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Envy is a feeling of disgust towards the joy of the other. It is a way of experiencing a negative emotion that is transformed into feelings such as: resentment, indignation, anger, grief, despair, etc. And that later become unpleasant thoughts towards the other person.
Envy in childhood begins to emerge from the first years of life, when the child begins to relate to his family environment. Envious children grow up with a feeling of general dissatisfaction. This makes them more aware of what others have or do, than their own. The engine of envy is insecurity and a feeling of inferiority.
The objective of envy in childhood and after it is to obtain something that you do not have either from a material or social point of view:
- Material envy. The one in which the objects that others have such as toys are desired.
- Social envy. It is wanting to be permanently the center of attention not leaving space for others, either at home or at school.
Envy is a natural feeling that is predisposed by the child's personal characteristics. That is, it occurs because it is growing and is part of its development. It will also be important to highlight the environment where you live. Within the environment where the child develops, envy-driving factors may appear such as:
- The comparisons. That a child get better grades, that he be the best in the sport he practices, etc. These actions can lead to the envy of others due to social comparisons. We live in a complex society where social status influences our life. For this reason, and from an adaptive point of view, is where social comparison is born as an effort to be better positioned socially.
- Envy between brothers. It can be considered as the child's first manifestation of envy through jealousy when thinking that he is being replaced by his brother. Returning to the previous point, it is important that parents avoid comparisons between them and manifest their individual qualities separately so as not to create insecurities in the little ones.
We give you some tips to work the envy of children:
- In a positive sense. Envy has always had negative connotations but it is part of the normal development of the child, so adults should neither censor nor punish them for feeling this emotion, but rather allow its expression in order to see what it is trying to express the child.
- Encourage effort. The child must be clear that with complaints about what others have and by magic things are not achieved. The value of effort is essential to achieve the goals.
- Reason with the child. There are times when children want material things because their friends or classmates have them. Parents must understand that many times this expense cannot be made by explaining it to them in a rational way.
- In first person. When the child is envious of another person, show him what he would feel if it were the other way around.
- Value the child. The most important thing so that the child does not feel envy is that he feels valued. Thanks to this, we will put aside the insecurities and mistrust in ourselves that causes envy
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