Children depend on parents to provide a stable environment. However, when parents start favoring one child over another, the less favored get perplexed and will ask where they went wrong.
Usually child favoritism starts out innocently, but can eventually become like a poison that seeps into all the walls of the family structure. A good number of parents will not admit that they ‘favor one child over another,’ but most of them do.
Most parents make some kids feel more important that others based on their temperament. When a child has more characteristics that are acceptable by a parent, they are likely to be pampered and treated well unlike a child with features or characteristics that reminds them of their insecurities. For example; an active go-getter child is favored and the placid, quiet child gets ignored or vice versa.
The most surprising thing about this is that, ‘favoring’ has nothing to do with love. It is quite simply the raw truth that there will always be people in this world, whether related or otherwise, that we connect with more easily.
Sometimes, these people we connect better with, or against are our very own children. The problem occurs when parents who seem to connect with one child over the other, begin deliberately showing sides, this ends up hurting the child whose relationship may not come so easily.
Shockingly, favoring children also hurts the children that are favored. The favored child in turn, feels a tremendous amount of guilt and becomes unable to forge strong relationships with his or her siblings.
“I was and still I’m my father’s favorite kid, though it might seem cool to other kids, I suffered a lot because of this. Whenever I won some competition or an argument, my sisters and brothers would say, “don’t lie to yourself that you have won, it’s just because you are dad’s pet” or whenever they were going to break some rule, they tell me, not to participate that I was dads angel. I was tormented till today,” says Keza Bekar, a model.
As for the less favored child, chances are that they become rebellious, emotionally distraught, angry and resentful since they are more prone to depression.
The repercussions of favoritism are many. Not only does favoritism set up battle grounds for sibling rivalry, it also causes a great deal of marital damage, especially if the parents often fight about the situation.
Yet in many situations, the favoritism is warranted. For instance, families with a newborn will obviously ‘favor’ the baby. Parents with disabled children normally show more signs of favoritism towards the disabled child. This same type of ‘necessary favoritism’ does occur when a child is sick. The difference is that in these situations, parents can easily explain it to the other children, based on a needs perspective.
Additionally, it is often common for parents to favor their same gender children. Often, kids can write this off as acceptable because the parent and child obviously share more common interests with one another. But if there’s no one of the above mentioned cases, it is important that parents level the playing field for all their children.
Even if a mom or dad tends to have an easier time handling and bonding with one child over the other, their love for all children must remain consistent.