How parental favoritism can adversely affect your children.
By anita sands hernandez


I  got sent a neat digital photo this morning, a MOTHER BIRD ignoring one baby to feed another and it just appealed to me so much!  It spoke to me!  I was accused of favoritism by my three older children who alleged the fourth child, the baby boy, was my favorite. It wasn't the case really. As any parent knows, the infant gets a lot of kitchy coo and when there are a string of children, the older ones observing this intense affection might interpret it as favoritism. They don't recall that they got identical kissy huggy stuff when they were that age.

Well, the picture of the mother bird spoke to me so  intensely that I searched for an article online to elucidate  the subject, "PARENTAL FAVORITISM" in order to post it on my HOW TO RAISE A  BABY INDEX PAGE. I found  this boring piece (below) and pasted the graphic on it. and put it up at my site..but I DONT LIKE IT at all. The English psychologist gal's writing is boring. SHE PREDIGESTS all assumptions, has no dramatic visuals.. How much more exciting to do it from scratch.. Well, I'm talking to myself, really. I certainly know, first hand, some wild stories about sibling jealousy,  murderous drama that I observed with the sibling rivalries among my four ...well, the three sons actually. They were noisy and vicious torturers to the baby. The girl may have felt jealous but she never let on. So I should definitely lose the other gal's text but it's a can of worms I don't want to open. My fourth child has been in a State Psychiatric Institution for ten years.  So... HERE IS JAN ANDERSEN, BRIT PSYCHOLOGIST discussing sibling rivalry. And maybe, touching on the parent who favors one child over the other.

PARENTAL FAVORITISM. -  How often have you heard a child complain, "But that's not fair! The little baby always gets his own way!! " Although sibling rivalry is common, how is a child's mental well-being and your relationship affected when a parent obviously favours one child over another? (Usually because the last child is young and vulnerable and older ones are warned off all the time, so that they become naturally jealous). Some parents may show favouritism subconsciously by taking sides depending on the gender or age of the bullied child. Do the seemingly harmless expressions, "You're older, you ought to know better" or "I always wanted a daughter and now you boys are jealous," sound familiar? Parental Favoritism not only occurs in the stepfamily situation where a parent favours a biological child over a stepchild, but also occurs in first families when a child can be given preferential treatment based purely on gender. One researcher said, "'I remember as a child all too well the painful distinctions my mother made between we girls and her beloved boys and it's an experience that you don't leave behind very easily. The ghost of her nagging disapproval, slaps, put downs and unfair house rules still live within me as an adult." Parental favouritism not only affects the children, but also causes conflict within the parents' relationship. Relationship Counsellor Paula Hall Dip PST says, "Certainly, parental favouritism in second families is a common reason why families seek counselling, but it is important to establish whether the perceived favouritism is a reflection on your own childhood, or reality. Some people who were disfavoured as children go to extreme lengths not to favour any of their own children, so may feel that their partner is giving preferential treatment to a child when they are just treating them differently according to their individual personalities and interests."

One mother confessed that she had sadly experienced the marital discord that parental favouritism causes. "My husband's favouritism of our natural child over my son from a previous relationship led to a rift that deepened over the years. My son felt increasingly rejected, so he hated his sister. My son is 16 and is now able to tell me that, as an 8-year-old, he felt he had to compete for my husband's affection. My husband has recently left and the favouritism was one of the major factors that divided the family."

An expert says, "Favoured children tend to have better self esteem, yet can also be spoiled and manipulative. These children may think the world owes them a living. (They also know they spent their childhood getting away with murder at the expense of siblings, so they are full of guilt.) On the other hand, with healthy self-esteem, they could tend to be high achievers and do well. Disfavoured children tend to have lower self-esteem, which can either make them try harder or give up too easily, (and also makes them rageaholics who spend a lifetime 'collecting injustices,' as a mode of primary thinking and interpreting.) . Trying to please is one of the characteristics that might make them either compliant or rebellious. It can go either way, depending upon the temperament of the child."

The expert concludes, "If favouritism is an issue in your relationship, you need to try to sit down with your partner and discuss what impact this is having on you, rather than using the time to arbitrate for your child. If this fails, then I would advise seeking counselling."

Failing that, get a hired mentor, a rent-a-granny.  You can delegate any smart geriatric for the task. "Buzzy, this is your new Granny, she's taking you out for burgers and a movie" A fun outing, lunch together, a discussion..and voila. 200$ of therapy done for a couple of 20$ bills.

* Jan Anderson wrote this, I added a few paragraphs in quotes, astrology At Earthlink. net


MORE ON THIS THEME:http://this-insane-life.blogspot.com/2006/05/parental-favoritism-bias-or.html

http://blogcritics.org/archives/2003/11/03/172146.php

http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Nov97/parent.favoritism.ssl.html

SEARCH TERM : "parental favoritism" worked for me.  Americans spell it favor (not BRIT spelling in this article, "FAVOUR." So include that variation.

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