Dear Sue Ellen,
I have two daughters that are 3 years apart. They are 9 and 12 years old. My older daughter is a drama queen. My younger daughter is quiet and sweet. My older daughter is sweet too, but everything is just very emotional with her. She is closer to her dad, which is interesting because he is somewhat of a drama queen too. It’s like my older daughter and my husband relate to each other on some level that my younger daughter and I don’t understand. Anyway, my younger daughter is jealous of her flamboyant older sister. I see it, but I don’t know how what to do about it.
Dear Mary Beth,
I was talking to a friend the other day and she was sharing her life growing up with her sister and parents. My friend loved her childhood, but said her older sister claims they had a terrible time growing up. I have heard other people say similar things about their childhood. How two people growing up in the same home can have such different opinions about growing up is a mystery to me.
Jealousy is a terrible thing. It is like a disease. It starts out small, but grows in our dark places, like cancer. For years, I watched two of my cousins, who were sisters, at family get-togethers. The older sister had been a sick child and had required a lot of her parent’s attention. The younger sister was always in the background. Rather than show concern and want to help her older sister, she was jealous because she wasn’t the one getting all the attention. When they were adults, the younger sister turned her back on her parents and her sister, breaking their hearts. Jealousy separates families. Jealousy is not rational, and does not believe in truth. Jealousy likes to be angry, hateful, spiteful and revengeful. Harboring bad feelings of rejection or misunderstandings can feed jealousy. Jealous is the ultimate selfishness.
Try to get counseling for your family. Talk to your husband and see if he will go for it. If you bring your concerns out to the open, perhaps you can resolve this thing before it has a chance to turn into something ugly. We all get jealous sometimes, but how we deal with it is the important part. Your youngest daughter might just grow out of her jealous phase, but if she doesn’t, your family will have a real problem to deal with.
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