Volume 5, Number 2
Ph.D. CSW, ACSW
Human Development Specialist
University of Missouri Extension
Children, like all humans, regardless
of age have feelings and emotions. As we grow so grows the emotions.
We, as parent, relatives acting as parents or grandparents need to
help our children learn how to deal with various emotions they will
experience throughout life.
Emotional traditions tend to be passed down from generation to
generation. This can be seen in
family patterns, or how a family deals with or handles emotions.
Jealousy is one emotion that can be inherited. It has both negative
and positive aspects. If this emotion is blocked or not released it
has the power to keep us in the past. If kept in the past the child
will focus only on the ‘if onlys’. What is needed is to look toward
the next time or future.
As adults, we need first to look at ourselves. If our attention is
focused on what others are doing or getting, the child will also
learn to look at and want what others are doing and getting. If we
are born to compare, our income, material things, intelligence,
amount of attention from family members, so too will the child learn
Comparison can be either good or bad. Good if it motivates us to
advance and achieve, bad if it ends in unresolved jealousy. Do you
believe life happens to you? Or do you believe you have no control
on what happens to you? Children will pick up on either belief which
could lead the child to develop jealous tendencies.
We as parents, grandparents, relatives as parents, need to observe
these tendencies in ourselves, reflect on them and then take time to
discuss this with the children in our care.
Becoming aware is the first step in the transition or change in
family patterns that can stop this emotion, Jealousy, from
progressing from generation to generation.