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Monday, September 3, 2012


There are times that parents may favor one child over another and not realize that they are doing so. Sometimes they may not even want to admit it, but rather offer excuses.

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Sometimes it is easy to favor a child that is obedient and that never questions authority, but is that right? There are good qualities in the defiant child. There are good qualities in the child that does not always do what you ask them to do.

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According to Ellen Weber Libby, Ph.D., favorite children grow up feeling they are entitled and that rules do not apply to them. Unfavored children grow up with negative distorted views of themselves.

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There may be parents that think it is okay to favor one child over another. It is clearly not okay though.

There have been times I would hear a parent say, “Why aren’t you like your brother James?” Well clearly, that child is not James and has his own unique personality. There are great qualities and uniqueness that are in every child. You can celebrate the differences. There is no need to compare each child to each other?

Sometimes a parent may favor a child that goes along with the program and never questions authority. The unfavored child may be so much like the parent that the parent picks out the negative things in the child rather than the positive things, which defeats parenting.

Growing up I had a friend that had polio. She would talk back to her mother I would feel sorry for her, because sometimes her mother would speak harsh to her. I did not realize then that her mother was treating her no different from her other children. She would not allow her other children to talk back to her, nor was she allowing this child. I remember a statement she made to her daughter, “You might have polio, but you are not handicapped in your head.” “You understand everything that I am telling you.” Therefore, parents have to be careful not to favor a child, because they may have medical issues.

When a parent favors one child, it is so unfair to the other children. The other children see the favoritism and become resentful of this treatment. I recall my children during a role reversal one day. They pretended to be me and showed my how I was treating my youngest child. Until I saw this, I never realized that I had been favoring the youngest. It was a rude awakening. Therefore, I nipped that in the bud right away.

I have heard one child say, “I know my daddy wanted a boy, but got me instead. How is it that this child felt that way?

Katherine Bindley of Huffingtonpost.com states that, “Kids have an overwhelming sense of justice and they’re aware when things are unjust,”
They do not like it either. In addition, she states that an unfavored child may become anti-social. Favoritism in the family dynamics can be harmful. Have you been favoring one child over another? You can start changing that behavior today. What are your feelings about this? Will you share this article with a friend?

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The Favorite Child, by Ellen Weber Libby, Ph.D., April 23, 2011


How Parents Can Deal With Having A Favorite Child, Katherine Bindley, November 21, 2011,


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