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I love one of my children more than the other

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 10 July 2014
Dear Patricia Marie

I'm worried that I love one of my children more than the other. While one is sweet-natured, funny and full of character, the other is sullen and unresponsive. My husband doesn't seem to notice the difference, but to me it's obvious and I find it hard to treat them in the same way. I hate myself for it, but I'd rather spend time with one than the other. How can I stop this cycle?

Patricia Marie says...

If you think favouritism is no big deal - think again. The consequences for both the golden child and the least favourite can last a lifetime. Many adults embark on counselling due to the psychological damage of having either been the rejected, or indeed the favourite sibling. That early message of  "you're the special one " to a child can give a distorted view of themselves and their place in the world. For those parents who show preference and turn a blind eye to inappropriate behaviour, the child can then grow up struggling with rules, as well as lacking in morals and may struggle to find a partner who cherishes and spoils them in the way their parents have.

The least favourite, on the other hand, can go through life never feeling good enough, constantly feeling they are undeserving of love and kindness - often embarking on relationships with partners who treat them poorly.

Step into their world and try to imagine how they are feeling. Indeed, both are victims of your favouritism, and unless you see things more clearly and break the cycle, you could jeopardise any future relationship with them.

Your letter indicates you are feeling guilty for your behaviour -  this recognition is a good step towards promoting positive change. Start by treating your children equally. Lose comparisons and begin celebrating, rather than criticising their differences, as this will allow you the opportunity to turn things around and create a healthy, happy family.
 
And finally, sibling love is unique. Who but your brother or sister remembers, the family rituals, the good, bad and crazy fun times -  all those childhood memories that help to bond this special love. Favouritism can ruin a relationship between siblings, depriving them, sometimes forever, of a precious resource. It is one of the best gifts you, their parent, will ever give them: one another.


Have a dilemma? Please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.


In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

Terrible twos, threes, fours...Kids

Posted by Nanny Knows Best
Nanny Knows Best
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on Friday, 06 June 2014
“To anyone out there thinking about have kids, today my 2 year old threw a tantrum because she couldn’t get rid of her shadow”.

This story is hilarious to an adult but being a kid is not always fun and games. There is so much to learn. And sometimes it’s scary.

They don’t know the rules, and sometimes they don’t like the rules when informed. How are they meant to know that dogs bite when you try to take away the bone they are chewing? Adults are so bossy always telling them what to do, what not to do, and to stop doing “that”!

Four year old Kiki decided it was more fun to colour in her baby sister Polly, rather than using the markers in her colouring book. It made sense to her but not to mum who explained that you don’t colour real people, just the ones on paper.

And talking is not always easy either when they don’t have the words to tell you what they want/need/feel, so they cry. It’s like being plopped into an Inuit community in Alaska and trying to describe you are vegetarian in English to your host who doesn’t speak your language and who considers an apple exotic.

Toddlers are strapped in prams when they want to run free, served vegetables when they want fruit or cheese, and are put in bed when they want to play.

It’s a tough job learning everything about life and how to behave and to understand what’s right and wrong. Maybe the toughest job there is. So from all the two/three/four/five year olds who just wanna have fun and not get into trouble all the time, show a little kindness and a lot of patience.


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