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Is it ok to like one of your children more than the other?

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We all know that parents have their favorites where their children are concerned. Usually, the favored child is the most like the parent (personality-wise) who favors him or her, or quite simply, it may be the child who gives the least amount of trouble to the parent(s). However, it is not advisable is to let your children know (or even suspect) that you have favorites; I think some parents tend to "let-on" just a little bit when angry or frustrated at the least favored child because it's an easy way of "punishing" that one. Think about it. You may have sub-consciously punished your child this way, or of course, you yourself may have felt like the not so favored child while growing up and subsequently turn around and repeat the process with one of your own. It's easy to do and often parents don't even realize they're doing it.
Also, do not pit your children against each other, or get down on one particular child because he or she does not do exactly what you want them to at all times. Favoritism was a big part of our family when I was in my formative years, and to be honest, I think the favored child (not me) is now somewhat uncomfortable with their role of favorite child (which they still reluctantly play after all these years). No one is perfect and for a parent to treat one child differently than another while they are growing up (and as adults) will only serve to create animosity, hurt feelings, and it will divide the family, which is never a good thing. Even if the favored child is close to the parents, the other(s) may not be and worse, may not be close to the favored one. Remember, Mom and Dad, your children will very likely outlive you and it behooves you to strengthen the ties of your children to one another while you can, because if they are not in place while the children are growing up, they will be even less so when the children are adults and you're long gone. It's not hard to understand how siblings become farther apart - not closer - when Mom and Dad most obviously favor one of their children over the other or others. Sure, we all have favorites in so many things (it's natural), but again, the idea is NOT to let on to your children that you might like one a little (or a lot) more than the other(s). This is similar to when teachers - through words, actions, or even subtle nuances - make it clear to the rest of the class that a certain child (or perhaps more than one) is teacher's pet; this is not good for class morale and often does not endear that child to the rest of the class. (Parents, you know how it is when you've worked hard at your job and the boss passes you over for a promotion, giving it to someone he or she obviously favors but who is not nearly as qualified as you are. Not a great feeling, is it?) Resentments generally follow and with them, a lot of problems. And, in a family when it becomes apparent to one child that they cannot quite measure up in their parent's eyes to the other child or children in the family, lifelong psychological problems can and often do ensue with not only the child who is not the favored one, but also with the one who is favored over all others. Both ends of the spectrum can incur hang-ups due to favoritism.
Of course, children themselves go through periods in their development when they may actually favor one parent over the other, but parents are adults and should be able to withstand this type of favoritism (and not become angry at the child for their choice). Besides, it's usually short-lived. However, one cannot expect children to simply overcome obvious favoritism by one or both parents. Bottom line: Don't engage in favoritism with your children, either while they are growing up, or when they become adults. Like each one for their differences, as well as for their strengths and talents. Don't laud one to the other, or talk behind the back of one to the other; that will only serve to make the one to whom you are talking feel superior and believe me, they will use that to divide and conquer. Children are always looking for ways to do this, so don't give them the tools for this exercise. You may be proud of them for their accomplishments and that's great, but constant lauding of one to the other will only set you and them up for failure in the relationship. It will set them up too for possible failure in their relationship with each other(s), so choose your words and actions carefully. You probably don't really like her more, you just like her in a different way. And that's fine, it will change as she gets older, she's just a handful now. Just be careful that you don't favor the other one. My mom did that with my little sister, and it made me and my big brother do some bad things. We've both gotten over it and realized ruining our life isn't worth it, but in return for her doing that i became sexually active. It made me feel like i was wanted which i didnt feel at home. And now i am pregnant. In a way i feel its my moms fault, but i know in my heart its mine. Just be careful how u act. YEs of course it is! YOU KNOW YOU LIKE ONE MORE THEN THE OTHER!!!!!! I do not know how one can really like one child over the other. I like both of my kids and never like one more then the other. One is a girl and the other is a boy. and we are planning on having another one. I know sometime one kid can give you more problems but that does not cause me to like one more then the other. Maybe it is not wrong maybe you are not trying to like one more then the other, but it just happen, try to really think about it and do not show it to the child because that is not good on the other child at all. It is okay to like one more than the other. It is not okay to let that show. You cannot control your feelings. I am certain that you do not LOVE one more than the other, and you may find that as your more angelic child reaches puberty and your devil of a toddler becomes a 3rd grade spelling bee champ your favoritism may swing the other way. Always try to see what is good in your children and if it is their behavior that makes you feel this way try to help them change how they express themselves. Just try to remember that feeling like he is not as well liked will not make you child try harder to be liked, he will just be angry and think lash out at you. My mother treated me with favoritism over my sister. I was the baby and I was the "smart kid". Although I loved the attention that I received, I dread to think of how I was held in such high esteem over my sister. And now my sister who is 30 years old cannot function normally because of it. Going through a childhood KNOWING that your mother likes a sibling better can be very traumatic for a child. No one wins when a parent does this. You have the not so favorite child emotionally damaged and the favorite child feeling guilt over it. It is best to love equally and if you have these weird feelings that you love one more, that is a sign of a deeper rooted problem within yourself, not your child. Love each one the same. Some good answers posted but here it is in a nutshell: Don't feel guilty about liking one over the other. Many people deny they do but many, many people feel this way. TWO IMPORTANT THINGS: Never ever let the children (EVER!) know that one is favored. NEXT: Don't ever play favorites, no matter what. Of course it's OK, and the one you 'like' better than the others will probably change quite often over the years! Sometimes a parent will feel more protective of a child who may be having a more difficult time than another, and not concentrate so much on the child who may be more self-sufficient. This feels like favoritism but it's really just feeling more empathetic towards one child than another. (It's the old "Prodigal Son" concept from the bible.) Also, children have different needs at different times, and we respond to those needs differently. It helps to think of it as just being more responsive or sensitive to the qualities one or the other may possess at different points in their development. It also helps to make an effort to focus on certain characteristics you truly do like about your other children during the times when you feel as if you are favoring one child over another. Appreciate each child for the special and unique qualities they do have - and they all do! And remember, just for balance, there will be those times when you feel as if you don't like any of the children much!! Most parents do have a favorite (either the troubled child that need nurturing or the good child that doesn't cause too much of a fuss in the family.) It doesn't mean they love one any less. It's important the parent(s) one child different over the other. I have one favorite nephew, but you'd never know it because I treat his brother exactly the same ... with love! My sister is the favorite. She is also the "troubled" child. My parents favor her because (1) she is beautiful and (2) they can control her. Myself and my other siblings are pretty much to the point where we are ready to write off that whole side of the family. It's ridiculous. Go ahead and blatantly favor ONE child, and you will lose the rest of your children's respect and trust. Answer Is it ok for your parents to like your brother/sister more than you? Is it ok for you to be treated as a second class because someone else thinks that you're simply not good enough? My Mum favours my brothers and sisters. She doesn't even try to hide it. My parents are breaking up so my Dad doesn't agree with my Mum and seems try to treat us all the same. Plus as my Mum and Dad seem to hate each other, my Mum uses my Dad as an excuse as why I'm so lazy and useless, and always says I'm just like him. This breaks my heart and makes it very hard to live in the same house.
She mucked up at work and expected me to fold about 680 leaflets three times, put them all in envelopes and then stick on the address. While she was out at a party. And spending money. She has also managed to turn my younger brother a sister against me. And still thinks my life is so, so easy and I'm always in the wrong, and never her. But, my Dads not perfect either, he has his moments. So, no, you shouldn't have your favourites.

