A cute book for preschoolers about how jealousy can destroy friendships. Kitty has the perfect party planned and she cannot wait to celebrate with her best friend, Unicorn. When Puppy arrives, Kitty's party plans are ruined. Unicorn gives all her attention to the newcomer, leaving Kitty feeling left out and ignored. Her jealousy almost gets the best of her until she finally learns that there is enough love and friendship to go around.
Valuable Children's Books About Jealousy
All kids experience feelings of envy from time to time. There are so many things that can trigger this emotion that vary depending on the child's state of mind. Sometimes kids feel jealous when a friend gets a new toy, or when a teacher pays a compliment to a classmate. Lots of envious feelings also arise when a best buddy starts hanging around a new friend, or when another kid is picked to be part of a team first. Depending on the way children perceive the world around them, there are endless opportunities to feel envy. Reading children's books about jealousy can help open a conversation about why kids feel envy and positive ways to channel these emotions when they become overwhelming.
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An easy-reader book with simple sentences and guided illustrations tackles the topic of jealousy. This is the story of a little girl who enjoys her status as the best athlete in her gym class. Her world is upended when a new, highly-skilled player joins the gym class. With the advice of her teacher, the girl learns to deal with her envy and embrace the new, more athletic student.
The Berenstain Bears are always learning valuable lessons as they navigate life. In this relatable story, Sister is green with envy over the brand new bike Brother received for his birthday. It's a shiny ten-speed bike that is so fun to ride and draws a lot of attention. Sister has a hard time keeping her jealous feelings in check and questions whether she will ever be happy for Brother. A spot-on story for families dealing with sibling jealousy over new toys. A bonus page of stickers is included.
Jealousy rears its ugly head in this story about Yaz, a little girl who is a talented artist. She loves to draw and make beautiful pictures, and would really love for her classmates to recognize her work. Unfortunately, Debby's gets a lot more attention for her artwork. Yaz is so overcome with jealousy that it shows up in her pictures and her nasty attitude toward others. A simple and excellent story for young children who will learn some important coping skills.
Norman (a porcupine) and Mildred (at tree) are the very best of friends who spend endless hours basking in the outdoors together. Much to Norman's dismay, he spots a baby tree sprouting from the ground right next to Mildred. Jealousy takes over and Norman hastily digs up the new tree and replants it far away from Mildred. Instead of feeling relieved, Norman is worried that someone observed his actions. So he moves the baby tree back to its original place. Over time the tree grows, Norman hangs a hammock between the two, and learns a valuable lesson about jealousy.
A handy guidebook for kids who feel green with envy and are looking for a little help. This book can be read from front to back for a comprehensive look at all the tips and tricks for managing jealous feelings. Kids will also benefit by reading the pages out of order, not even all in one sitting, for helpful reminders about how to turn their envy into a positive and productive mental state.
A popular book for kids who are jealous when their best buddies make new friends. Milo and Jay have been inseparable for as long as the boys can remember, and that's the way Milo likes it. So when a new girl, Suzi, moves in and starts playing with Jay, Milo is one unhappy camper. His jealous rage is so strong that it turns into a monster and follows Milo everywhere. Ultimately, Milo learns how to sever ties with the monster and let go of his jealous feelings.
Angelina and Henry both play leading roles in an upcoming ballet performance. Angelina is accustomed to being the favorite ballerina on stage, but this time things are different. The rest of the cast seems to prefer Henry over her, and she is extremely unhappy. Readers will find out if Angelina's jealousy interferes with the performance and ruins her friendship with Henry.
A sweet chapter book for beginners, this story plays out like many birthday parties in real life. Sophie is excited to celebrate Ellie's birthday. During party, Ellie opens her presents and the best one of all is a darling mouse house with miniature figures and furniture to fill all the rooms. Sophie is at once happy for her friend and quite a bit jealous. She learns a valuable lesson about being happy with what you have and not always getting what you want.
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Valuable Kids' Books About Jealousy
Sitting down and having a conversation with a child about jealousy is not always effective. Little ones may not have the vocabulary or maturity to talk about feelings. They may not be willing to open up about ugly thoughts that cross their minds during fits of envy. Reading kids' books about jealousy takes the attention off the child and places it on the characters in the stories. Children will relate to the experiences in the books and will have insightful things to say about why they feel jealous. Eventually the conversation may even shift to their own emotional state when feelings of envy take over.
