Talking about playing favorites is a very sticky, deep, incredibly difficult topic. Many parents will vehemently and immediately deny that they tend to click "just a tad" bit better with one child over the other. Parents may make excuses based on similar personality characteristics, like mom and youngest child are social butterflies and the middle one is more of a recluse book nerd.
We want to really pretend like our kids are oblivious to our feelings about them but, that's just not the case. And the reality is that as parents we evolve and we raise our kids differently, despite being born in the same family. The situation- financial, geographical, family - are all different. But when parents act significantly different with one child versus the other well - it doesn't turn out well. As you will read on in my article, as kids, we care SO MUCH about how our parents feel about us. So if you feel slighted by your parent because you are not living up to their expectations while your sibling is reveling in it, major psychological and emotional issues come up. Sibling rivalry, self-esteem issues, poor confidence in the parent-child relationship, and future issues with friendships and love life.
So, if you're feeling like you have a favorite and wish to (re) connect with the other kids, contact me today so we can figure out a way to better understand and enjoy your children for who they are and how much they mean to you.
Rivalry can be tenacious relationship style between siblings and one that is hard to break. Parents must be mindful of how they treat each of their children to avoid major rifts in their relationships. However, this is easier said than done. Parents have a hard time sometimes even realizing that they are creating a feeding ground for sibling rivalry especially when . . .
- They themselves don't get along with their siblings,
- Witness(ed) preferential treatment to their siblings by their parents,
- Have erroneous thoughts about child development and therefore prefer one child over the other based on gender, age, physical qualities, etc
- Have hangups about their childhood and over identify (for good or bad) with one child and therefore react differently,
And for other reasons that can be uncovered, discussed, processed, and worked through in therapy. If you find yourself dealing with sibling rivalry in your kids, please check out my Q&A at Bundoo. Feel free to contact me for more information or to set up a therapy appointment to help you help your kids get along better.
Dr. Eva Benmeleh
I am a licensed clinical child psychologist in Miami . I hope you enjoy the site!
221 West Hallandale Beach Blvd., Suite 202
Hallandale, FL 33009