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  1. #21

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    I can't imagine loving one of my girls more than the other. We have our days when one (or sometimes both) is driving me crazy, but I still love them to bits. They are very different children with very different interests and goals but I could never choose between them. I had a nightmare once where I had to choose to save one over the other. I woke up screaming - I could never do that; it gives me the chills just thinking about it.
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiveRinger View Post
    I don't have children, but based on my own experiences, I would never want my children to even have a hint that I loved/liked one more than the other. Not only does it make it impossible for the less favored child to have a healthy relationship with one/both parents, it makes it very difficult to have a healthy relationship with his/her sibling(s).
    Oh, definitely. My aforementioned cousin's relationship with his brother? Absolutely nonexistent. They're both in their 20's now.

    My sister thought I was the favored one when we were younger, but I believe that was because I was so meek and timid, that frankly I needed more help. She remembers our parents doing things for me that I don't even remember. Kids latch on to that stuff!

    We're all cool with each other though, now that we're much older and found common things to share experiences with. My mom even claims she's glad she had us because "Kids are so helpful!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by mag View Post
    I can't imagine loving one of my girls more than the other. We have our days when one (or sometimes both) is driving me crazy, but I still love them to bits. They are very different children with very different interests and goals but I could never choose between them. I had a nightmare once where I had to choose to save one over the other. I woke up screaming - I could never do that; it gives me the chills just thinking about it.
    Perhaps, but it clearly happens in a lot of families for a variety of reasons. A lot of it can be cultural where parents prefer the boys to the girls, or it boil down to just a preference. It's not wrong to feel it, but I don't think it's in the best interest of the child to explicitly act on it.

    However, as adults, if people are doing self-reflection, I think it could be helpful to get confirmation from a parent about their tendencies and behaviors -- so that it's not just "in their heads".

  4. #24

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    What would be the point of telling the child? If the truth of your feelings is that important, tell yourself or keep it to yourself.

    I have 2 children - now adults. Both have accused me of preferring the other. I laughed at both of them when they told me that and said I obviously had done ok as they couldn't tell.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyliefan View Post
    Right. Feeling more of a connection with one child, I can understand -- but I don't think that's exactly the same as loving one more.
    As far as I understand, almost every parent have a favorite - but that doesn't mean they love one child more than the other - they just favor it.
    I have also read an article saying that it is much easier for parents if they accept this, so they can try and counter act it, and be aware of who is the favorite. I also thikn it is important to accept this, and not feel guilt.

    Btw moms often favors the first born son, fathers the last born daugther - according to what I read.

    I would *never* be honest with my child about something like this - and there are a lot of other things you are not honest about either.
    I know my mom doesn't always approve of my brother and my SIL child rearing strategy - but she says she will never tell them, it is not her place. She just vents her frustration to me

  6. #26

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    I can see hydro’s point as it pertains to “coming clean”. I think she is saying if there were issues in a behavioral way, then maybe actually telling the child would be a way of helping the child to understand. I think, however, that the child would really have to be mentally together to understand that parents, too, have flaws. Also, I think the parent would have to be conveying the information with the intent to help the situation and not just to tell it for the sake of telling it.

    So in a way, though I disagreed with wyliefan at first, I can see that a parent who loved one child less than another may indeed have their own issues that they need to work out that have little to do with the children.
    What would Jenny do?

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
    I can see hydro’s point as it pertains to “coming clean”. I think she is saying if there were issues in a behavioral way, then maybe actually telling the child would be a way of helping the child to understand. I think, however, that the child would really have to be mentally together to understand that parents, too, have flaws. Also, I think the parent would have to be conveying the information with the intent to help the situation and not just to tell it for the sake of telling it.
    That still doesn't necessarily mean that you go right out and tell the child that you loved his/her sibling more. You adjust your parenting to fit each child, isn't that enough explanation?

    Like I mentioned, my sister thought I was the more favored one because my parents helped me out more as a child. But that was mostly because I was so timid and so much more fragile, that I needed the extra support. But no way does she think that they loved her less. As adults, we both have a very close relationship to our parents and to each other and there's absolutely no indication at all that we are treated any different by them.

