Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 73
  1. #41
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    23,859
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    They don't need to be told if they're the favored child or not. They already know.
    Yeah, IME, when adult children confront adults about something, they are usually looking to reclaim for themselves something they feel they've lost, and are looking for the parents to apologize/hold themselves accountable in some way. It's not so much adult children asking parents as telling parents what's up.

  2. #42
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Rejecting your reality and substituting my own
    Age
    30
    Posts
    11,004
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    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.
    That's exactly how I think my cousins were raised. My aunt and uncle still care about my older cousin, but they save nearly all of their adoration for the younger. The older one mostly gets criticized.

    My cousin still loves his parents - if he didn't, he wouldn't care so much about trying to please them. And he (and many of my friends) are pretty successful despite of it. But he doesn't particularly like being around his parents.

  3. #43
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Rejecting your reality and substituting my own
    Age
    30
    Posts
    11,004
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by hydro View Post
    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.
    I don't know. Asking whether you were the favored child (or answering the question "honestly") does no favors for anybody.

    If the adult children wanted clarity, they could be more specific, like, "Why did you treat me this way when this happened?" The potential answer is MUCH more helpful than confirming that you were not as loved by your own parents. That's just a rejection of the highest order.

  4. #44
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    849
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Most parents I know may have a favorite but they either don't admit it or try to hide it. And I think if you can't help but having a favorite, that's the right thing to do.

    We are close friends with a family with fraternal twin daughters. The older one looks like dad and younger one looks like mom. The dad made no effort to hide the fact he favored the older twin from day one. He repeatedly told the girls in front of us and other family friends he wished the younger twin looked like the older twin. His blatant favoritism was so obvious I thought he was as immature as a parent could be.

    The mom was different. While she privately told my mom she also secretly favored the older one because that child was more easy going, she made a great effort in front of the girls to show she loved them equally. Sometimes she went out of her way to praise the younger girl.

    Now both girls are in their mid twenties and guess what? They are both close to their mom and only maintain minimal contact with dad, even the older twin whom the dad favored. Children are smart and know who truly loves them and who looks at them as a piece of prize.

  5. #45

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    6,867
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    88512
    The other day my younger dd was complaining about something ... you know "why does she (meaning the older one) get to do it and I don't?" I answered "obviously because I love her more." The younger just cracked up laughing and said "of course you don't!!" but she realized how silly her complaint was. I guess because we all know they are both equally loved and adored we can joke like that.
    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

  6. #46
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    110
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    I have 3 daughters, 1 is 16 and the twins (identical) are 14. I feel like I have close relationships with all my girls, but I have an especially close relationship with my oldest daughter. My twins are extremely close--best friends--and have always leaned on each other. Last summer, one of my twins was mad at my oldest daughter because my oldest was sort of defending me to the twins who I was having some trouble with. My twin said that my oldest was the "perfect child" and that she was my favorite. I told her that I loved them all the same, that I didn't have a favorite, but that I was close to my oldest because she allows me to be close to her. The same isn't true with my twins because they tend to go to each other more than they come to me, and they are generally not as open with their feelings as my oldest.

    This subject is a really hard one for me personally because of what I mentioned above. Also, it's true that my twins are much more difficult than my oldest was, mostly because of personality. It doesn't make me love the twins less, it just makes the dynamic different. Until my twin mentioned that she thought my oldest was my favorite, I had no idea the depth of her feeling (she was very upset). I know that's where I need to work harder so my twins feel equally loved; I have and will continue to do so.

  7. #47

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Top Secret FSU Witness Protection Location
    Age
    31
    Posts
    20,716
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    33350
    I know I am just going to repeat what many others have said but maybe one more opinion will help:

    I don't know why you would LOVE one more than the other? My bf jokingly asks if I love him more than my cat and the truth is that I love them both as much as I can love anyone or anything. There is no rating system going on in my heart. The same is true for my family members. Unless someone did something horrible to me (abuse, for example) then I would continue to love everyone as much as I could.

    Now, that being said, it is possible to LIKE one child more than the other. This isn't something that may always be set in stone, one day you may prefer one to the other and then it could all change. That is normal to me and fine. (for example, I like my cat more than 99% of the people I know. Cats are perfect. )

    Should you say anything? NO! Why would any sane person ever tell a child they love them less? That is cruel and as someone else said, it says much more about the parent than it does about the child. Should you tell a child if you just like them less? I still say no, not unless there is some actual need for them to know.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

  8. #48

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1,625
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    7522
    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    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.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).
    I don't know this, since I only have one child, and I don't felt my parents had favorites - I just recently read an article about this (it was in Danish).

    The point of that article was that you almost can't help having a favorite - but what you do about matters. If you ignore it - you will probably show it. If you acknowledge it, then you can act on it to minimize it.
    All this has as premise that you as a parent know that favoritism is bad - if you blatently favors one child and don't care, then I believe you have issues.

