Every parent has a favorite child. We all want to believe that our parents love us and our siblings equally. That in their eyes we are loved the same, that we are one equally loved family. Wrong. They do love us, unconditionally. Not. Equally. Where do you think sibling rivalry stems from? We want to outdo each other, be better than her, earn more money than him, live in a better house than all of them, be the one your parents call for advice…list is endless. It is inhumanly possible to love two people the same so you can’t really blame them.You and your siblings came from your mother’s womb yet you are totally different in personality. Even identical twins grow up with different interests, they may be similar at birth or while becoming teens but one or the other will find their own personality. As much as you grow up in the same environment, under the same conditions, your parents will treat you and your siblings differently.
The first born
They usually have to bare the parents’ mistakes, lessons, trials and everything in between. This is the first child so they are really just trying to figure parenthood as they go along. Trying to find which discipline method works and which doesn’t. The first born usually has a chip on his or her shoulder. Since they see how tough the parent is. There’s great pressure to be the perfect child. The parent on the other hand wants to do the best he or she can. The first born experience tough love, from expectations to what is demanded of them, they tend to be strong headed and responsible yet harboring resentment of some sort.
As a first born your parents may not lavish you with too much attention lest you become spoilt. This is because they view you as the glue that will stick the family together. As such this may brew rivalry between the siblings. First born usually live through the financial burdens of the parents. Since they are just starting out financially, first born mostly don’t get to be spoilt with material things.
The second born
The parents are usually relaxed after having the second born. They have learnt, made their mistakes and gotten into a system of discipline that works. Second born are usually seen as a do over, the chance to make things right. Right the wrongs done with the first born, if you will. Attention now shifts to the second born who will have come at a time when the parents have got it together. It may either be psychologically, emotionally or even financially.
Parents are more confident of their parenting skills when raising the second born. He or she or them, get to enjoy the fruits of the parent’s labor. Now that the family is stable, second born tend to feat on their parents success. As such they tend to have it easier and are spoilt with material possession most of the time.
The middle child
After the parents have learnt, grown in all aspects…physical, psychological, mental and even financial, the middle child will most likely be ignored. After all, the first two now know their way around parenting. The parents expect that he or she will learn to be independent, after all the other siblings are expected to chip in. The middle child often feel neglected and may choose to act out, which will be futile since he or she seems to slip right through the cracks of the family.
Feelings of loneliness tend to bubble underneath causing them to lash out at their siblings. The middle child sort of blames the other siblings for being ignored and somewhat feeling left out.
The middle child feels left out and like they have to be better than anyone else in the family. Everyone is doing their own thing and the diddle child just wants to be noticed by the rest of the family members.
The last born
Since the parents have probably decided not to sire any more children, the last born becomes like a gift. They can just sit down, retire and enjoy watching their achievements bring in results. Last born are usually treated like babies pretty much their whole lives, especially by mom. Last born can do no wrong, last born need to be protected, last born cannot fight for themselves, last born can’t find their way, last born are fragile…see where this is going?
You are supposed to drop everything to tend to their every need, or whim for that matter. There are those last born who will hate being the center of attention and crave their independence. Yet there are the last born who basks in that attention cocoon and literally expect and demand for it.
Every child is different, there are those who are born and immediately independent. Then there are those who are ‘weak’ so to say and need a lot of attention. Parents treat each child according to their character, emotional growth, intelligence, perceptions and even their own experiences. Each child has their own needs and as parents try to maneuver the murky waters of parenthood, there will be tension and dissatisfaction among the siblings.
This leads to competitions and rivalries among siblings. Favoritism is inevitable. A parent will prefer one child over the other due to various reasons. The ‘favored one’ may be because he or she is the responsible one, there is that one who always seeks to please them, or the one who seems to need more attention. A parent may ‘like’ a sibling more than the other simply because they are more like them in more ways than one. I know all parents love their children unconditionally despite some kids driving them up the wall. It may be intentional or not, but every parent has a favorite child. Whether it is blatantly displayed or silently acknowledged, no parent loves his or her child/ren equally, it’s insanely impossible.
Love for the children will always be UNCONDITIONAL but sharing the love is dependent on various variables. Parenting is hard enough without complicating it with sibling rivalry, all a parent can hope is that the child/ren turn out into responsible adults. No parent ever admits that they have a favorite child, it is always an unspoken knowledge among the siblings.
So are you your parent’s favorite child? If not how does it make you feel? As a parent do you have a favorite child and why?
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