Peter says: Are your kids jealous of each other?

Peter thinks there's a bit of sibling rivalry going on at home, and wonders if there's envy between your kids.

By Peter van de Geyn
Peter says: Are your kids jealous of each other?

It seems that my two sweet angels are now both old enough to experience all of life's wonderful emotions and deadly sins — the newest being jealousy and envy.

It all started the day Peyton was born.

Kidding. Up until this point there hasn't been much jealousy between the kids — when Peyton arrived and Addy realized we were keeping the pink pooping bundle, she's loved her even more than she loves Belle and Baby Celeste. But as Peyton's grown up (and we've discovered that no two siblings truly are the same), the two besties have had their share of jealous streaks.

The latest started when we took Addy to kindergarten night and enrolled her in soccer. You can look at Peyton and actually hear her snarling, "It's all about Addy. Addy, Addy, Addy."

Then last week we took Addy to see Beauty and the Beast on stage. Peyton stayed with Bubby. When the three of us left, Peyton seemed anything but impressed. That ended up being the first night of Peyton's meltdowns. But this whole jealously thing isn't one-sided: Addy, who has always been a great sharer, has recently decided that she doesn't want Peyton touching any of her things. Period. (We're waiting for her to run around and pee on everything she owns as a territorial warning to Peyton.) Instead of letting Peyton play with something she doesn't want her to touch, Addy will go out of her way to hide items around the house. For example, there was an ice cream cone from their play kitchen under Lisa's pillow this morning. And if Peyton does get a hold of something (and she'll go out of her way to grab whatever it is Addy doesn't want her to touch), Addy will start to scream and cry.

Look, Lisa and I were both kids. We both have siblings. We're no stranger to fighting with our sisters. (As kids and adults.) We don't *purposely* want to upset either of the kids and make them jealous of each other, but it's not easy to make sure both kids are always on equal footing, and, let's be honest, even when they are, they'll always have jealousy issues and sibling rivalries.

So, is your youngest often jealous of your oldest, or vice versa? What are the telltale signs of sibling rivalry in your house?

This article was originally published on Jul 12, 2012

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