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Last Updated on May 12, 2017 by Marie Bautista
Are you guilty of giving more love and attention toward only one child?
For a parent to be fair, each child is treated the same way, and given the same amount of attention. This is never easy. We all play favorites and we can’t help it. What you can avoid is showing it.
Favoritism is manifested in many ways – and for many reasons, according to an expert.
SIGN #1: You are more affectionate toward one child – and it comes naturally. You
greet one child with a warm, tight hug, and smother him with kisses, while you wave “Hi,” to your other child and ask him, “What’s up?” This happens when you have a child who complements you, making you feel drawn to him.
SIGN #2: You excessively praise one child while neglecting to utter nice words to your other children. By being drawn so much to this favorite child, you sometimes inadvertently mistreat the other.
SIGN #3: You shower one with more expensive gifts. When you’re out shopping, you always seem to be looking for something to buy for this one child, and would oftentimes end up buying the coolest toys for him. Then you hand out a bag of candies to the other one, saying “This is your favorite candy, right?”
SIGN #4: You make a big deal when talking about your child to friends and relatives, boasting endlessly about his achievements in and outside of school. You can practically spend the whole day enumerating this child’s good traits and recent accomplishments, while you are stumped when asked about how your other child is doing in school.
SIGN #5: You find yourself unknowingly drawn to a child whose traits you can identify with.
SIGN #6: It seems to easy for you to reward a child, sometimes even excessively. You waste no time giving him extra allowance or shopping money to buy the latest games, while you spend all afternoon lecturing your other child why you should not give him money for a school project.
WHY HAVING A FAVORITE CHILD IS DANGEROUS
Too much of everything is dangerous – even love. If the love nurtures a sense of entitlement, then the child begins to think he is so good that he does not need to work to accomplish anything. He does not see the urgency to work hard to be loved, to gain favor, or to get things he wants.
Rivalries and jealousies develop fast when kids feel their parents are playing favorites. When you single out one child and him you like him more, you’re sending out a powerful message to your other kids: “Mom and dad love my brother more than me; there must be something wrong with me.”
This is when favoritism leads to hatred and various behavioral and psychological problems. When a child starts doubting his parents’ love, he may resent the “favorite.”
On the other hand, the favorite child – the one who is always preferred and praised – may grow up thinking he is better or superior than others. Sometimes, he becomes arrogant, entitled and spoiled. They get used to being the center of attention, of being in the limelight.
When you smother a child with too much praise and love, you may fail to recognize what it is he really needs.
- Playing favorites may be normal and natural. Just make sure you don’t create a lapse in the way you treat your children. You as a parent should see what is good for all your kids.
- Nurture love.
- Keep in mind that each child has his own unique role to play. Wouldn’t it be better to teach our kids that greatness is not determined by what gifts and talents one has, but rather by what one does with those gifts? Strive to find the right balance when expressing love to our children. Favoritism deals sibling relationships, and may distort a child’s personality. What children need is to feel and receive the same amount of love and attention from parents and caregivers.
- Celebrate what you love about each of your kids. Every child is a unique individual and a parent naturally forges different relationships with each one. Be aware of your immeasurable capacity to care for each child without partiality.