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Re: Favorite child antigua3

Posted by Dinah on January 23, 2009, at 23:08:39

In reply to Re: Favorite child Sigismund, posted by antigua3 on January 23, 2009, at 20:33:13

My thinking is that the word "favorite" may be a loaded one. And that less emotionally laden terminology might be better.

Let me qualify this by saying I'm talking very generally here. I could not possibly comment on anyone in particular since I have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of particulars.

I only have one child, so it's never come up with me as parent, only with me as child. But I can't even imagine not having differing degrees of affinity for different children. It seems nearly impossible to believe that all those mothers out there manage to avoid that.

I did a quick google search and found this...

I may have mentioned that I devoured parenting books, and I know I've run across this topic. And what I recall is... It's ok. It doesn't mean you love one better than another, or that you sacrifice the wellbeing of one for the other, or that you aren't a great mom to all your children. It just means that the mesh of personalities is better.

If the taboo was lifted, maybe moms wouldn't be so scared to admit what seems logically to be a very likely occurrence.

The important thing isn't your feelings. Feelings are nice, and feelings are interesting. But it's your actions that matter. Remember the study quoted in that article said that eighty percent of older mothers admitted to having favorites, but only forty percent of children can accurately identify that favorite. One of my favorite sayings is "Love is a verb". In that sense, I'm sure you love all your children equally. They're all special to you. They are all dear to your heart. And your love isn't something limited that needs to be spooned out "equally" on a plate like a portion of macaroni and cheese. Love just doesn't work that way.

Enjoy your son. Enjoy your daughter. Enjoy your other son. It isn't a competition.

And... I'm not quite sure how to put this. And I suppose it's my own philosophy based on what was drilled into me when my son was in Montessori. And partly on my experience of being the smart one while my brother was the one who made friends easily. But I'll do my best to describe what's in my brain, and forgive me if it doesn't quite sound on paper like it sounds in my brain.

It is as irrelevant to one sibling how well the other sibling does in school as it is irrelevant to another sibling how easily the other makes friends. One is not defined in terms of the other just because they are siblings. If a teacher or someone compares one to the other, I think it's totally fair to say "We're not talking about Johnny. We're talking about Sue. How is Sue doing in terms of achieving her potential." If one compares him or herself to another, I think it's fair to say the same thing.

I think the natural thing to do is to try to compensate, to find other qualities that the other child is "best" at. But that still leaves it a competition with winners and losers in various categories, and IMO it really isn't.

Just my two cents, from one of those expert parents of siblings because they have only one child. So take it for what it's worth. In the end, I have absolutely no experience.




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