Rachael at The Variegated Life sees that she can live with her longing for another — without changing her plans.
  • For My One and Only DaughterPlaying for Peace mommy reflects on her choice to not have more children in order to focus on other dreams.
  • Siblings: A Crash Course in Relationship Training — How have your siblings prepared you for later relationships? One of Dionna at Code Name: Mama's top priorities as mama of siblings is to help them learn how to navigate relationships.
  • The Joys of Siblings: An Inside Joke — Ana at Panda & Ananaso shares the a glimpse into the joys of having siblings through sharing a perplexing yet hilarious inside joke betwixt her and her own.
  • Sibling Support, even in the potty! — Even though Laura at Pug in the Kitchen's children didn't start out best friends, they are joined at the hip these days, including cheering each other on with potty successes!
  • Don't Seek What Isn't There - On Sibling Jealousy — Laura from Authentic Parenting analyzes the seeming desire people harbor for seeking out hints of sibling jealousy.



  1. I know what you mean. People have hinted at jealousy issues with my children before, but I just don't see it 99% of the time. I know jealousy may come later on, but for now, I love my little ones' relationship.

  2. It's like how people try to make kids afraid of the dark by talking about it constantly…grr. I haven't seen ingrained jealousy related to parental attention in how my kids interact, but Mikko does want to make sure he has the "most" or best of things, so we're working with him on that — maybe that's a manifestation of jealousy, but I'm not sure if labeling it helps all that much. I'd rather just love them both as they are and how each one needs it.

  3. People have asked about Kieran, too, and I'm with you - I don't find him to be that jealous. There has been a couple of times where he has voiced his need to spend time with us, but I'm just grateful that he is in touch with himself enough to do that!

  4. I agree! I think people put feelings on children all the time. People ask if my twins get jealous of each other or if they compete for my attention... I just look at it as they both have needs that they are trying to have met...just happens that they usually need things simultaneously! Thanks for the reminder to cut out the projections!

  5. I agree with you! I think people put feelings on children all the time. People ask if my twins get jealous of each other or if they compete for my attention but I just look at it as they each have needs that they are trying to have met, it just happens that these needs moslty occur simultaneously! Thanks for the reminder to stop the projections. (By the way, love that pic! So cute.)

  6. My mom and granny (her mom) do this ALL THE TIME. Constantly! I think they both had very competitive and jealous relationships with their siblings and are trying to project that onto my babies. It drives me constantly crazy. I'm glad I'm not the only one...

  7. I don't remember anyone saying this to me but I have hear it said a lot. I agree that it is a destructive thing to say to children as it is comparing one with the other. Even it was not the case before if you say it often enough then I am sure children will start to behave that way.

  8. I agree completely! There are lots of feelings as a new baby comes into the house, but it is so much better to let the older sibling *show* us what they are feeling, instead of suggesting it to them. In my experience, most of the time, love and joy are the feelings. Thanks for sharing this with the Tuesday Baby Link Up Community!


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