ANSWER
A Not-so-favorite Child Confession Well, my parents have never been too shy about letting me know when I am not wanted. They kicked me out of the house on several occasions, ask me why I couldn't be more like my younger brother, and when I finally asked at the age of 9 why my dad told my friend's parents that he preferred my brother to me, he didn't even attempt to deny it. He simply replied that my brother was "User friendly" and that I was so difficult.
Oh, well thanks a heap Daddy m' dearest! Thank you for these emotional scars. Thank you for an inferiority complex. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And Mother dear, I thank you for telling me to my face that you hated me because I was so much like my father, and thank you both for kicking me out of the house repeatedly before I could even legally babysit.
Oh, yes, it is just FINE to have a favorite moms and dads of the world. It just makes the rest of us feel GREAT. Well...we'll feel great when your favorite child is living out of your house at forty years old, and when you die and leave him the little money he hasn't squandered yet. We lesser children hope that you choke on your own phial. That's how a fifteen year old twin "Lesser Child" feels about this favoritism thing. Maybe you'll rethink the things you said to her when she's in the hospital after her fifth suicide attempt. Maybe you'll think of the other children you've neglected too when one of your twin lesser-children actually succeeds in her suicide attempt. Maybe you'll think of the other six times she called to you for help. Maybe you'll think of her twin sister, who is still left alive against her own will. Maybe then your protectiveness towards the favorite child will be warranted, now that the other neglected children have it in for him. We thank you for sending all of us delinquent bad-eggs to foster homes while you enjoyed your luxury home with the one man bon-bon club. Thanks mummy, thanks a heap daddy. We love you to death. Well, at least one of us did. May she rest in peace.

In my opinion it is all right to like one more than then the other, but if you showed it it would hurt the other child's feelings. You cannot say I LOVE YOU MORE THAN let's say....your sister because that's just not...right and you must love them equally. So just keep it in mind.

You can do whatever you like just know the least favored child will know and it will hurt them forever that they were not even loved by their own parents
ANSWER I suppose there are a few circumstances where it might behoove a parent to play favorites. It depends on what you are hoping for.

Hope1: You had more than one child but you want to reduce the number back down to one by having the other kids off themselves early on, as they make a great show that way for the neighbors.

Hope2: You had more than one child but you want the others (non-faves) to kill the one (fave) or two (faves) out of anger and resentment.

Hope3: You had more than one child, perhaps even two or three or four children, but you are a very hard worker, and you want to pay all of the finances it would take to raise and clothe and house and feed all those kids to adulthood, but you only wish to rely on JUST ONE for your own elderly care.
This may just be that you are a risk-taker; you like living on the edge, putting all your eggs into one basket on the gamble that the one favored child will not get killed off before you need them to care for you in return, in old age.

Hope4: You enjoy sleeping in the same house with a child or teenager who wishes you'd stop breathing.

Unlike some of the answers above, I know parents who play favorites are usually very self-centered, and they probably don't care much if they emotionally ruin one or both kids with their favoritism. Not their problem. So I try to make sure my answers are discouraging to a self-centered parent. It's lose-lose. Guess what: it's not just the "loser" kids who will lose! It's you too!
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