  9. #49
    Internet Beyotch
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    15,808
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    23556
    Quote Originally Posted by hydro View Post
    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's not disrespectful to say "my experience is different". Since no one has done any studies on the matter (that I could find), all we have to go on is our experience and mine is just as valid as yours.

    And I still think actually loving one child more is rare compared to liking one child better which is extremely common.
    Actual bumper sticker series: Jesus is my co-pilot. Satan is my financial advisor. Budha is my therapist. L. Ron Hubbard owes me $50.

  10. #50

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    17,017
    vCash
    1561
    Rep Power
    4990
    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
    If you loved one child more than another…..

    This is an ethical question precipitated by two things: an article addressing this issue and the concept of the truth. My SO and I have differing opinions on the topic of the truth and this question IMO gets to the heart of it.

    If you – for whatever reason short of the kid hitting you or starting fires or truly being evil – you just loved one of your kids less than the others, would you tell them or would you lie about it if prompted?

    My SO believes the truth is paramount so he would be honest and say he loves X child more or the most. While not ideal, I can understand that a parent might really love one child more or less than another, but it is rather unfathomable to me to ever admit that to any of the children. To me, it is the more ethical stand to lie in this case. My SO finds *my* position unfathomable.

    Realizing there is probably no objective right or wrong response, I am curious to hear your opinions on the issue.
    See the thing is I think sometimes people want to tell the truth, for their own selfish reasons. I don't think we are obligated always to tell the whole unwashed truth. For example if a child asks you do you love so and so more than me. If you don't want to lie if its true, a better answer would be. I am extremely sorry that If I ever made you feel that way. Do you know how much I love you. I don't have kids, so I don't want to sit there and be like, terrible parents for having a favorite. What I think though is that if a parent feels they are favoring one, they need to start doing more for the other. I.e do your best to hit it.

    And the faternal twins case, no wonder why one twin was more easy going than the other.

  11. #51

    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    5,615
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    7222
    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    It is totally normal to have a favorite (you don't get to pick your kids, and usually parents like the kid who is more like who they would pick as friends better), every counselor I've ever met will tell you that.

    It is NOT normal to be explicit about it. If someone actually TOLD a child they loved a sibling more, I would think they were crazy, in the literal- something is not right with them- sense. That is the person who needs to see a counselor.


    (However, if you have issues relating to the non-favorite child, or feel that you are showing obvious favoritism, getting help isn't a bad idea. But you aren't crazy, just normal.)


    I know I am not the preferred child in my family. I don't know if that extends to my parents loving me less, but they have certainly never ever said that to me. I can tell they like me less though- but I think they are just as proud of my accomplishments.
    Totally agree with what you said. As a parent you just have an affinity for one or the other... But tell them? You would have to be really cruel to do such a thing.

    As to loving one kid more.... You love them all, the do your best to treat them equally... Some are just more fun.... easier for you to be with, any etc.

    Other than that... Not every thought or feeling needs to be expressed. Being TOTALLY HONEST may clear your mind... but it really dumps on the other guy!
    DH - and that's just my opinion

  12. #52
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    2,410
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Holley Calmes View Post
    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.
    I am my mother's caretaker and she is unusually bitchy tonight but after reading this I realize I am very lucky. I am glad that you and your daughter have a solid, loving relationship. You deserve much happiness after what you have been through. And now I am counting to 10 before I return to mom (tonight she is Mother.) Btw my sister and I never said anything to my parents but we always felt that Dad favored her and Mom favored me though they would never, ever admit this to us.

  13. #53
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Cali baby
    Posts
    1,845
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Cupid View Post
    Supposedly many Italians feel that sons are more valuable/cherished than their daughters.
    It's like that in my Asian family too. Sad.... I have memories of my parents telling others (can't remember who they were), "If only she (meaning I) were a boy."

    I have 2 boys and 2 girls, all four are precious and loved no matter how bratty they get at times.

  14. #54
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Rejecting your reality and substituting my own
    Age
    30
    Posts
    11,004
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by myhoneyhoney View Post
    It's like that in my Asian family too. Sad.... I have memories of my parents telling others (can't remember who they were), "If only she (meaning I) were a boy."

    I have 2 boys and 2 girls, all four are precious and loved no matter how bratty they get at times.
    I have a belief that all the fat Chinese babies you see are boys.

    My mom's really glad she had two girls actually, considering how rambunctious and uncontrollable my cousins were as kids. (Well, the parenting wasn't stellar but still...boys. ) She'd say, "Can you imagine your quiet dad raising boys? Hahahaha!"

  15. #55

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    new york
    Posts
    1,572
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    2066
    What an interesting thread.

    One of the best things I ever read in a magazine was in an essay that pointed out different people have different parenting strengths. One woman might be a great mother to infants, another to teenagers.

    My mother waited a while to get married and a while to have children. I think if she'd been born 50 years later, she wouldn't have had children, but when she and my father were married, there was a lot of pressure on people to reproduce. My mother was 33 when my brother was born, 36 when I was born. My brother was a paragon of babyhood and childhood, very easy going, very nice, very smart (he still is all those things).