    When parents favor one child over another due to differing levels of affection, IMO it's very obvious and doesn't need to be said. It's very obvious with my cousins, it's very obvious with my best friend. The favored child is allowed to get away with more, is forgiven for transgressions more easily, while the gavel comes down strongly for the other. One COULD argue that the more favored child needs more support (as I did), but in at no time did my parents actually let me get away with any transgressions.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by maatTheViking View Post
    As far as I understand, almost every parent have a favorite - but that doesn't mean they love one child more than the other - they just favor it.
    I have also read an article saying that it is much easier for parents if they accept this, so they can try and counter act it, and be aware of who is the favorite. I also thikn it is important to accept this, and not feel guilt.

    Btw moms often favors the first born son, fathers the last born daugther - according to what I read.

    I would *never* be honest with my child about something like this - and there are a lot of other things you are not honest about either.
    I know my mom doesn't always approve of my brother and my SIL child rearing strategy - but she says she will never tell them, it is not her place. She just vents her frustration to me
    But favour isn't the same as love. Depending on the activity, I might prefer to have one child over the other accompany me, but that has nothing to do with love. It has more to do with how our interests mesh. I may also like one more than the other at times. Most 11 year old girls, IMHO, are a nightmare to live with!! I'm not suggesting some parents might not actually love one child more than the other. I suppose it could happen - I just can't imagine it. It may also be that the parent is confusing favour or interests with love - which says a lot about the parent IMHO.

    I'm with MacMadame on this one. The liking may vary over the years and activities, but the love stays the same.
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by mag View Post
    I'm with MacMadame on this one. The liking may vary over the years and activities, but the love stays the same.
    that was what I was trying to get across - that it isver rare that the love differs, though the favor might

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by hydro View Post
    Perhaps, but it clearly happens in a lot of families for a variety of reasons.
    Really? Because it's not clear to me that it happens a lot. In fact, really loving one child more is pretty rare in my experience. What's more common is this:

    Quote Originally Posted by maatTheViking View Post
    that it is very rare that the love differs, though the favor might
    IME a lot of kids are sure they aren't the favored one when young. But as they get older and get more perspective, they realize that they felt that way because a child tends to think of themselves as the center of the universe and any indication that they aren't is seen as a slight.

    IOW it's their view that is skewed, not the parent's treatment of them.

    For example, my sisters are convinced I was the favored one. But my memories of growing up are of being held to a higher standard and being picked on a lot for not meeting it. If my sisters and I fought, for example, I'd get in trouble because "I'm the oldest so I should know better." So I certainly didn't feel favored. Though now, as an adult, I can see my sister's POV more and understand why they felt that way even if we were all favored and not favored in our own ways.
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  11. #31
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    My Italian mother has through her actions and words told her daughters that we were "silver" and her son "gold." Girls tarnished like silver, whereas gold always stayed bright and shiny.

    I realize now in adulthood that no matter what I do, I will never be on the same playing field as my brother. No matter how much he continues to ignore her, not invite her over to see the grandkids, never inviting her to his home for the holidays, she will not hold that against him. However, if I say the slightest thing about it, she doesn't speak to me.

    She even went as far as putting her house in joint ownership with her son, who has proved himself to be selfish and when our dad died, emptied out his bank account for himself since the account was held jointly in his name.

    So, through her actions AND words, she let us know just where her daughters (females) stand. Supposedly many Italians feel that sons are more valuable/cherished than their daughters.

  12. #32

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    My mother is a great case in point of using her favoritism for one child over the other as a weapon. Mom and I have not gotten along since I decided I wanted to be my own person and didn't want to be her clone. That happened when I was about 12. I am also a whole lot like her mother-in-law, whom she despised. Mom would villify Granny almost every day, then raise her head and say to me, "And you're just like her!"

    Mom has issues. I've gotten over a lot of them by now, but I did go through a lot of pain before getting to this point, at age 62.

    She did have two bad miscarriages between me and my brother who is 11 years my junior. I use this as an excuse for her as to why she seems to adore my brother as she has always found fault with me. The sun rises and sets over his shoulders. She even will talk to him on the phone while I'm at her home and tell him, "Oh, you are just Mr. Perfect!" and cut her eyes over at me to get a reaction. Of course, I ignore her. She's just a sick old woman.

    Constant criticism, dissapproval...she even wanted to have me declared an unfit mother when I was engaged to my second husband so she could take over my daughter's life. Believe me, I was not an unfit mother! She didn't want me to get married again because I had "made my mistake." She also told my daughter, from the time she was young enough to remember, that I never wanted her and that I had "given" her to my mother when she was a baby, saying, "You take her. I don't want her." I just found this out this past summer when Mom, now is the midst of dementia, blurted it all out to me. In horror, I asked my now-39 year old daughter, who verified that this had happened since she could remember.

