Ever had family members that played favorites with those they liked better? Some people might want to deny this but there’s a lot of us out there that will gladly remind them that growing up and either being relegated from being the favorite to the back of the line, or never being the favorite, was anything but a fun existence. Having experienced both of these it’s honest enough when I say that one certainly hurts worse than the other, but both reap a kind of negative reward for those that perform such acts that lingers on for a long, long time.

Grandparents playing favorites is hard for many kids to accept and is very confusing.

Many kids grow up expecting their grandparents to love them and their siblings equally if only in a different manner. This is going to happen after all since siblings are different people and have different personalities. But the idea of caring for one grandchild more than another is a serious mistake that could end up costing a grandparent later on in life when they realize that they didn’t spend enough time or show enough affection towards those that might have been able to help them out as they got older.

Personally I had a grandfather that loved all of his grandchildren, the only difference was that I was the one that showed up regularly and spent more time with him than any of his other grandchildren for various reasons. The biggest difference was that I was the eldest and was therefore treated with a little more deference than the others.

On the other hand, I also have a grandmother that seemed to think that my cousins and I were old news when her youngest son had children. It’s to be expected that babies and younger children will get more attention, that’s quite natural. But feeling as though you’ve been pushed aside especially when your grandparent prefers to spend time with two out of their seven grandchildren, is kind of hard to take. After a while though the grandchildren that get left out tend to get the idea that the grandparent in question isn’t worth seeing as much as they’ll continually talk about their favorites and will let those that aren’t in their favor know about it.

It might sound vindictive and petty, but being passed over in favor of another, especially a family member, is a bit painful. Getting over it however is pretty easy since all you have to do is ‘forget’ to go see your grandparents. Then they tend to remember you.

Parents playing favorite is among one of the most damaging things to a child’s psyche.

"Don't be silly, of course mummy and daddy love you both the same."

Grandparents, uncles and aunts, these are relatives that shouldn’t be playing favorites but do from time to time. But parents are those that can’t afford to play favorites if they really want their kids to grow up well-adjusted and feeling as though they are deserving of their parents’ love. A parent that plays favorites with their children is a parent that should have stopped at having one child since they obviously lack the capacity to care about multiple kids.

It’s rough, as any parent of two or more children will you it is very hard to find the time some days to spend at work, on household duties, and then with your kids and make time for it all. Those that have three kids or more have it especially rough since multiple kids means multiple personalities to deal with, multiple issues, and even more so, multiple schedules to keep. But it’s important to do your best to stay on top of it all and maintain a steady relationship with each child as much as you possibly can if you want them to feel that they are in fact part of the family.

There is such a thing as the “middle-child syndrome” and while it doesn’t affect all kids it affects many of those that are the middle child in the family. More or less the syndrome occurs when the middle child is kind of lost in the shuffle since the eldest child is the one that a lot of parents put their hopes and dreams on as being the first, while the youngest is the baby and needs the most watching after. The middle child then is left to their own devices a lot since the parents are typically quite tired after dealing with the other two and don’t have the energy or the time to take care of the middle child.

Again this isn’t an all-inclusive description as many middle children excel quite easily and are fully-integrated into their families. But all the same it does exist and it is a problem.

Playing favorites with your children is never a good idea as in their early years every child needs to feel accepted, loved, and as though their parents are giving them their undivided attention.

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