The other night at dinner I was giving my 4 year old, Emma, lots of praise because she was eating very good (for her). It's such a challenge sometimes to get her to even try her dinner. Usually she'll just turn up her nose and ask for peanut butter bread (the old stand by).
Anyway, like I said, we were praising her highly for eating well, and throwing in a little added "Isn't she so cute?!" just because. As usual, when we tell one of the other girls how cute, special, etc. they are that Eden (our 8 year old) will pipe up, saying "Bear?". Which means, "Mama Bear, Papa Bear.....what about Eden Bear?".
It's gotten a bit ridiculous, actually. Because it's ALL the time. And it's not as though she is lacking in the compliments department. I am constantly telling her how beautiful, smart, and funny she is. I'm always begging to take her picture. She's beautiful, and she knows it.
So anyway, after she said something, we kicked it up a notch. We went crazy with the "aren't you so cute, Emma" just to tease Eden a little bit. And then Eden started to cry! So we sent her to her room. After dinner I went up to talk to her to find out why she started crying just because I was praising Emma.
"Because you were teasing me". Ok, ok, maybe I did go a little overboard, but I was only trying to prove a point. I explained to her that I praise all my children when they've done something good (and sometimes just because I think they are so darn cute) and just because I tell one child they've done something marvelous, doesn't mean I don't think Eden is marvelous too. I apologized for teasing her but told her she shouldn't expect a compliment every time someone else gets one.
I used to see jealousy like that with Hanna too. Whenever I'd tell Eden she was [enter compliment here], Hanna would say, "What about me?". She isn't like that anymore although when I develop ONE MORE picture of Eden or hang up ONE MORE drawing that Emma has done, Hanna will say she's jealous. Haha...good old competition. Now if she'd show that same competitive spirit on the volleyball court!