How can we teach children not to be envious?

Question: I am a teacher. I find that some of my students are envious of their classmates. I try my best to remove this bad feature from them but with no use. I can say that this feature is present even in my children in the house, and I do not know how to control it.

The answer: Envy has many causes such as:

1. The discrimination in parents’ treatment of their children; showing love to some children and depriving the others of it is an educational error that is widespread among families. This discrimination may lead the children to even commit crimes against the parents, the newborn child, or people outside the house. Wisdom requires parents to show love to their children equally in order to not shed tears of regret later on.

2. The natural gifts in individuals like beauty, neatness, tactfulness, and the like; here a wise teacher and a kind father should not prefer one (student or child) to another according to inexcusable sentiment and love. Preference is right when someone makes efforts to be successful and the teacher intends by that to draw the attentions of the others that whoever makes efforts to be successful will be preferred, and thus, preference is just a result of efforts and success.

3. Praising someone before his mates without justification; when one is praised before his mates, the reasons behind that praise, such as personal efforts, success, and the like, should be declared to make his mates understand that praise is a fruit deserved by whoever does good.

4. A teacher or a father should explain moral concepts and stories about the outcomes of enviers and then ask the listeners to give their opinions about envy and after that advise and warn them of envy.

5. It is good for a teacher sometimes to ask his students to write articles on envy and assign a prize for the best of them. Doing this leads them to read and ponder more over what they suffer from, and consequently, they try to rid themselves of this bad feature.

Parents have to prepare the mentality of their last child to respond to the coming of their new child. They should plant love inside their child for his coming brother or sister so that he can be delighted when it is born, and this will remove envy from him.