Teen Green….

Nope, not talking about cash. That’s what many, my girls included, would think of first. Nope. Talking about that green eyed monster: Jealousy.

In our big messy house, we’ve been running into a lot of jealousy. I have. I am telling you that this spring, but oh my goodness even more so, this summer, every time I turn around one or another of my girls is jealous of a sister. As they say here in the south, “You can’t swing a dead cat” without hitting a jealous sister. I know, yikes!

Jealousy. It’s the grown up, breathing, creature risen from the little kid version of sibling rivalry. This has morphed from little kid “gimme’s” and grabs to a stewing breath of resentment and envy. It’s jealousy. I think especially for girls, it’s a serious monster that waits in the closet, needing only a crack in the door to step out. Especially for teens. Especially when it comes to teen sisters. {And there are many who can/will point to the idea that we/I haven’t ‘formed’ them well enough….maybe. But I think this is part of our human nature, and it peaks in the toddler and teen years. And with the complexities in our family and it’s forming, well, I’m not sure how we could have sidestepped this entirely…But maybe I’m just being defensive; it could happen!}

Now, most of the jealousy ’round here centers around time with me. Which, on one level, is grand. They like me! Or, more to the point, they need time with me. And they WANT it! But on another level, it’s tough. It’s a pressure. Because I do make a point of trying my best to make sure each kid gets time with me, one on one, face time, checking in, sitting by them, ears and heart open…etc etc. Typically, the jealous version plays out around the idea of…wait for it….shopping. No surprise that, eh? If one of them needs something from the store: another pair of shorts, a new sports bra, heck, more conditioner…… then if I take them to the store to shop and/or get it…..then I can be quite certain that when I get home one or several will now be “jealous.” {Which explains why I try to do a great lot of the shopping alone, when they are in school….but it’s summer…..yeah, circling back to the problem now….} Heck I can lay money on it. They don’t seem to be nearly as jealous of time spent with me chopping vegetables for dinner….hmmmm…

Michael D. Edens, “Jealousy”

It’s wearing me out.

So, this is a post to ask for ideas from anyone who has multiple teen girls at home: How do you soothe and settle the green eyed teen? How do you address the cries of “H first! (no fair, me jealous),” “It’s just that I NEVER get to go with you.” “You NEVER get me stuff.” You only take/buy/do for ____fill in the blank____?” All of these statements have a fractional basis in reality – in that I cannot buy for every single child every single time another needs something. We’d go bankrupt. And I cannot take every child every time; nor can I take every child every day or week. I’d simply drop dead from insanity or sheer exertion.

I have four teen girls right now. I love them so. Each of them is an amazing individual; each with so many great qualities. But, collectively? The sisters, the hormones, the drama, the JEALOUSY?? It’s making for a LONG summer. And summer has only begun….

Moms?? Experience, tips…anything??

5 thoughts on “Teen Green….

  1. I seem to recall, as the oldest of a fairly large family that led off with 3 girls, who were teens together, while younger siblings popped out on a nearly annual basis, that my mother poured 4 glasses of wine one summer afternoon. She had all the others off somewhere by some magic (probably my grandmother played a role), and told us she was going to treat us as adults, if we would just act like adults and knock off the green eyed monster behavior. It made an impression; I don’t know if it worked totally to her satisfaction, but I took it to heart. In fact it was a pretty basic building block for how I have raised ours. YMMV

    • Love this nora, thank you! W some of the delays built into one or two tho I’m not sure that will work… Tho it’s worth approaching as close as I am able… Two of them surely can get closer at any rate. Love this thank you!

  2. When I was pregnant with my fourth boy in a row, a mother of 11 I know said that she’d take a house full of boys over a house full of girls any time. At the time, she had 4 or 5 teen aged girls. I thought she was nuts, as the boys never stopped yelling, wresting, pounding each other, etc. But she told me that the pay off would come when they hit puberty.

    I am afraid I can offer no advice, only my heartfelt sympathy! And I can tell you that it will likely pass, as most sisters I know seem quite close as adults.

    And Nora, I thought maybe your mom poured the 4 glasses in succession, for herself! I guess that would be one way to deal with it, if not the ideal way!

  3. Hi Michelle–
    I have not gotten to talk to you in so long. I have big news, so please email me.
    I only have three teenage daughters, but I think I could throw any number of boys or younger sisters in there on this subject. I’ll find out in twenty years if this is really working…and it really can’t be all the time….but at one point I tried that turn taking thing with kid dates that some people do. THAT was a crazy financial disaster! NOW we only do that on birthdays. I find things to remain healthiest when I do not have a pattern to our outings. And when we do go out I try to make sure they don’t always get something. Some are probably always hoping. Some hate those trips out and prefer to stay home on the farm. Sometimes I even take someone with me, but make a point of *gasp* shopping for someone else while we are out and doing the same for them at some point.


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