As a parent, you probably wonder if you are cut out for it.
There will be days you question whether you can parent your kids, give them love, keep them safe, and do everything you can to give them what they need throughout childhood. There’s no denying that parenting is difficult, and that’s just with one child.
When you have multiple children, chances are they are going to be interested in different things and have different personalities and abilities. It is very easy as a parent to show favoritism to one child over another.
Is this a problem? Can it be solved? What can you do to make sure you are loving and supporting your children equally? Let’s delve deeper into the topic of child favoritism.
What is Child Favoritism?
Favoritism doesn’t necessarily mean that you love one of your children over another. Rather, it means you are doing more and showing favor to one child over the other. In some cases, it’s hard not to. For instance, when you have a baby, you get them the best powder, the best clothes, the best nuna stroller, and the best care possible. This isn’t necessarily because you favor them over your older children, it’s just that babies need more care.
Favoritism is different from that. To illustrate, it could be that you enjoy doing more activities with one child rather than another child, or that you like the activities they participate more in than others.
For example, if you personally love sports, you might be more interested in engaging in activities with a child that likes sports as opposed to one who is more interested in the arts.
The Consequences of Favoritism
There can be a lot of consequences of favoritism in the home. One such consequence is that the child who is not favorited can develop low self-esteem. They might not have confidence as they move forward in their lives, or always have a feeling of inadequacy.
However, there are also problems with children who have been shown favoritism. One is overconfidence, or believing they are entitled to things.
Children who receive too much attention can feel like something is owed to them, making them appear bratty or unwilling to try and earn something they want.
What You Can Do as a Parent
While it’s impossible to distribute your time equally among your kids, you can still find ways to spend time with them without showing favoritism to a particular child. You can also hang out as a family, with everyone bonding together.
One way is by sharing activities. You shouldn’t try to hang out with one particular child because you love what they do the most. Instead, you should venture out of your comfort zone and hang out without all of your children, doing what they like. You might want to go the board game route wherein you can get them games (like the Hey Duggee Games) that help them in learning and improve their skills. That way, you can participate in those games and have a good time with the kids. This in turn might help you strengthen the parent-child bond as well. Similarly, as in the example we used earlier, maybe try painting or creating art with your child, even if it is out of your comfort zone. Showing interest in what they love will not go unnoticed.
When you create a bond with a child, you develop a relationship with them that lasts over time. You know what they like, and what they don’t. A relationship can help you understand them better without catering to one specific child.
It also helps show that you view the things that each of your children love as equally valuable and worthy of your interest.
Share the Love with Your Family
As human beings we naturally have bias toward certain things. However, as a parent with multiple children, the onus is on you to make sure you are giving each of them equal love, time, and attention.
The most important thing to remember is that you need to develop a bond with each child. Spend time with each of them and be sure not to give one too much of your attention.
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