    The family joke is if I'd been born first, my parents would never have had a second child. I was difficult from birth. I was also very much like my father, and my brother is very much like my mother.

    I remember feeling strongly that my mother favored my brother, and now, decades later, I have the same feelings. My mother didn't understand me, certainly not in those charming years of 10-16. I could have been a space alien, I was that different from her.

    But the thing is, it doesn't matter. My mother turned out to be the best parent of grownups I've ever known. Our relationship perked up when I started college, and it's been wonderful ever since.

    She turned 100 a few months ago. I talk to her daily on the phone and visit her a couple of times a week, and she glows when she sees me, as she does when she sees my brother.

    Parents change. Children change. Relationships change. What's true at twelve isn't necessarily true at thirty.

  16. #56

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Deep in a Dream
    Posts
    7,562
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    17961
    My parents definitely favored my younger brother. My sister was the straight A student, I was the problem child, younger brother 1 was the Golden Boy, younger brother 2 was the baby. My father never admitted that this was the case, but when I was 11 I called my mother on it and she had no problem telling me that I was right. And why. I resented the hell out of it when we were kids but that changed once he went to college and we've been very close ever since. He's still the acknowledged favorite, but we can laugh about it now. Being the favorite child of my parents isn't exactly a blessing.
    My job requires me to be a juggler, but that does not mean that I enjoy working with clowns.

  17. #57
    Tinami 2012
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    11,445
    vCash
    1000
    Rep Power
    6863
    Family dynamics are so interesting. Whenever I talk to siblings individually about their shared family, I can barely believe they grew up in the same household. The same cast of characters, but a totally different plot.... I used to think it was just my family, but it's more prevalent than I realized.

    I think there are always going to be special bonds within families. If the highs you feel are a bit higher and the lows you feel are a bit lower for one child, do you really love them more, or are you just more emotionally connected to them (or is that the same thing)? Even if you do love one child more, does loving one child more necessarily mean loving another less? I'm not convinced it's a zero sum game.

    I'm obsessively fair with my niece and nephew -- in terms of time spent with each, dollars spent on gifts, ensuring "equal opportunity," etc. But there's one who tugs on my heartstrings a bit harder, who makes me hold my breath a little longer, and whose accomplishments make my heart soar a little higher.

    Does that mean I love one of them more? Maybe, I don't know. I don't think it's outwardly visible (I've never been called on it by adults or by the children), and I'm acutely aware and control for it. Whatever it is, I don't think it's wrong.

    Would I ever admit it? Maybe, to the one who has more of an effect on me, but only if I felt it would serve a needed psychological benefit. I would not mention it to the other one.

  18. #58

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Vancouver Canada
    Age
    55
    Posts
    12,706
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    11163
    Quote Originally Posted by genegri View Post
    Most parents I know may have a favorite but they either don't admit it or try to hide it. And I think if you can't help but having a favorite, that's the right thing to do.
    But isn't it often obvious?

    It was in my family. My brother was far the favoured child, the prodigal Jewish son. This was clear to my sister and I from as far back and we can remember, although she and I are 10 years apart and therefore experienced very different family dynamics. We always said the he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, could never do wrong as far as mom and dad were concerned (though ultimately this didn't serve him well)

    There are many situations where boys are favoured more than girls today, although I hope that's a dying tradition in our society.

    But even then, I'm sure there are favoured children in my families be they boys or girls. And that the less-favoured know it, even if it's not explicitly acknowledged.

  19. #59

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    17,017
    vCash
    1561
    Rep Power
    4990
    I think the poster above who said dynamics change and feelings change is correct too. I know when I was growing up; I felt a lot closer to my Youngest (baby) brother. Now I'll be honest and say I'm a lot closer to my middle brother. Maybe ten years from now it will change again.

    I think at the end of the day, we can't always choose our feelings. We don't even get to really change our feelings. But we can help is our actions. And frankly that goes for any scenario in life when you think about it.

  20. #60

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Boise
    Posts
    928
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    4110
    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    I'm obsessively fair with my niece and nephew -- in terms of time spent with each, dollars spent on gifts, ensuring "equal opportunity," etc. But there's one who tugs on my heartstrings a bit harder, who makes me hold my breath a little longer, and whose accomplishments make my heart soar a little higher.

    Does that mean I love one of them more? Maybe, I don't know. I don't think it's outwardly visible (I've never been called on it by adults or by the children), and I'm acutely aware and control for it. Whatever it is, I don't think it's wrong.
    Right now, I try to be pretty fair to my siblings and their kids, even though I am obviously closer to some than others. My husband and I updated our wills recently, and upon our deaths, our things are not divided evenly -- the discrepancies are really big in some cases, but all for what I feel are good reasons. This may be interpreted as "she loved you more" after I die, no matter how much explaining I do as part of the will. Other than including a letter that accompanies the will, any other ideas on making my distributions easier to swallow from those who will receive less than others?

Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •