How to avoid jealousy between children ?

jealousy between children - 2houses

Children are exquisitely sensitive. They have to learn a great deal in a short amount of time, so their brains are hard-wired for imitation, repetition, inference and unspoken language. Parents have to shield children for life’s harshest aspects, so they tend to think that they can hide their feelings as well, especially if those feelings are conflicted or touch on anger, hurt, jealousy and doubt. In families where the parents are experiencing relationship problems, jealousy among the children can arise as the reflection of the parent’s complex conflict.

One thing that must be communicated clearly within families is that it is perfectly normal for children to experience feelings of jealousy or resentment toward their brothers and sisters at some point. We are all human with occasional selfish tendencies and life can’t always be fair. It is inevitable that children may pick up on even trace amounts of favoritism. “It’s not fair!” and “Mom always liked you best!” have probably been shouted out by children since the Stone Age. When the jealousy between siblings becomes violent or persistent then the problem must be addressed head on with a combination of firmness and compassion. The consequences of untreated jealousy can be stunted emotional growth, exaggerated selfishness and erratic, sometimes dangerous, cries for attention. These are actually common issues encountered by children of divorce and separated parents. These troubled children deserve extra care and support, not shaming and condemnation.

The best way to shorten or avoid the rivalries altogether is by reminding children frequently about all the ways that they are unique and wonderful in themselves. Here are 4 ways to help children resolve their differences and become lifelong friends as well as siblings.

  • Help them work it out.

Don’t always step in to decide. Offer them alternatives and explanations, remind them of how much fun they have had playing together, then step away. Allow them plenty of time to practice problem resolution skills.

  • Build their self-esteem.

It doesn’t matter what someone else has if you are happy with your own life. Gift them the gift of gratitude and confidence with these self-esteem boosters.

  • Call on The Boat.

One of the most effective metaphors for a family is a boat on the ocean in a storm. Read a book or watch a movie together about people on a boat who have to pull together to weather the storm. “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” for example, shows two very different crews and the benefits of working together.

  • Plan a day out.

When their worlds are bigger, petty squabbles don’t matter so much. Get them out of the four walls they see every day and show them the abundance of the outside world. Export the 2houses calendar to your smartphone and give them a field trip that they will remember the rest of their lives.

Get your wallet ready for the divorce

divorce - 2houses

If you believe divorce is in the foreseeable future, it’s a smart move to starting planning your finances and budget before divorce proceedings begin.  Transitioning to a life after divorce will be much easier and with less of an upheaval when you are financially prepared.  Meet with your planners, use online resources and create a divorce team so you can expertly navigate the details of a divorce.  This post will discuss some suggestions to help get you started and ensure a smoother journey on this difficult path.

Meet with a Financial Advisor and Estate Planner

Make a plan to meet with a financial advisor to review bank accounts, life insurance policies, retirement funds and other important financial papers. If these accounts are in your name, your advisor will ensure the right beneficiaries are listed and the funds invested in are appropriate for your situation. An Estate Planner can help you draw up a new Will, advise on obtaining new insurance quotes and advise on your tax situation. Deductibles and other taxation issues will arise, especially if children are involved.

Open your own financial accounts

If you don’t already have your own personal bank accounts or credit cards, open them now and start using them. It can be difficult to obtain credit after your divorce, especially if you are a stay-at-home mom or have put your career on hold. While still married, you can use your shared household income when applying for credit.

Review your credit report

Obtain your credit report and review it for anything that may have tarnished your credit history. If mistakes are present in the report, take steps to correct them now. Pay down any debts you have to improve your credit rating.

Become familiar with online resources

You can find online tools and mobile apps to manage expenses for both households after the divorce. These are great tools to capture expenses and income to keep the accounts balanced and are especially important when children are involved. If your divorce settlement will include monthly support payments, a feature in this online resource will send out friendly reminders that payment has not yet been received which can help to avoid conflicts in your post-divorce relationship with your spouse.


With a looming divorce you will experience many emotions from sadness to worry to peace of mind. Having familiarity with your current finances, especially if your spouse handled the money will bring you confidence and security about your future. Keep your team and resources close at hand so you too can look forward to a single, joyous and independent life.

Putting aside your feelings for the children

feelings aside - 2houses

Divorce is an unfortunate event that some families have to overcome. The separation of the parents isn’t just about the parents; it has a huge impact on the children as well. The feelings of negativity and resentment between a former couple can make the children uncomfortable and make the adjustment to the separation even more difficult. This is why it’s so vital for you to put aside your feelings for the children.

1. Never vent to your children

Your children do not want to hear how their father is a lying, cheating, so and so… They don’t want to hear how you’re sick of their mother bringing her boyfriend to pick up the children. Remember, they’re going through a lot right now, and if you have nothing nice to say about your ex-partner, then you shouldn’t say anything at all. You don’t want to negatively influence your children’s feelings for their other parent.

2. Get your frustration out somewhere

Yes, you probably still have hurt feelings over the break up. You may cry yourself to sleep every night and wish nothing but bad on your former lover. However, you should take your frustrations out before you have to meet up with your ex. This means you shouldn’t remind your ex about everything wrong he did and that’s why the children should come to your house for the holidays. If you have to, start boxing or doing some other form of exercise to release stress. Talk to a therapist, friend or family member if you have to, but make sure you direct your anger at someone or something else other than your ex.

3. Focus on the kids

Keep reminding yourself that you must be civil for the kids. When you speak to their other parent, don’t even mention anything about the time you spent together. Instead, keep the conversation on issues related to the children such as their education and who will pick them up from their friends’ houses this weekend.

4. Ask don’t demand

Nobody likes to be told what they have to do, especially by a former partner. Always begin conversations where you want something with a question. For instance, say, “Is it okay if I take the kids this weekend and you take them next weekend?”

5. Compromise

No matter what your sentiments about your ex are, always be willing to compromise. You don’t need to fight battles about little issues like bedtimes or when they do their homework. However, with bigger issues, you’ll need to come to an agreement and that requires you both to give a little.

6. Keep the other parent in the loop

Put aside your feelings of hostility and tell your ex what happens with the children. While you might not want your ex hubby going to a school play with his new squeeze, he should still know about it. It’s not fair to him or the kids not to let him know.

While this may not sound like it’s in your best interest, it really is. Your children are your primary focus and you don’t want to do anything that could sever a relationship with them, even if it means being nice to someone who hurt you.