María Montessori, pedagogue, scientist, doctor and educator, was one of the great minds of her time and we can well say that of ours as well. And it is that there are innumerable things that we have learned thanks to it. One of those things to highlight and that this time concerns us is the issue of jealousy between brothers. Keep reading and you will know how to manage envy and jealousy between siblings no matter how old they are according to the Montessori method. We started!
Most of the time, jealousy, that 'strange' feeling that the child notices and that he does not know how to explain well, arises before the arrival of a new baby in the family. At other times, jealousy occurs when the baby starts doing things like walking, smiling, saying his first word ... AND gets all the attention of attention. It should be borne in mind that jealousy can also occur between twins or twins or between older brothers but of different ages due to various causes, for example, when one of them gets better grades in school.
Either way, jealousy is produced or felt because there is a significant change and a brother is displaced of what until now had been his 'special place'. Parents have in our hands the possibility of making that jealousy not so intense by showing love, understanding, respect and always giving room for dialogue.
Be clear that jealousy is another natural emotion, like sadness or joy, and that to learn to manage it well you have to understand it and know how to express it. If the child does not speak or does not communicate what is happening to him and the parents, especially for what means the arrival of a second child, they don't have time or don't know how to help you, the situation could get worse.
Before we get into Montessori techniques to try to help children with jealousy, let's see what are the signs that indicate that these feelings are making an appearance:
- Changes in behavior and the desire to attract attention.
- Tantrums or tantrums.
- He does not pay attention to what he is told.
- Regression or wanting to do the same as the little brother.
- Nightmares or sleep disturbance.
- Aggression and / or rejection of dialogue.
- Low self-esteem.
- Lack of appetite or excessive appetite for food.
[Read: Story about sibling fights]
To avoid as much as possible the jealousy of children who are waiting for their little brother or those that occur between twins or twins or brothers of different ages, we can carry out a series of techniques based on the teachings that Maria left us Montessori.
1. Involve the older brother from the beginning
An ideal way for the older brother not to feel jealous, or at least get over this stage soon, is to involve him from the beginning. You have to count on him explaining that mom is pregnant and that in a few months they will be one more in the family and all that that implies. In this way the child will see it as something natural. However, we must bear in mind that this does not mean that we have to give the brother some responsibilities that, in reality, do not correspond to him.
2. Be realistic and don't create false expectations
The previous point is joined with this other. When talking about the arrival of a new baby in the family, it must be done in a realistic way, neither counting it as everything is wonderful nor presenting it as something negative. At the same time, use language that is appropriate for the child's age and encourage him to ask as many questions as that cross his mind.
3. Reaffirm the role of each brother
As María Montessori said: 'The child who has increased his own independence with the acquisition of new capacities, can only develop normally if he has freedom of action'. How can we use this to address jealousy between siblings? Well, giving margin to the independence of each one, allowing them to have their own space and also allowing them to put into practice for themselves the new capacities that they acquire every day, although many of them have to be based on trial and error.
4. Don't make comparisons
No matter how old the brothers are, we should avoid at all costs making comparisons between them, even when we think they do not hear us. Neither positive comparisons (as they will not be so much for the other brother) and nor negative, this only affects their self-esteem and therefore jealousy.
5. Count on the brothers for all that is possible
To change the baby's clothes when it has been stained, to prepare the bath, to go to school together, to help him do his homework at home ... No matter what age the siblings are, you can always count on one to help the other and vice versa. There is nothing better to strengthen the relationship between them!
6. And if a brother does nothing but attract attention ...
It may be the older brother who does nothing but attract attention because he is jealous of his little brother or it may be that he is the one who is jealous of the older brother and seeks to be the protagonist at all costs. Be that as it may, if there is someone who demands parental attention, it is best to give it to them. Talk to them, find moments to be all together and to share things separately and above all a lot of dialogue so that they understand that they do not need to do anything in particular to attract attention because the attention and all the affection in the world of their parents already they got it.
So far the Montessori techniques to treat jealousy between siblings that we hope have been of great help.
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