by Kesha C. of We Got Kidz
Truth be told, there is scientific evidence that says parents tend to favor one child over another. Last months cover of TIME magazine said it all: “Why Mom Likes You Best“. Inside, TIMES writer Jeffery Kluger explored the primary factors that contribute to the selection of a favorite child.
I’m sure all of us who have siblings have felt the burn of being “picked second” at some point or another. Growing up in my household, I think that the “favored child” title changed from year to year. [I’ll admit that I lost the title a majority of my teenage years… but that’s an entirely different post – better yet, an entirely different blog.]
Understandably, favoritism from a parent is pretty straight forward: Every parent is different and every kid is different; and they will relate to each other uniquely. This distinctive relationship leads to preferences – Plain and simple.
Those of you with children who are gifted athletically or academically have, I’m sure, felt the guilt of feeling favoritism for that child. Although natural, what matters most isn’t IF your child is your favorite, but whether or not he or she plays that sport or aces that test FOR your favor. Don’t let that happen. Kids need the opportunity to develop their own ego and personality – Not inherit yours.
So between my twins Ari and Jaxon, who’s my favorite?… I don’t have one… yet. [Even though last night, Jaxon was definitely not my favorite. His hand in his soiled diaper and a smack to my arm lost him that coveted spot for the moment.] I, of course don’t have plans to pick a favorite, but I’m sure there will come times where one of my children may do something more favorable than the other. According to Psychology Today, it’s only natural. Ellen Weber Libby, Ph.D., says that wanting to look good in the world and to feel special drives your child’s behaviors; although how far you as the parent goes to achieve this end in your relationship with your child influences whether the experience of being the favorite child is psychologically healthy or potentially destructive. I myself am already striving to maintain some sort of balance. I make sure to always have an equal amount of Ari photos to Jaxon photos displayed throughout the house, and I try to give them each an equal amount of “cuddle time”… But I do praise one over the other if they display exceptional behavior and I believe that that’s okay.
So if you ever catch yourself reciting the refrain, “I love all of my kids equally”, that sounds great and all but I’m pretty sure your children know the truth, and you know what?… It’s okay