When you are a part of a large family with many siblings there may be times when one of the children feels out of place, lost, and like they are being treated differently from the other children. All of the parenting books preach to avoid this act that some parents do subconsciously. That is favoritism. Favoritism is one of the biggest mistakes a parent can make because it can lead to resentment towards the parent and the child’s siblings.
Favoritism can be subtle. It can show up in that extra cookie that you give one child. It can be that extra moment of one-on-one time that you devote to one child and not the other. It can also be flagrant and done purposely by some parents for a variety of reasons. It could be that they feel a closer bond to one child than anther, one child could remind them more of themselves, or one child could require more attention than the other. Regardless of the reasons, no child should ever feel as though they come second to their sibling. This is what sparks jealousy, and sibling rivalry that sometimes transfers over into adulthood. Here are a few tips on how to avoid any of your children feeling as if you are playing favorites
1. Spend Time With All The Kids
If you have children and one of them has a hobby or an activity that you two do together make sure that you find an activity that the other children enjoy and you spend that one on one time with them as well. Even if you hate the activity do it anyway. Remember that this time is not about you and your preferences rather the quality time and memories that you are building with your child.
2. Make Sure That All Your Kids Know You Love Them
How does your child know that you love them? Simple. You tell them. Tell them all as often as you can. It does not matter if they moan and groan or seem unaffected by it. The truth is that most kids never get tired of hearing those words come from their parents. No matter how annoyed them may seem by your redundancy.
3. Be EVERYBODY’S Biggest Cheerleader
If you have one child who is into sports and you go to all of their games and cheer them on, but the other could care less about sports don’t worry. Find out what it is they are into and support them. Even if your child simply likes to skateboard, cheer him on while he does tricks in front of the house. Be his audience some times. Be each of your children’s biggest cheerleader.
4. Take Turns
This one is more in relation to smaller children. If you have a system for instance where someone is your special helper in cleaning, then everyday that special helper needs to alternate. That way no one will ever feel like you are spending more quality time or choosing one over another. Or as if you feel that one person helps better than another. Taking turns should be the motto in almost all things in the house.
5. Ask Questions, Show Concern
Always ask questions. Star with something as simple as how was your day? This a general question that should be posed to each child. Each child should have their time to shine and tell you about their day. Even if it seems that nothing special happened to the child, proceed to ask them more questions about their day or even their feelings. Show genuine concern for each child.
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