Why Saying, “I Love One Child More Than Another” Damages Entire Families
70% of parents admitted that they’ve treated one child differently than the others. Favoritism can leave a mark from a very early age, psychologists say. This phenomenon is also called “trophy child” and it causes many problems between siblings.
We at Bright Side studied some consequences of child favoritism and we want to share them with you so you can avoid some serious misunderstandings with your family in the future.
1. Children and parents can feel guilty.
Feelings of guilt can torture all family members. First of all, parents understand by themselves that this is not the right way to raise children and that one shouldn’t be made to feel more important than the others. Second, the favorite child can feel guilty in the future that their brother or sister wasn’t loved that much. Third, the less-loved child may think that it’s their fault that their parents didn’t pay attention to them.
Healthy communication between family members can be lost. Relationships based on guilt may lead to fights and disconnections.
2. The less loved child may be offended and have deep psychological trauma.
Children want attention. It’s normal that when you push a child away, they try their best to get that attention back, researchers say. The problem is that they unconsciously pick the “wrong” type of behavior.
As a result, you may see aggression, tears, or too attached. Kids watch their parents, pick up on their mood easily, and inevitably become a reflection of them. Later on, this may lead to deep psychological trauma in adulthood.
3. One kid may be less successful.
Parents may decide to give one child more attention, not just in general, but during their exam period. And this always has an impact on the other children.
Neglectful parenting can wound a child, limit brain development, and create a decrease in the curiosity to explore, read, and learn in general, say researchers.
4. The favorite child may become very narcissistic.
- The child asks for attention as their right, but there is no gratitude to the parents for being kind to them.
- The child believes that they are better than others.
- The child has high expectations from others.
- The child has difficulties in maintaining friendships.
Narcissism may lead to big problems in personal and professional life when you become an adult.
5. Less loved children have too many demands for themselves.
Some kids who are less loved become very academic. For example, they decide that if they are not as beautiful as their sister, they will do well in school instead.
They never felt good enough as a child. Instead of playing with friends and enjoying being a kid, they become small adults who needed to be perfect, out of the fear that their parents would love them even less.
6. There is no unity between the children.
Fights between children are a common thing. Very often it starts when children see a situation as unfair. When one kid gets less love and attention all the time, it can become a huge trigger for quarrels between the kids in a family.
Even when they become adults, they can’t find a common language and continue blaming, fighting, or ignoring each other.
7. The child pays the parents back in adulthood.
Relationships with children have deep roots, according to psychology. There is always a reason why you connect with your child in different ways. If you were constantly showing less love to one kid, it may have a big impact on your communication in the future.
You can be ignored, as well, when your child becomes an adult. They just reflect their parents’ behavior. This can be a conscious or an unconscious choice.
Have you ever felt like you were a less-loved child? What do you think has to be done to make kids feel equal? Please share your stories with us below!