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Jealousy When a Sibling Tests Gifted

By Jodie Lynn


One of our kids, a daughter, age eleven, is attending the gifted and talented program at their elementary school. Her test scores indicated that she needed this type of environment. Our other child, a son, age nine, didn't quite make it. He is very bitter and really acting out with horrible behavior. While we know it will take time for them to resolve their new-found differences in academics, what can we do to try to make things as normal as possible between them again?


The main thing your son needs to understand is that you love him for who he is and think he is doing a great job in school, home, and with his friends. Remind him as often as necessary until he regains his old self-esteem. If it's close to his birthday, have an extra special one where he is allowed to feel gratitude from his buddies for having such a fun party. Maybe just invite all boys and allow them to go somewhere just to hang out, play games and be as boisterous as they want without getting into trouble. It won't take long and he'll be more than happy to be himself again. - T.W. in Notre Dame, IN


This is a little difficult because you want each child to be proud and happy with themselves. Your son may feel left out and perhaps not as smart as his sister, which is most likely one of the main reasons he is acting out. Kids will sometimes do this when they get in weird situations, don't understand things or are not sure how they are supposed to act or feel in awkward moments. He may feel waves of jealousy when people begin comparing him to his sister or maybe even when they start talking about the new things taking place in her life. Make a conscious effort to make each one feel good about themselves without going overboard. It's a great accomplishment to be classified as a gifted and talented individual and just as awesome to be a normal, healthy, bright child. If you find that you're spending more time helping to get your daughter acclimated to her new school environment, try to schedule time slots with your son doing something that he enjoys and does well. Since your daughter is a couple of years older, you should be able to talk with her about the difficulties her brother is having and ask for her help and suggestions as well. Take the time to explain to family members about the situation and request that they be respectful of it. For example, if they ask questions or make remarks about your daughter, they should also do the same with her brother. Of course, with regard to both children, comments should be positive and avoid comparisons and criticism needs to be constructive. Above all else, love them for who they are, communicate it often and hug them frequently.

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© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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