They do not do it as a premeditated plan, they do not want to hurt their children emotionally, but without realizing it, there are some parents who show a different treatment between their children. This is something that if it happens, it should be changed as soon as possible because children do not deserve to be treated differently by their parents just because they are not the “favorites”.
One way to increase sibling jealousy is for parents to play only with their favorite children. Children who are treated unequally by their parents are more likely to develop depression, low self-esteem, and problems in school . The burden of dealing with unfair parents should never fall on the children themselves, who may be tempted to engage in unhealthy competition for their parents’ care. If you know parents who have this type of behavior towards their children, that is, they treat them unequally, you can intervene gently by offering them strategies so that their children can have a good emotional development .
HEAR HOW THEY FEEL
Parents may not recognize that they have favorite children because they may not have even realized this. Tell parents who treat their children unequally to listen to their children to understand what they need from them.
Children need to feel validated, and those who feel they receive less attention than their siblings may feel unaccepted. You will need to make sure that parents are aware of how they might be contributing to their children’s feelings of unworthiness. Ask them to ask their children if they feel unappreciated compared to their siblings and what they can do about it to change the situation.
BE CAREFUL WITH THE LANGUAGE
Sometimes the language we inadvertently use can convey favoritism, even if it is unintentional. Urges parents to listen to how they speak to their children and to be aware of any differences in the way they speak to them. Let parents know that if they feel like they “connect” better with one child than another, they should make sure their praise is distributed roughly evenly. Parents should also be aware of scolding a child for doing something that allows another child to get away without consequences.
LETTING THE CHILDREN BE THEMSELVES
Children in the same family can be markedly different from each other. Instead of trying to make all siblings the same, parents should allow children to be themselves, even if they are different from each other.
Tell parents who might have a favorite child not to try to change a child or to tell them to be more like their sister or brother. As long as your child’s behavior is not destructive or dangerous, there is no point in trying to force a child who is different from the family “norm” to be like everyone else. Parents must respect the individuality of each child.
FIND COMMON ACTIVITIES
One way for parents to bond with their children is to find activities that they enjoy together. Parents who have favorite children may have more common interests with one child than another. Encourage these parents to find activities that they can share with their different children at different times. Even if a child’s interests appear to be very different from those of the parents, parents should look for activities like reading books together or taking a class that they can enjoy with their child.
In reality, it is quite common for parents to get along better with some children with others, either by complicity or personality, but regardless of this, it is necessary that parents treat their children fairly.