The Dangers Of Favoritism


In a family, there are still a lot of parents who often compare their children. Some are even vocal about which one is their favorite. Some kids understand certain situations like that. But it does not mean that they are emotionally and mentally okay with it. You see, the problem with this type of set up is the growth of each individual in a particular unit. Some people are more capable and talented than the rest. However, the focused enthusiasm on these gifted ones does not guarantee motivation from the rest who does not have the same best qualities and capabilities.

What Parents Often Overlooked

Parents are sometimes too blind to see that some of their children are not that emotionally and mentally capable of understanding favoritism. Think about it. Those parents who consider their eldest sons and daughters as the best kids soon engage in mental breakdown once these kids become dangerous influenced individuals. “If the firstborn is this responsible overachiever, the second born must find their spotlight, too.” Dr. Jaime Kulaga, Ph.D said. Then that parent who favors their middle children never acknowledges the hardships of the rest. And those parents that are too focused on their youngest become over-board in tolerating these youngest children’s inappropriate behavior. As you notice, when there is no equality in handling children in the house, the whole parenting system tends to collapse.


Rivalry, Misunderstanding, And Hatred

When there is blatant favoritism inside a household, kids become more aware of their imperfections. That is the reason why most of the times; these children develop rivalry among each other. They get to feel unloved because the other kid in the house receives more attention and affection from the parents. That is where the misunderstanding begins. The children grow distance towards each other because of the incomparable abilities they have. In some unfortunate instances, the kids become more unreasonable and unpredictable because of their hatred towards their favorite child. It may seem an unbelievable truth, but that is the reality of the scenario. Margaret Bernhart LMHC explains that “there is one defining characteristic that can’t be hidden. Ask any child who has endured growing up in a home with a favored sibling and they will share that it wasn’t necessarily that their brother or sister received more attention and material possessions, rather it was the difference in the look of the parent’s eyes.”

When parents allow the other children to feel an imbalanced love among other kids, there is a significant tendency of a delay in the emotional and psychological growth of the kids. Instead of reaching the full potential of the brain and emotional development, those kids who feel bitter will embrace incompetency. They will think less of themselves and will not aim for better self-improvements. They will become less concern about their abilities and uninterested in overall growth.


Reminders For Parents

“When parents overcompensate or make up excuses about favoritism within the family, it can undermine your child’s confidence in his or her perception of reality. Favoritism can also undermine sibling relationships, as the balance of parental approval is uneven.” Raquel Anderson, EdD, LMHC, NCC  said. As parents, it is pretty much okay to admire some of their kids’ best qualities. However, since they are the foundation of the home, parents must not show kids that they are incapable of doing something. They should not allow some children to feel bad about themselves for not being able to be the best in everything. Parents should learn to acknowledge the flaws of the other children so they can motivate them to become great. There has to be no judgment and comparison among the others. Allow the kids to become the best of themselves with their talents, skills, and capability.