On Child Favoritism  

Posted by: mye in

Giving birth to my twins made me an instant mother of two. I never had the chance to experience rearing a single child and devote my time to an only child. It was always twice the effort. Friends have always been asking me,"Who is your favorite?" or "Do you play favorites?" and you know what, I cannot simply answer the question directly. I even thought if I had been playing favorites already?

As a parent, I want to discover myself and analyze my relationship with my children so I will check on some of the reasons I know why favoritism happens in a household, how it affects the children and maybe some ways on how it can be prevented. These facts are based on personal experiences, observations and stories from other people.

Why Favoritism Happens?
  • Child's Attitude - differences in each child's temperament. It sometimes irritates the parents if a child has a difficult temper, having frequent tantrums and reacting violently over small things.
  • Parent's Expectations - be it talent, interests or things that parents like for their children. One child always fits the parent's expectation. It can also be about physical appearance or if a parent expects the opposite gender for a child.
  • Child's Health - the sickly child gets more attention than the healthier one or vice versa.
  • Life Event - the child was conceived unexpectedly. An "unwanted child" as others would want to call it.

How Favoritism Affects the Child?

  • Self-Esteem - the unfavored child will most likely feel that he is not being accepted. And while the unfavored child seem to suffer from having low self-esteem, the favored child might develop over confidence that may possibly lead to arrogance.
  • Fairness - the unfavored child is most likely to receive rewards for doing something that satisfies the parent while the favored child is receiving rewards for no particular reason. The child could feel that the world is unfair.
  • Peer Relationship - the favored child who is always receiving something for nothing might expect that the world will be just the same as the parents and that he will always get what he wants but hey, reality says "no". The child could develop problem when relating to his peers. This could also be the same for the unfavored child as he is always seeing the world to be unfair, the child could think that other people are just the same as the parents.
  • Sibling Relationship - of course, favoritism could result to sibling rivalry. One would always protect his favored status and thus, will work hard to retain it. The unfavored child could do the same to get some attention. Children will always find a way to prove themselves to their parents which could often result to anxiety or insecurity.

How To Avoid Favoritism
  • Acceptance - children has differences and parents should acknowledge that one child could exactly be different than the other.
  • Love - parents love their children. Setting the balance is the problem. Learn to love each other the way the want to be loved and accepted for they are different.
  • Unique - learn to discover the unique identity of your child and acknowledge it. Discover each of their interests, hobbies and skills and relate to them individually.
  • Time - have some time with each child alone to develop your relationship with each other.
  • Praise - acknowledge child accomplishment but avoid over praising.
  • Listen - listen when other people tells you that you are playing favorites or when your child approach you regarding favoritism concerns. Do not presume that you are doing well as a parent. We always make mistakes.
  • Lastly, stop, think a hundred times before you react. Parents reaction to situations could often affect the relationship with the children.

Each child would react on the situations I stated above differently, either good or bad. Our duty as a parent does not stop on giving allowances, getting your children to school and giving them the life they want. Nurturing our children should be our primary concern.

As I was writing the checklist above, I've come to realize that there are some symptoms of favoritism on me but the good thing is, I am still in control and I still have time to correct my mistakes and not to let it happen again. My children are still young and I still have a lot to learn. The journey now begins...

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 15, 2009 and is filed under . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .


I told you before that I can't imagine having twins!

I am the youngest of 3, they say the youngest gets all the attention and love, but I don't feel that. My eldest brother is still the favorite, he's been the only child for 8 years.

I don't want to handle sibling rivalry too that's why we only want to have one kid. ^^

Good luck, mommy! I will always be here to support your mommy journey and I know I'll learn a lot from you.

Go, girl! ^^

Nice post indeed...., I've 3 children, 2 of them are twins. Unsimilar twins (boy and girl). thank's a lot for sharing.

oh...sad to hear that you encountered it yourself but i know you've learned a lot from it =)

nice to know you also got twins. my twins are my only children (for now) ^-^

thanks a lot for dropping by. do come often and feel free to leave your comments.

Myrlita gawa pa ng isa then make that your favorite...hehehe!

Very informative :)

I would also like to add, that when correcting mistakes or trying to discipline kids - age should not matter. Because if we show the older ones that the youngest gets away without a word, the older ones becomes resentful - worse, rebellious.

Best thing to do after correcting is explaining to them what they did wrong, asking them not to do it again and giving them a hug.

haha..our bank account says it's impossible at the moment =)

you're right. age should not be an issue. thanks for dropping by.

you are absolutely right, Mye :-) there is no questions about that!

anyway, just want to say thanks and have a new tag for you, pls check it out, salamat!

hi ces - thanks for visiting and for giving me another tag.

have a good day!

What an excellent, well writter and interesting post!


I have two kids, though not twins. Your post is very informative and helpful I should say. Thanks for sharing. It's my first time to visit your site and I think I will frequent myself here.

thank you for the compliment and also thank you for following my blog. it is nice to have readers like you ^_^

@lovely moms
thank you for visiting. i hope you'll come often. feel free to leave your comments. i'll try to write more informative posts regarding parenting.


useful tips you have there as I also got twins! and a filipina blogger too! hope to see you around! great blog i'm sure to follow.

hi sassy reporter - thanks for visiting my blog. please do come often =)

wow, it must really be a challenge---bringing up twins ;-) your girls look adorable

hi caryn - thanks for dropping by! yeah, really tough hahaha! i saw your blog...so you are now in tokyo?

What about the grandparent who favors a grandchild and gives excuses as to why the grandchild is favored (like helped raise him). The grandparent takes the favored grandchild everywhere and the other left behind grandchildren know it. Then the favored grandchild rubs it in and its not gifts its also emotional support like never visits or go to games or the hospital etc for the unfavored grandchildren but is there everytime for the favored.It is now to the point that the grandparent is paying for a 200 a day school for the favored grandkid while some of the other grandkids cant even afford dental work.......

I keep reading that child favoritism is "normal, natural and occurs in every family." Yet, that does address the issue that is also sick, irresponsible and grossly unfair on the part of the parents.

Such a dynamic can be most damaging to a family and to the children. And, if this problem is not recognized and remedied, it's nothing but trouble looming on the horizon.

If the unfavored child works much harder than the favored one in order to gain acceptance and attention, and his or her efforts go unrewarded while the other is granted The Keys To The Kingdom, both will eventually suffer. The unfavored will generally grow up with feelings of unworthiness while the favored will labor under the luxury expectation of entitlement and privilege with no effort being expected.

Hopefully, the unfavored finds it in himself/herself and strives for acceptance and reward. And, likewise, the favored comes to the awareness that usually nothing rewarding in the real world comes without working for it. Often, it does not result in a happy ending.

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