Talking about Jealousy
Jane is talking to a counsellor about a jealousy problem between her two daughters...
Counsellor: How can I help you today?
Jane: Well, we have two daughters and the little one is just six months old and the other one
is four years old. Our older daughter’s behaviour is getting worse day by day. She’s very
jealous of the baby and she openly tells us that she feels that we love the baby more than
Counsellor: OK. I can assure that it’s very common for an older sibling to feel jealous when
a new baby arrives because their world is turned upside down!
Jane: We’ve tried everything to make her feel loved and included... but I’m starting to lose
Counsellor: You need to focus on two things: protecting your baby and teaching your older
daughter how to interact with her new sister. You can do this in the same way you would you
teach her anything else - talk to her about what you’re doing, demonstrate things, guide her,
and always praise and encourage her.
Jane: So, you think involving her more will make things better?
Counsellor: Yes! If you see her touching the baby gently, praise her! Make a big fuss about
the important ‘big sister’. Hug and kiss her often too and tell her how proud you are of her.
Jane: I do praise her a lot and when I do, she is more relaxed… Although, it has been very
stressful in our house with the new baby…
Counsellor: Yes, adjusting to life with a new baby can be difficult and stressful for everyone.
Now, you need to focus on acknowledging your daughter’s feelings, by saying things such as:
“Things have really changed with the new baby being here” and “It’s going to take us all
some time to get used to this.” Try to keep your comments positive and general. When she
knows you understand, she won’t feel the need to compete for your attention.
Jane: OK, this is something I could do better...
Counsellor: Also, try to be more affectionate than usual with your older daughter – Tell her
you love her more, give her more hugs, and set aside time each day to read a book or play a
game. Temporary regressions or behavioural problems are completely normal when a new
sibling comes along, and they can be eased with plenty of love and attention.
Jane: Thank you for your advice - hopefully, it helps…
To let down someone
To make someone disappointed when you have not fulfilled a promise.
She promised that she would be there but she let me down.
To break down
1. To become very upset.
2. When something stops working
1. She broke down when she opened her results.
2. The lift broke down.
To bring somebody/something down
1. To make someone lose their powerful position.
2. To make something end.
1. He brought his boss down by exposing personal emails.
2. The rise in export prices could bring the hospitality industry down.
To bottle something up
To refuse to talk about things when someone is worried or upset.
After his father passed away, he bottled his emotions up and wouldn’t talk to anyone.
To get something across
To make someone believe or understand something
He tried to get his point across but his manager wouldn’t listen.