If you are like most parents, when someone asks you which of your children is your favorite, you will probably answer with a «none of them!» Emphasis.
However, it seems that this answer may not be completely correct. Even if you don’t fully recognize it, research indicates that there is a good chance that you will actually have a favorite.
In fact, a study published in Journal of Family Psychology found that 74% of mothers and 70% of fathers reported preferential treatment for a child. And, although the parents in the study did not indicate which child they preferred, brothers to I can often report that I feel like my parent’s favorite child.
However, normally this favoritism it has nothing to do with loving one child more than another. Instead, it is more likely to be based on how your personality resonates more with one child’s personality than another. Even if the parents acknowledge this connection, they are still reluctant to admit it out loud for fear of hurting the other child’s feelings.
Parents also tend to worry about discrimination between their children and not treat them properly, even if they try very hard not to. If you are particularly concerned about showing favoritism in your parents, here are some things you can do to make sure you treat all your children with the same love, empathy, and generosity.
Examine your feelings
Examining your feelings for each child is a good place to start, especially if you want to make sure you don’t show favoritism in your family. If you do this, you will have a better relationship with all your children.
This self-examination can not only give you information about your subconscious motivations, but can improve you reproduction and lead to a healthier home environment.
Examining how you feel about each of your children will likely help you better understand your thoughts and feelings. Knowing how you respond to each child and why will help you know what to correct. Also, a better understanding of your own inner world will help you understand why you do what you do.
Recognize that feelings can be temporary
Remember that your relationships with your children are not set in stone. Every relationship goes through a season. So, although you may feel more connected to a child at some point, this is likely to change.
Consequently, if you fight in a relationship with your teenager But you happily get along with your high school student, you have to admit that this tension you are experiencing is probably only temporary. Nor is there any indication that the relationship with your high school student you will never experience challenges.
Instead of making broad generalizations about relationships with your children, try to withstand every storm as you would in any other relationship. Recognize when they go through a phase or identify why things can be challenging and love them in that phase.
The key is not to let difficult situations obscure your judgment or make assumptions about the child you are struggling to raise at that time.
All children need to know that they have things that make them unique and special. But when you compare your children, this message is lost. Even the mere fact of congratulating one child in front of another can make them wonder if they are measuring.
And if you often make comparisons like “Do you see how clean Bailey’s room is? You should keep your camera that way. ” Comparisons between two children are often counterproductive and cause the comparison of the child with the «golden child» simply to give up and refuse to try again.
Children also naturally want to please their parents. When you compare them, it increases your anxiety and stress levels and decreases you Self-esteem, especially when they begin to believe that their brother is better than them.
Instead of making comparisons, make sure you constantly point out the positive aspects of each child. For example, you can comment on how hard a child worked on a project and how carefully another child was when he created a card for a sick friend.
However, it might be a better idea to find a quiet time to share this information with them privately. Whether you do or not, the child who does not receive compliments will assume that you are happier with the other child and will forget the compliments you have paid in the past.
Resist the desire to adapt
Host a younger child or a child with special needs It can be frustrating for other brothers. If they constantly feel that they are not allowed to watch certain TV shows because their brother scares them or if they cannot eat certain foods because their brother has an allergy, they may begin to feel resentful.
When you can, try to resist the temptation to host one child over another. No matter how justified the accommodation is, she will always feel unfair to the other child.
Of course, there are times when you have no choice but to accommodate your child with special needs or the younger child. But when you do, take some time to explain to the other children why you made the decision. Then be willing to hear how I feel about it. Be empathetic and understanding, even if you can’t make a different decision.
He does the right things
One of the easiest ways to make sure you don’t show favoritism is to make sure things are right. In other words, at parties, make sure that each child has the same number of gifts to open and that you have spent about the same amount of money for each child. Even if you have to wrap some presents, it is important that one child does not have more gifts than the other.
Other ways to keep things right is to make sure the supplements you give your children are about the same. In other words, constantly picking up a toy for your youngest child when you’re outside, but doing nothing for other children may seem like playing your favorites, even if your other children are too old for toys. If you plan to buy a toy for the youngest child, try to buy something small for the other children as well.
A word from Verywell
When all is said and done, it is important to remember that your relationship with each child is like any other relationship. There may be ups and downs with many learning experiences for both of you.
By being proactive and recognizing what factors are at stake, you can avoid showing any kind of favoritism. And, although it is normal to value certain characteristics in each child, it is important that each child receives from you an endless source of love and unconditional support.