Category Archives: Parenting

What Happens When Parents Favor One Child Over Another?

A lot of parents tend to favor one child over another whether consciously or unconsciously and the effects can have serious long-term effects on the psychological makeup of both children. There are a lot of reasons for this, sometimes it’s a cultural thing, other times the parent just seems to have a better connection with one child over another or sees more of themselves in one child than another. The problem is that children are a lot more sensitive than we tend to realize and they can pick up on slight changes in tone, body language and more obvious things a parent spending more time exclusively with their sibling, giving them more attention or benefits (toys, money etc.) as well as comparisons parents might make between children (“why aren’t you more like x” or “you should have done that like y’ etc.).. This tends to create a type of pain in children that they cannot often describe and will cause them to act out in ways that may have negative consequences for both themselves and the rest of the family. When children feel as though they’re being neglected, they tend to act out more violently or become completely withdrawn (this is a spectrum and every child will react differently). Some children will start to bully their siblings (the ones who get more attention) or will throw tantrums etc.

This can continue into their teenage years as well, as they’ll be more likely to start doing drugs, become violent towards other children or are more likely to suffer from depression than those who get enough healthy attention and love from their parents. As a parent it’s important that you try to be as fair as possible and stay objective when it comes to raising your kids. Whether you have more of a connection with one child or not, you should always point out the benefits that both bring to the family and try to promote their strengths, not constantly point out their flaws. This helps to build good character and will encourage a better bond between siblings, rather than strife and negative competition (such as competing for a parents attention or love – as this can generate a lot of hate between siblings). Parents should always check themselves and if children start acting out, it’s important that you take a step back and analyze your role in the situation. While some children may simply be ‘problem children’, the truth is that more often than not their actions are connected to something in their home environment that’s causing them to feel stress or pain that they often struggle to express because they don’t have the emotional vocabulary to do so. Think about your actions and inactions (which may be difficult, but seeing a therapist can help) and always talk to your children in an open and honest way. When they feel that they’re being heard, they’re more likely to find healthier ways of dealing with their pain, than falling back on negative habits or unhealthy actions.

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