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What would you say to jealous older child who is upset about Christmas presents that were received?

My oldest daughter (10) asked for a hamster for Christmas. It was one of her special requests. Upon hearing the request, the younger daughter (7) also said she wanted one. I thought that there might be problems later on with the oldest not wanting little sister to hold her hamster or not wanting her to bother it, so I decided to get the younger one also. Upon the both of them opening their box of hamster accessories, the oldest was upset that her sister got the same gift. She sulked and cryed that it was her "special gift". In trying to prevent a problem I made a worse problem! What could I do now to make it better or what should I have done to prevent any problems in the first place?


Asked by LovetoTeach247 at 4:42 PM on Dec. 25, 2008 in General Parenting

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Answers (8)
  • She is behaving inappropiately. I would tell her the reason that you both got a hamster was so that there would not be any issues about sharing, but that if she did not want them to have the same gift then her sister could have both of them.
    Sometimes the whole Christmas things gets so overwhelming that they forget their manners and start acting like brats. So they need a little reminder on how lucky they actually are.

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 4:49 PM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • tell her that its a gift it doesnt matter if she got the same one she got her own. suck it up shes old enough to know.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:54 PM on Dec. 25, 2008

  • She needs to get over it. She's being selfish and unappreciative.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:12 PM on Dec. 25, 2008

  • Yes, at this age, it is time to understand that they don't always get what they want. Also, this is why at that age, I always made sure my children understood that I WAS BUYING the gifts, that way they could be understanding to the fact that I couldn't afford alot of gifts. It is way to hard to explain why some kids get more presents and some not at all as far as Santa goes.. so my kids got over that around 6 or 7. When my granddaughter (4) said something about not getting a lot of presents to open this AM, I just got her interested in what SHE DID get and by that time she didn't even think about it again.

    Answer by pupmom at 5:16 PM on Dec. 25, 2008

  • We had this same circumstance today. My eleven year old got new clothes and one game for his wii. He had a temper tantrum. He felt it is unfair that his little brother got "cool toys!"

    We had to adjust his attitude. We took him aside and had him look up Bible verses on graditude and ingraditude.

    He then told everyone he was sorry for being selfish. We also explained that he is growing up and is outgrowing his clothes faster than we can pay for them.

    He responded well to us. He then went to an elderly neighbor and sang carols for her and gave her a gift.

    Answer by mom2boys1997 at 7:43 PM on Dec. 25, 2008

  • If it wasn't an animal, I would have been removing the problem item from the sulking child.

    Answer by kabbot01 at 9:28 PM on Dec. 25, 2008

  • So the 7 year old can't have something because the 10 year old asked for it first? I would just tell your older DD your reason for getting the sister the hamster too.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:20 PM on Dec. 25, 2008

  • She is being selfish and needs to get over it. I would not give her any attention for this behavior...I may even tell her she will lose hers if she does not straighten up.

    Answer by salexander at 12:46 PM on Dec. 26, 2008

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