Jealousy is one of those things that humans can’t avoid. We’re born with a certain set of emotions, and jealousy is just one of them. But teen envy can be a much different animal than that same emotion for adults, because adults are wired differently and are more adept at handling a variety of emotions.
Teens already have a crazy world to worry about, and in the modern era, jealousy has taken on new heights with the creation of social media. When people read Facebook statuses of their friends or look at Instagram photos, it can have a soul-crushing effect on someone with low self-esteem. A teen might think, “Why am I not at that party? Why can’t I go on that vacation? Why can’t I date a girl like that?” And on and on.
It’s a different world now—adolescents are not just jealous of physical things, like clothes, money and cars, but of the non-tangible worlds of other people.
How does jealousy work in young people? According to science.howstuffworks.com:
“Five hundred fifth through ninth grade students were evaluated to assess these vulnerabilities. For example, the questions were designed to find out what level of jealousy resulted in hypothetical situations, such as if their best friend went shopping with someone else. The researchers also surveyed peers about their perceived opinions of jealous behavior in others. The study determined that adolescents with lower levels of self-worth were more likely to become jealous. In addition, jealous adolescents studied were more inclined to become either physically or passively aggressive—ignoring people with whom they were angry.
The study also reinforced current beliefs about females being more jealous than males. This group of researchers attributes this to the idea that girls have higher standards of loyalty, kindness, empathy and commitment than boys, so they become more jealous when these standards are not met. The underlying factor in this negative behavior is the same as it is for everyone—adolescents fear losing friendships, so they behave in a jealous manner to "protect" them, even if their behavior is actually destructive.”
As pointed out in the article, it’s even more worrisome for tween and teenage girls who tend to become more jealous than males.
So how can a parent help a jealous child and stop any kind of oncoming destructive behavior? A modern answer is a cell phone spyware to spy on text messages. Once downloaded on your teen’s phone, you’ll immediately be able to see if your teen is “lurking” on social media. Lurking is defined as trolling other people’s Facebook statuses or Instagram accounts without ever posting anything themselves.
It’s always good to teach your kids to build their own happiness, be true to themselves, and to not let other people define them. It’s important they know that you don’t have to be the best at everything, or have the most popular friends, or date the high school cheerleader or captain of the football team to be liked. But with that green-eyed monster emotion called Jealousy, sometimes it’s hard to drive that point across. A cell phone spy tracker allows you to intervene and stop any destructive teen behavior before that little jealousy turns into something worse.