Sibling Rivalry: As a Dad How to Balance Affection and Avoid Favoritism

When there is a family with more than one child, there will always be these types of conflicts and perceived favoritism issues.


Sometimes parents do things that can make their kids think there is favoritism, and that is NEVER okay. If these thoughts run through their mind at an early age, the consequences will be seen as they grow up, so it is best that parents avoid favoritism. 


It is understood that most parents do not intend to give off a favorite vibe, but it happens, and it’s natural. But this does hurt your kids mentally and emotionally. Keep this in mind all the time when you decide that your son Bob gets the last cookie instead of your daughter. Little things like these are what begin to create this idea of favorites.


Consequences of Favoritism 


For the child that was perceived as a favorite, there are consequences for them too. They’ll feel like no relationship will compare to the love from his/her parents.


But for the “less-favored” child, that’s a whole different issue. Depression, low self-esteem, the need for attention, toxic family, and much much more are the effects of parents choosing favorites.


How to Avoid Favoritism


A few tips to avoid this issue are the following:


  • NEVER compare. Instead, recognize that your kids are unique and will have their differences from their other siblings. Learn to accept and love those things. Some parents do this to punish their kid, but it is better that you look for another way to get them to learn their lesson. 
  • NEVER set them up to compete. We’ve all done it, ‘The one who gets higher grades gets the phone!’ That’s where we mess up. The two kids do their best and what if one only beats them by a grade 5% higher? The kid will feel like his hard work was for nothing and will stop giving their all and feel insufficient.
  • NEVER act like the judge. Kids will try to ask you who is better in this or that. Don’t fall for this trap, because if you start giving opinions about who does this and that, the other will get the vibe of favoritism and feel insecure. Treat them equally.
  • NEVER take sides. if they are fighting, do not pick a side after hearing their complaints. If they are both arguing, punish them depending on the seriousness of the issue. If not, just ignore this negativity. 


I hope these tips can help build a stronger family relationship, and a healthier future for your family. If you ever feel that you can’t do this, remember that you have someone to talk to always. Click for a consultation.


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