We have a short column this week. It consists of a single question — but it’s a question that could have big ramifications if you’re in a family where the situation isn’t handled correctly.
I’ll let the writer pose the question in her own words:
A friend has confessed to having a favorite child and loving another child less. This is probably true of many families in some ways, since all children are different. How do parents deal with feeling differently about their various children?
I can vouch for what a big deal this can be in some families, Curious. Although my mother was so scrupulous about treating the three of us equally that each of us still thinks we were her individual favorite, one of my sisters didn’t learn the lesson. She had two daughters and treated the older one like a pariah and the younger one like the queen of the universe. There was nothing the older child could do to win her mother’s approval, and nothing the younger child to do to disappoint her mother. And believe me, there were things the younger daughter did that would have upset any rational human being.
Because of my personal experience with both sides of the situation, I’d certainly like to see how you who are parents overcome the temptation to treat one child better than another. I know you’re doing it! But Curious (and doubtless others) would like your suggestions and your advice. Please send your letters to [email protected]. Put something in the subject line to tell me your letter isn’t spam. Write today! Curious is counting on you.
Until next time — Kathy
“There are no favorites in my office. I treat them all with the same general inconsideration.”
President Lyndon B. Johnson