Favoritism towards children and their pernicious effects: my right eye!
Do you feel more affinity towards one of your children? It is something habitual and sometimes inevitable, but it is very important to know how to show the same affection towards all our children. Favoritism, that is, having a favorite child, must be avoided at all costs so that it does not obscure the relations between siblings and so that it does not negatively affect the development of the children.
It is true that we are human, and it is normal that we can feel more predilection for one of our children, either because its character is similar to ours, because it is sweeter than the others, etc. But for the rest of the children, the favoritism of the parents towards one in particular can be negative.
Research shows: a study conducted by Cornell University in the US reveals that if the mother or father has a strong preference for one of their children, they will have less emotional well-being when they reach adults.
All the brothers lose out when they feel the favoritism of the parents
This unequal treatment has a very serious impact on our children: according to the study researchers, "the Depression records in children (favorites and not favorites) they are taller when they perceive that their parents make differences between them, that is, when they believe that the father or mother is closer to a particular child, "they say in the study published in the journal Journal of Marriage and Family.
But favoritism does not only negatively affect children who are not our "favorites." What we could call "our right eye" also loses. On the one hand, it is possible that he ends up counting on the envy and animosity of his brothers, but on the other hand, "to see that his parents have so many expectations put in him can lead him to carry a weight too big for him", as indicated by Karl Pillimer, researcher at Cornell University.
The consequences of the pernicious effect of favoritism on a child when he is an adult can be translated into a late rebellion towards parents for not treating him like the other siblings and putting him in a position that he never chose and where too much was demanded.
Another consequence that could take place is that the preferred son knows perfectly that he has his parents "eating from his hand", and take advantage of these circumstances to tyrannize his brothers. In this way, he can resort to the advantage with which he has to obtain privileges or blame other brothers for any fault that he has committed. In short, you can manipulate different situations to put them in your favor.
This affects the favoritism towards one, to other children
Favoritism turns the home into a space of competition, and not of welcome, which affects the development of children. The consequences of favoritism among children that are not our favorites are varied. Regarding your character, a child who is not treated as the favorite can show:
- Reserved and introverted. If you do not find the support you need from your parents, you will get used to keeping your problems, not communicating at home. You will think that the time of mom and dad is for another child. We will think that he is a child who does not give problems. However, perhaps "the whole procession carries it inside". We must be vigilant when we observe that he does not count his things, to help him get out his problems.
- Find help outside the home. Along with the previous symptom, it may happen that the child seeks acceptance and help outside of his own family, if he does not find recognition in his parents. That will generate a state of distrust towards their parents.
- Call attention. and he does it in different ways: with pranks, getting bad grades, he becomes the permanent clown of the class, etc. Seeks attention, because it suffers from her at home.
- Problems of adaptation. It may happen that the child has problems relating to his siblings when he does not find his own space at home, and his behavior will lead to envy and jealousy. This attitude, in turn, will transfer her to school, where she will also have problems relating to her classmates.
- He feels unable to compete. If he has a brother full of successes and praises from his parents, and he does not receive the same attention, he will feel incapable of competing, of learning, of fighting for what he wants to be, that is, he will be postponed, with hardly any illusion to improve and get things. Faced with this symptom, we have to support him and see with him the skills and qualities he has.
- Lack of selfesteem. He tends to have a bad image of himself, little security and distrust of his abilities. When you become an adult, you will need to be continuously comparing yourself with others to verify that it is valid for the tasks you have to perform.
Treat all your children equally: strive!
It is easy for parents to realize that we tend to care more for one child than for others.Although we all love very much, we can have more complicity with one, whatever the circumstances may be. But our duty is to know how to be balanced with all the children, although it may cost us due to the most difficult character of any of them.
It is common for parents to show favoritism towards the older or younger, or both, and be more indifferent towards the children who are in between. Therefore, we must make the effort to dedicate them all the same time, to have each and every one of them for family plans and to show affection and affection towards all, besides being fair and to reprimand them in the same way when they do some trastada, without overlooking the faults of some in front of others.
Tricks that work to avoid favoritism
- Dedicate a reserved and unique time for each of your children, so that they perceive that you love them unconditionally.
- Never make comparisons between children. That will only foment envy and undermine the self-esteem that has been compared.
- Our children do not have to be an identical copy between them. They have different capacities, weaknesses and strengths, so we can not reproach one who is not as "good" in our eyes as others.
- Avoid always asking your opinion of your "favorite" first and gives importance to the criterion of the rest of the children.
- If you perceive that one of your children makes you "less funny" than others, he looks for a virtue and a capacity that makes him unique and different from his brothers. You can enhance that quality (which is good for a sport, drawing, etc.). It is also good that on weekends we ask everyone to propose a plan, so that each of the children can see that they have their opinion.
Marisol Nuevo Espín