Children's reactions are always surprising. One of the most curious that we can contemplate is the jealousy of children towards one of their parents. When parents hug or kiss, there are some children who get angry, expressing it with screams and crying to prevent this show of affection from being given between parents. What to do when children are jealous of their mother or father?
Children and, above all, children who do not have siblings, naturally and inevitably feel a crush on one of their parents when they are young. This type of jealousy that children feel towards their father or mother makes them suffer, but at the same time helps them to grow and mature.
When children, if they are young, they want their mother for themselves and they do not want to share her with their father, that is, what the psychoanalyst called the Oedipus complex. Meanwhile, on the other side are the girls, who want their father to themselves and it is the mother who is in the way, Electra's complex.
This complex appears between three and seven years. It is a normal stage in development where young are attracted to one of their parents and begin to experience an unconscious rejection of the other. Over time this tendency disappears, but you have to know how to work with the child these emotions.
The jealousy They are an emotion that the child has when he feels fear of losing something, in this case the love, affection and attention of his father or mother (on other occasions it can be produced by the arrival of a little brother).
Adults will notice because the child begins to have a different behavior than what we are used to. What signs can alert us that the child is feeling jealousy towards one of his parents?
- When you and your partner hug or make a gesture of affection, he or she gets in the way! The child avoids this type of situation at all costs.
- It is almost impossible for you and your husband or wife to have a fluid conversation. He always interrupts you and tries to sabotage your communication!
- Physically it can even come between you so that there is no type of approach or friction.
- His language is very aggressive, especially towards that figure he 'momentarily hates'. It is likely even hearing expressions such as 'Mommy is mine' or 'Daddy is mine'.
- He screams, cries or falls to the ground when he sees the two of you together. It may also be that these tantrums appear at other times with the simple objective of getting your attention.
- Regressions. The development of the child is a process that always goes forward, that advances, but when moments like jealousy occur, the path can be reversed and turned back. For example, the child starts peeing on the bed again, staining his panties or underpants, or wanting to sleep with a pacifier.
- Sleep disturbances. It can also happen that the child, who until now had no problem falling asleep, now finds it more difficult and even has awakenings in the middle of the night.
- Appetite changes. Parents should be alert to the child's eating habits because they can be disturbed. From refusing to try his favorite dish that his parents prepare so lovingly for him to experiencing uncontrollable desire to eat at all hours.
If the child shows jealousy of one of your parents He has every right to do so and to be able to express it. He wants one of the parents for him and is jealous of the other and with this attitude he wants to command and control the couple. This anger must be respected, but it must not be allowed to interfere in the relationship with the couple or to have an effect on the family relationship.
The child must take his place in the family and for this the parents must not change their behavior towards him or towards the partner. The child must gradually become aware that the parents are a couple and that he cannot decide in their relationship. When children are in this situation, parents can help with various attitudes. Here's a list of the best tips!
- Parents must consider that this stage that the child goes through it is something normal and temporary within its development.
- Don't get into their game. The child will be confused and the parents must help him. In no case should we push him away, scold him or yell at him because the only thing we will achieve is that he feels that he really does not have enough because he bothers us, and it is not like that!
- No teasing. For children it can be a very serious topic, even if we adults find it 'fun'. If we laugh at this circumstance, we may be causing the child a deep emotional wound.
- Parents must understand and accept the child's feelings. Thus, when the child gets angry with his parents, they have to respect him but without paying much attention. That is, listen to him but without giving him explanations.
- Do not stop showing affection in the couple in front of the child. Thanks to this, the child is helped to overcome the stage of jealousy in a healthy way. If we stop these displays of affection, this behavior of the child will be reinforced and, instead of being mitigated, it will be accentuated.
- Besides having moment of intimacy with the partner to be respected.
- Don't get angry. It may be the situation that this behavior of the child takes its toll on you and in the end you end up arguing with your partner. Whenever possible, do not get into this situation and, even less, scold the other in front of the child. You will think you have won this 'particular battle'!
When this situation occurs, parents should talk to the child to explain that mom and dad love each other very much, but that they love him too, and that this will never, ever change. We can also work on this jealousy through games (role play) or by reading the following stories.
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