Green Eyed Monster

GreenMonster

Kids get jealous.  I think it’s part of their wiring, at least until we teach them to control that green eyed monster.  And you guessed it!  That’s the task I’m undertaking on the home front thanks to one obnoxious Christmas gift.

Just a few weeks ago I blogged for Good Enough Mother about what happens when Santa Isn’t Fair.  (see GEM:LiveLoveBlend)  For Christmas, my husband and I did our best to distribute gifts evenly, but as I feared, our fairness efforts were in vain thanks to one of the other households.  Some things are just out of our control.  A brief explanation…

Our 4 oldest children are boys ranging from 19 to 10.  Our youngest, my stepdaughter, is 8.  Santa brought her an iPhone 5.  Did I mention she’s 8?  I might also mention this is her third phone.  No idea what happened to the first two.

Last weekend when we were all together for the first time after the holidays the boys were aghast.  Each one made comments about the gift.  Each one begged to know why their little sister now has a nicer phone than anyone else in the family (parents included).  What do I say?!

Rather than trying to justify the gift I’m hoping to use this situation as a lesson:

Contentment.  Each boy had been happy with his own phone before they saw the new one, so this gives us opportunity to discuss the slippery slope of wanting more just because someone else has it.
Fairness.  Sometimes we don’t get what we want or deserve.  That’s life.  You can pout and be jealous or you can be thankful for what you do have.  (or you can get a job and buy your own dang phone)  Life isn’t always fair but it does provide lots of character-building opportunities.
Compassion.  Be happy for your little sister that she got such a cool gift.  Haven’t had much luck yet with that one.  We’ll keep working on it.

This is something that’s always going to be a part of blending a family.  Most of the kids have two households and those households have different lifestyles, income levels, gifting ideas.  Eventually each kid will learn to work those differences to their advantage.  We can help by embracing the reality of the situation and treating one another in love.

Are your kids jealous of their step-siblings?  I’d love to hear your story!

(archived from Jan. 21, 2014)

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