7 Subtle Signs You Might Be Playing Favorites With Your Children
Just because you may find it easier to be around one child more doesn’t mean you love the other one less. It’s normal for parents to have a stronger connection with one child, and it doesn’t make them a bad mom or dad — favoritism and love are two different things. However, it’s important to acknowledge both children equally otherwise your child may become insecure in their personal relationships in the long run.
Bright Side has put together a list of signs that you may be favoring one child over the other, and what to do about it in some cases.
1. You might focus on the same-gender child more.
One of the signs that you might pick one child over the other is because they are the same gender as you. If you are a mom and you have a boy and a girl, you might spend more money on her, and fathers may spend more on their sons. Research shows that parents often identify more with the same-gender children in more than one culture.
2. Your first-born may feel left out.
Your first-born child may feel like the king of the house until there’s another baby coming on the way, then they just become the older sibling. This child’s personality changes, and they try to please you as much as possible, which is why they can be more successful at school.
Also, if you feel more overprotective of your second child, your first one can feel clingy and anxious. It’s important to be thankful for your firstborn and have fewer expectations from them.
3. You may favor your gifted and talented child.
Being gifted roams in the family. Sometimes it’s hard for parents to distinguish this, and they can end up favoring the “more successful” one. But it’s possible that your other children may be gifted too in other areas.
However, it’s important to make your other children feel approved, appreciated, and valued as well, otherwise, it will make them feel less unique. It can also cause your gifted child to feel special only because of their talent instead of other important values.
4. You might feel more at ease and relaxed with one child.
Parents can love both their children equally, but sometimes they find it less difficult to be around one of their children. Every so often it’s normal and natural to feel at ease with one child more than the other, and that can mean they’re your favorite. However, the key is to treat the other child with affection periodically too, so that they can “trust the feelings of being favored as legitimate.”
5. You may spend more time with one child.
The child that you spend more time with can feel like the smaller version of you or your partner in crime. Usually, they’re the younger kids (and newborns) because the older ones require less guidance.
This isn’t necessarily bad, it’s actually fair and obligatory for such cases, including sick kids, ones who have a disability, and sometimes choosing to be with your biological kids over step-children. It’s advisable to discuss such favoritism with your disfavored child so that they can understand that they aren’t excluded on purpose.
6. You may spend less time with your middle child.
The middle child often feels like they aren’t the parent’s favorite in the household. They usually fight with their older and younger siblings for more attention.
While the older child is most authoritative, and the youngest one the cute spoiled baby, the middle child has a hard time fitting in. But since they’re always in the middle, they may find themselves in between arguments to calm everyone down.
7. You might often take one child’s side in an argument.
According to a study, parents often favor the youngest child, and take the youngest child’s side more in an argument they’re having with their sibling. Of course, it is normal to cling to the baby as it needs more care and attention.
However, parents usually stick to this child even when they grow older, which means they’re favoring it more than the older sibling, and in turn, sticking up for them more often than not.
Do you have a favorite child? Which point on this list can you relate to the most?