    Fortunately, my daughter and I have gotten past all this, and my darling child is my best friend and the center of my life. Mother, at 84, is someone I feel that I must speak to, and I love her for giving birth to me, but I've never felt like I ever had a mother.

    Yes-you don't need to say anything to a child. Your behavior, your words, your attitude will speak much louder. And it will definitely have an effect, I promise you that.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupid View Post
    So, through her actions AND words, she let us know just where her daughters (females) stand. Supposedly many Italians feel that sons are more valuable/cherished than their daughters.
    That must be horrible. Interestingly, though, in my extended (Italian) family, it often seems that the parents are harder on the sons than on the daughters.
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  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    What's the use exactly in destroying someone for the sake of your moral code?
    Ditto.

  15. #35
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    I don't have children myself, but I can't fathom being told by one of my parents that they loved me less than my sibling.

    I can totally see a parent getting along better with one child compared to the other(s). I can see parents and adult children being more/less similar to each other, and maybe bonding over shared activity... That said, having things in common and getting along with someone better aren't the same as loving someone more or less.

    On a lighter note, starting from when we were fairly young kids, my sibiling and I have both always said that we believed that our parents favorited the other one more. My parents have both said that they've done things right then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    Really? Because it's not clear to me that it happens a lot. In fact, really loving one child more is pretty rare in my experience. What's more common is this:
    No, I think it happens more often than rarely. Parents aren't perfect, and I think dismissing loving one child more than another as being rare and abnormal is disrespectful of people's feelings. It happens in all society and all cultures.

    I also don't think a parent should go out of their way to say something. What I said was, if the adult child is doing some soul-searching and self-reflection, and that adult child ASKS the parent, it might be good to get confirmation of said feelings.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by hydro View Post
    I also don't think a parent should go out of their way to say something. What I said was, if the adult child is doing some soul-searching and self-reflection, and that adult child ASKS the parent, it might be good to get confirmation of said feelings.
    And it might be bad. I suspect if an adult child is asking that question they're desperately hoping the parent will deny it.
    3539 and counting.

    Slightly Wounding Banana list cont: MacMadame.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by maatTheViking View Post
    As far as I understand, almost every parent have a favorite
    I hope not.

    I know this will sound harsh, but IMO if parents have a favorite, then the parents have issues they seriously need to address. Yes, it's common, but still very wrong. Parents can say, "Well, I love them both the same--I just get along better with Jane instead of Joe." I would bet over 90% of the time, the children are treated differently as a result of that, and that is absolutely the parent's fault.

    I think parents too often absolve themselves of basically effing up their children, and playing favorites is the best way to eff up your kids. If a parent finds herself/himself gravitating towards one child over another, it's up to the parent to recognize that and stop it. If parents have a harder time relating to one child, then the parents need to work harder so they can properly appreciate the child's strengths just as much as their other children.

    Favoritism shouldn't be massaged as 'well, all parents do it.' It's wrong, it's hurtful to children always, and it's the parents responsibility to ensure it doesn't happen.
    Quote Originally Posted by milanessa View Post
    And it might be bad. I suspect if an adult child is asking that question they're desperately hoping the parent will deny it.
    Exactly

    If a parent has played favorites and an adult child confronts about this, the parent could admit it, but then say they were completely wrong for doing so, and apologize like there's no tomorrow. Without an apology and acknowledgment on the parent's part of how much pain they caused by such behavior, it's just being cruel to the child (even if the child is now technically an adult).

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by milanessa View Post
    And it might be bad. I suspect if an adult child is asking that question they're desperately hoping the parent will deny it.
    I suspect at the very worst, they're hoping that the answer is something like, "I treated you this way because I thought you needed ______. That doesn't mean I don't love you. I was trying my best."

    "You're right, I much preferred your sister" won't end well any way you slice it.

    From talking with people my age with various parent issues, nearly all of them do figure it out on their own. Some of you would be really surprised at the revelations children come up with when they've gotten past the teenage angst and gotten some distance and can take a hard look at things.

    They don't need to be told if they're the favored child or not. They already know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by milanessa View Post
    And it might be bad. I suspect if an adult child is asking that question they're desperately hoping the parent will deny it.
    I had the opposite reaction -- I figure if they are asking as an adult, they probably need some clarity around the issue or their childhood.

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