We have often heard the siblings fighting with each other and saying “You’re the favorite!”. Eventually a parent steps in and comforts both the child that no one is being given special treatment and each one is special. But isn’t it true that parents enjoy one child more than the other? Is it not true that you wish to spend more time with the sweeter child than the one who is a bit difficult to handle? An honest parent will always say ‘yes’. I mean an admission will not make you a bad parent as this sort of preferential treatment is actually common place. Parents can love both the child but may prefer one over the other and this sort of behavior is perfectly normal. There is nothing to feel guilty about. If you can understand the reasons then you will feel much better.
Parents are human
Parents are not God, they are common people. Just like anybody, they too react differently to behaviors and aptitudes. If one child displays similar interests then you will naturally feel more inclined towards him/her. Similarities and interests play a great role in determining the bonding between a parent and a child, the time spend together and how the bond will develop. A parent and a child should participate together in different activities. For example, when a mother is going to the market she will bring along that child who is interested in bargain shopping than the one who is more into biking and sports. Similarly, the father may be close to the other child as, probably, he/she displays an active interest in different common activities.
Stages in life
The different stages of life also plays an important part in determining the companionship between a parent and a child. A mother may feel the connection with her daughter to be the strongest when her daughter herself becomes a mother. The feeling of ‘being a mom’ makes the bond between the mother and the daughter very strong indeed.
The dynamics of a relation between a child and the parent may swing depending on the personality traits of each. A recent study by a well known organization revealed that in the course of an interview a woman living in New York admitted that she prefers staying with her younger daughter as she is ‘easy to live with’. On the other hand, the elder daughter is more willful and seeks independence. She never helps for school work too. Though the mom loves her a lot, she says that she feels relieved when the elder daughter goes back to school after the vacation. Now, this does not imply that the mother is preferring one child over the other as she loves her younger daughter more. She loves both the girls dearly but due to common personality traits with her younger one, she is more comfortable with her.
What can a parent do?
The parent need not be stressed out if they suddenly discover that they are favoring one child over the other. You need to understand that you are not preferring one child for who he/she is but for his/her activities and interests. You should never feel guilty about this. On the contrary, you must learn to celebrate the differences and the similarities between your child and this will make your parenting job a lot easier.