The teenage years are tough for anyone. During this time period, individuals are always questioning themselves and naturally becoming insecure with themselves. They are constantly comparing themselves to others. They want to be accepted, they want to be bigger and better than the person next to them. Jealousy causes arguments between siblings and drama between friends. No parent wants to see his or her child go through that. How can parents fix this? That’s the golden question.
Talking to teenagers about anything is a difficult task to begin with. Speaking from personal experience, it is easier to just tune a parent out rather than actually engage in conversation with them. You can’t just confront a teenager and say “YOU ARE SO JEALOUS, THAT NEEDS TO GO AWAY IMMEDIATELY!” because they will do the opposite or deny that they were ever jealous to begin with. The only way to get through to a teenager about jealousy is to create a bond with them. You have to remind them that you were once a teenager that went through their same struggles. By sharing your story they’ll be more inclined to speak to you about their experience. You have to take small steps while talking to teenagers. They are like a completely different species. Start with small conversations about it and see how your teenager reacts to it. Sometimes teenagers don’t like to talk about feelings especially with their parents. Jealousy is a serious emotional issue and nobody wants to feel weak. If the issue happens to be jealousy between siblings than try to treat both children equally. Pay close attention to what your child is jealous about. Does one sibling have more clothes? More freedom? Sometimes the issue begins with the parent.
To sum it up, just try to connect with your teenager. Talking about your experiences will help your teenager relate to you but you will also relate to them. Have conversations with teenagers instead of lectures. They are more effective in the long run.
Photo: D. Sharon Pruitt on Flickr