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Being on only one’s side when you have 2 or more kids can lead to severe short term or long term effects on the future of other child. Do you know why this favouritism is harmful? And how to avoid these situations?
Having a favourite child is quite common. But it is important to make your other kids just as valued. Every parent shower unconditional love on their children. Still involuntarily these misunderstandings take place even by comparing or by gender bias or by spending more time with a particular child. Do you know how a casual comparison can deeply hurt them? Do you know how it will affect their sibling relationship?
At the beginning of parenthood most of the parents show their total attention on the first born . But after the birth of younger one, their attention shift towards him/her. This may indulge a feeling of jealous inside the first child and starts hating him/her. The best way to solve this conflict is to provide some knowledge in the first child about the future child even before the birth. The child should be made ready for sharing of attention, time and everything. Sudden shift of attention would rise an anger inside him and suppresses the love towards sibling. Even in their growing stage spending equal time is the most important aspect to stop rising any issues without showing favouritism.
Everyone shine when it’s their own time. A child being a math perfectionist may not know how to throw a ball. A child being a basketball champion may not be able to solve a simple problem. A child may be a champ in both studies and games. It just depends on their individual talent. Instead of shaping their talents, some parents start comparing between them. Children are tender beings and cannot take a negative criticism too well. Slowly they feel unworthy about themselves. Of course competition is healthy. But there is a small line between competition and comparison which affect a lot of things. The kids end up feeling bad about themselves and even face anxiety, depression and stress in some cases. In some cases it severely damage their sibling relationship due to jealous and anger issues.
Parents spend more money on our clothes, accessories, vehicles, education and so on. In most of the cases a favourite child of both parents (either elder or younger) get more access to these benefits than usual. That particular child will always get what he/she wanted all the time, while the other has to compromise for everything. If they take it as a casual thing and cannot understand this issue, then the effected child gets psychologically disturbed.
Bragging indicates a boastful talk about one’s achievements or possessions. It’s pretty common for parents to brag about their children in functions or gatherings. But when it comes to their favourite child, they just can’t control it and even do more than usual. This leads to low self-esteem in the other child. The child lacks parents attention and appreciation. He/she starts feeling useless due to this favouritism.
In addition to these favouritism is sometimes based on the gender too. In most of the cases it occurs in the favour of a boy child. In some places boys face this discrimination too. Making a boy to study more and giving him a chance to explore his career options is fine. But girls need that too. It’s a very familiar problem. Everyone is aware of it. Still in some houses the favourite child position is given on the basis of gender. Not to go deep but the point is freedom shouldn’t be given on the basis of gender. Every child should be given a chance to achieve their own dreams without showing favour over a particular one.
Short term and long term effects due to favouritism:
Particularly in a case of three children the middle child get mostly neglected. The first born and second born would have constant attention than the middle one. The short time effect of this favouritism is that the ignored child feels more independent and thinks he/she don’t need parents anymore. Independence more than the usual is negative. According to an expert the biggest long-term dangers are depression, anxiety, unstable or even traumatic reactions in personal relationships. It also leads to the performance anxiety for both favoured and non-favoured child.
It’s not like the favoured child life is full of roses. The over affection and unusual attention can affect that child and lead him in a bad way. He may take everything for granted and loss the values. Parents having a favourite is not a bad thing. But their way of treating other child should never change because of this. Your way of rising can change a lot of things in their future.