What to Do When You Really Have a Favorite Kid
What to do when you really have a Favorite kid
Despite the fact that some families joke about having a favorite child, most parents publicly deny preferring one child above the others. But the truth is that, according to research, the majority of parents do have a favorite child.
This is due to a variety of factors.
It could be because of a parent’s pride in a certain child, the closeness of their relationship with that child, or the degree to which that child’s values correspond with their own.”
Gender and birth order also play a role, which may come as a surprise to some.
“According to research, mothers are more likely to have a favorite child, fathers are more indulgent with female offspring, and first-borns and last-borns receive more attention,” says the author.
This isn’t to say that exhibiting favoritism is OK, even if you’re more drawn to one child than the others.
According to research, favoritism has long-term consequences for children.
As a result, it’s critical to avoid showing favoritism and to reassure your children that you love them all equally.
When you truly have a favorite child, here’s what you can do to maintain healthy, equitable relationships with everyone.
Recognize and Accept Your Own Feelings
It may be unsettling to confess to yourself that you are more drawn to one child than the others.
But pretending it isn’t occurring won’t make you feel any better.
Allow yourself to let go of the guilt and remember that it’s natural to get along better with some individuals than others.
And it’s natural to feel closer to one child than the others.
Spend time with each child on a one-on-one basis.
Spending time with a beloved child is simple.
You probably get along well with them and enjoy spending time with them
You might also have similar interests and pastimes.
As a result, spending time together may come spontaneously rather than as a result of special dates.
Perhaps your child comes into the kitchen with you and you bond over your shared passion for baking.
Perhaps your youngster enjoys sports and you find yourself watching the big game with him or her every week. When you have similar interests and hobbies, quality time will likely require little effort on your part
Make your rules and consequences as equitable as possible.
Examine your family’s rules and penalties, as well as the rules and consequences you have for each child.
There’s a risk you’re unwittingly creating allowances for your favorite child or giving them special treatment.
Parents may unconsciously impose an “annoyance tax” on certain children while allowing a favored child to “get away with it.”
If your favorite child forgets to do a chore, you could respond, “Everyone forgets to do stuff occasionally,” and then reflect on some of your own obligations.
Everyone should be praised for their good behavior.
It’s possible that you’ll find yourself praising your favorite child the most.
However, everyone should be praised for their positive behavior.
Say things like, “I appreciate it that you put out your schoolwork tonight before I had to remind you,” or “Thank you for patiently waiting while I concluded my phone conversation.”
Make your compliments relevant to the conduct you wish to see.
Say something like, “You were incredibly courteous to that girl at the park today when she fell down,” rather than saying “Good job” or “You’re a good kid.”
I was pleased to see you attempting to assist her.
Trying to single someone out is a bad idea.
While praising certain acts is beneficial, don’t go so far as to label someone as your favorite or least favorite.
“Well, if you all acted like your sister, you’d all get to stay up later too,” promotes the idea that one child is your favorite.
“I hope you earn a later bedtime as well,” is a better alternative.
Here’s how you can prove to me that you can sleep 15 minutes later…”
Likewise, don’t single out the child who is falling behind.
“Well, if your brother didn’t slack off so much, we’d have time to stop for ice cream
Address Issues Directly
Every parent will almost certainly hear their children grumble about one of their siblings being the favorite at some point.
And you might be inclined to answer, “That’s not true,” when one of your children accuses you of favoritism.
However, such a response is unlikely to assuage their fears.
Take a moment to directly address their issues.
Favoritism from other adults should be called out.
You may have the impression that your partner favors one child over the others.
It’s possible that your parents or in-laws have a favorite child in your family as well.
When you notice this, gently call attention to it.
If you’re observing it, the other kids are probably as well.
Refrain from compensating by lavishing additional attention and affection on the other children.
If you do, you might make matters worse.
Instead, speak with the adults without the children present.
Explain what you’re seeing and why it’s alarming you.
If you’re struggling to avoid showing favoritism—or you’re accused of it and don’t know how to respond in a healthy way—seek professional help, if you can. You might also get help if your partner shows favoritism toward one child and doesn’t want to do anything about it.
A therapist can assist you in ensuring that you establish a healthy family.
Having a favorite child is clearly not something to be ashamed about.
However, it’s critical to ensure that you’re fostering a nurturing environment for all of the children.
So don’t be ashamed to admit that you’re more drawn to one child than the others.
Then you can focus on avoiding exhibiting favoritism in the future.
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