Get some books that focus on jealousy out of the library. ‘When I’m Feeling Jealous’ is great for younger students, or for older tamariki, try What To Do When It’s Not Fair. You could also try a movie such as Toy Story (even older kids love this AND it’s a great way to ‘externalise’ jealousy by discussing it as it affects Woody).
If you wanted to make it a focus you could also try ‘song’ – we love Sesame Street’s Feelings Song which helps tamariki understand how confusing jealousy can be. Older tamariki enjoy this too! The video will make them laugh but it’s a beautiful song and would make a great assembly performance!
- Show the song, then the second time through, stop after Grover’s first feeling – mad and sad about not having his wish come true – Ask - what's the feeling? Disappointment.
- Then Dave Mathews says he’s jealous because he has a friend with a cape, and he’s proud of his friend but he wants to be a superhero too – discuss the confusion that can come with feeling jealous.
This exercise will help build students’ emotional literacy and get them thinking about jealousy as an emotion (often tamariki aren’t familiar with the term, or it’s not ever talked about).
Talk though some of the ways to manage jealousy:
- What can we tell ourselves when we feel jealous?
- How do we know what we ‘think’ is the truth e.g. did your friends really go to the movies without you, or did they text your Mum and she forgot to tell you or hasn’t checked her phone?
- Discuss why jealousy stops us being able to empathise, and why this may be problematic
- Talk through the reasons jealousy exists – it can be a positive thing - it’s meant to highlight what we want, and can help to define our goals and drive our ambition
Consider a Feeling Good ‘notebook’ which each student could have and provide regular times for tamariki to reflect on their emotions and things they know can help. For jealousy this could include:
Communicating their feelings to someone who can listen well or to the person they are jealous of is a brave and great thing to do. (Discuss how we can do this positively — by taking responsibility for our own feelings and actions and using ‘I’ statements. This is a lifelong skill (!) and may require kaiako support.)
Sparklers activities to help
Encourage emotional literacy:
Teaching and practising calm down strategies
- Taihoa! (add in some jealousy-causing scenarios!)
Building on tamariki strengths