Tips to Help a Jealous Child
Jealousy is a very normal human emotion that everyone experiences, though in varying degrees and frequency. Some kids have temporary bouts of envy that pass quickly and don't interfere with their friendships or relationships with others. Their jealous feelings may be just a normal reaction and are not a disproportionate response to the triggering event.
Kids may temporarily pout or take a small break from interacting with the person who is the source of envy. In these instances, jealousy is not a source of concern as it does not interfere with daily living. It is simply one of many feelings, good and bad, that children learn to cope with as they develop into emotionally mature human beings. Other stories, including children's books about sadness as well as books for kids about anxiety, are also helpful to use a guides along a little one's emotional journey.
Reading children's books about jealousy can help kids think about what makes them feel envious and find ways to channel their negative feelings into positive behavior. Here are some other tips to help kids work through personal envy, especially when it lingers too long or leads to poor behavior.
- Acknowledge and validate your child's jealous feelings. Every human emotional experience is unique. All children are not wired the same way and react in drastically different ways to identical situations. There is no right or wrong way to feel. For these reasons, it's important not to dismiss a child's jealous reaction or minimize the way they feel. This is a critical first step in helping a child who struggles with jealousy.
- Identify all the events that trigger jealous episodes in a child. By making a list, the root cause of jealousy will start to become apparent. For some kids, jealousy may be strictly related to material items, like when a friend or sibling gets a new toy. For others, envious feelings may be more related to attention others receive from friends, teachers, or family members. Sometimes jealousy is triggered by kids who perform better in school or on the sports field. Understanding what makes a particular child jealous is extremely important so that the right guidance to help them cope is provided.
- Do not try to squash jealous feelings through superficial words. There will always be a kid who is smarter, more athletic, a better musician, or talented in way that your child is not. It is very natural for kids to feel jealous when in the presence of others who outperform them on any level. And that is perfectly okay. Parents can acknowledge the gifts of others while also providing their own kids with a boost of self-esteem. It's never a good idea to tell your child that they are actually the better student, athlete, etc. when that very well is not the case. A better strategy is to help a child become the best version of themselves, with less comparison to others. That is the real ticket to happiness and self-satisfaction.
- It's never a good idea to buy gifts and toys in response to a child's jealous feelings. The ultimate goal is to teach a child how to cope with jealousy, not to put a band-aid on the uncomfortable emotion through material purchases. For example, buying a child a new toy every time to keep up with a friend is a losing proposition on so many levels. Kids will never learn to be satisfied with what they have and will associate happiness by comparing their own material possessions to others.
- Avoid reinforcing jealous behavior by giving toddlers attention. Young children are frequently jealous when parents are focusing their time and energy on a sibling. Toddlers may react poorly by throwing a temper tantrum, whining, crying, or complaining. It can be tempting to try and assuage this behavior by giving in to the toddler's demands. Unfortunately, this can lead to a cycle that is difficult to break. Do take a few moments to reflect on whether some changes at home have indeed disrupted the time and attention normally devoted to the jealous little one. If that's the case, make some minor adjustments whenever possible to read stories, snuggle, or spend some quality time together. But try not to shower a child with attention in response to a jealous reaction, which will only reinforce the problematic tendencies.
- Practice gratitude on a regular basis with your children. Be intentional about frequently acknowledging all of the good things in a child's life. Simple things that kids take for granted, like basic food and shelter, should be recognized periodically. Good health and strong bodies are also gifts that should be discussed. Nice teachers, best friends, and loving family members should be part of the conversation, too. It's also okay to appreciate video games, televisions, toys, and other forms of entertainment at home. And then, most importantly, talk about all the wonderful traits of a child, such as a kind heart, a good thinker, a strong math student, a creative mind, a fast runner, and the many other wonderful attributes. When talking about these characteristics, they should never be discussed in comparison to peers if your goal is to curb jealousy. A sense of happiness needs to come from within, not as a result of being better than others.
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