As a parent, did you ever feel that you have loved one child more than the other?
At my older sister's wedding a couple weekends ago, my new nephew (age 18) asked my mom if I was her favorite. I had said yes to that question when he asked me earlier. My sister and I always say that I'm the favorite, so I wasn't letting out some huge secret or anything. My mom and I are ridiculously close and always have been. I'm just like her.
So he asked her if I was the favorite, and she paused briefly before saying no. I was all, "Come on, don't lie," and she thought a little bit before saying something to the effect that I had needed her more than my sister. I was 5 or 6 when my parents divorced, whereas my sister was 8 or 9, and while our dad wasn't a huge part of either of our childhoods (we spent every other weekend with him, but we didn't do much with him, and he was an alcoholic), Mom had especially played the role of mother and father to me, since I was younger.
She went on to say that while my sister had fought her on literally everything as a teenager, I had made it so easy for her. If my mom said the sky was blue, my sister said it was orange. My sister came home with a tongue ring and cigarettes. She snuck out of the house. Me? I got grounded from the house. That's right-my mom and stepdad had to force me to leave the house and go hang out with my friends. I never had a curfew, because she knew she could trust me to not stay out all night-and not to be doing anything I shouldn't be doing while I was out. I admit it, I was a goody-goody. I still am at 31. It's just who I am-it just so happens that my mom is, too.
So, combine circumstance (divorce + made life really easy for her) with personality (I'm my mom's mini-me), and the result is that my mom is literally my best friend. I would say my mom and sister have a close relationship, but it's more tenuous. My sister's definitely more of our father's child than I'll ever be; she's much more comfortable hanging out with him than I am. Likewise, Mom and I have a great freaking time hanging out together. We talk literally every day. If she doesn't call me by 6pm, I freak out and text her, wondering if she's dead in a ditch somewhere. She might go a couple weeks without talking to my sister. That's just their relationship. But she loves us both.
Am I her favorite? I guess not. Is it easier between us? Yes.
This happened years ago in 2001. A terrible earthquake had struck India in Gujarat with epicenter in a city named Kutch. (2001 Gujarat earthquake )
At that time we used to live in Gandhi Nagar which is capital of Gujarat. My mother and my sister were along me in that house. At that time, we were kids. I was roughly six years old and my sister two years younger. We both were sleeping at that time when suddenly out of nowhere the earthquake came. My mother felt the vibrations and was terrified. She rushed from the kitchen to the room where we were sleeping.
At that time, it was impossible for my mother to carry us both at the same time outside of the house because she had pain in her shoulders at that time. Our neighbors started shouting my mother's name to get out of the house. These were the neighbors who knew us and had gathered outside in panic and fear.
My mother had a choice. She could carry one kid outside at a time and then come later for other. Or she could have gone in balcony and called for help from neighbor. Now mind you, this was a time when one major earthquake had struck the city and those seconds were terribly full of fear for my mother. What if the building collapsed.
When she got hopeless because she couldn't decide which kid to carry first outside to safety, she sat there that if we'll die we will die together.
I do not blame her. Most of us become hopeless in panic at such times. But years later when I ask her why didn't she choose. She says it was tough for her to choose which one to carry first outside, me or my sister because meanwhile something could have happened to the other.
And then I say well in that case you would have saved one of us which was better than all three of us dying. You must have made a choice quickly and carried one to safety.
She says every time we talk about this incident.
For several years I struggled with a horrendous sense of guilt for feeling that I loved one of my children more than the other. It was so against every parental instinct that I thought I was a wrong parent. As in mentally wrong. As many of you said, one of my kids was hard to love. Very hard. I could not understand his approach to anything. So totally different from me and even my husband. We both had developed some untold detachment to him.
Then, without realizing it, and also thanks to dine great therapists, things changed overtime. We change, kids grow... And I realize now that it was just a phase and not a bit of those feelings exists anymore.
I've come to accept and appreciate, truly and deeply and naturally, the different ways in which my son is awesome. I tried really hard at the beginning but it wasn't happening. And then it did.
I guess it wasn't less love but just a lot of frustration. Now the situation has almost swapped sides. One has matured and the other one has developed some behavioral issues. Just phases. I felt reassured in my maternal aptitude to the point that we had a third. All is perfect now.
I think most parents would agree that their love for their children is both unconditional and infinite - as in, not a finite thing - and therefore it's not possible to love one child more than another.
However, it's quite possible to dislike your child's behavior and choices. And if that disagreeable behavior is pervasive enough, I think it would be quite possible to dislike one's child as a person.
But no matter how much my child breaks my heart, I could never, ever stop loving her. And I could never love her any less than my other children.
I think it's also worth noting that, although I'm not a huge fan of Steven Covey, one valuable tidbit I did carry away from being forced to read his book in high school is that love is an active verb, not just some passive state of being. And if that's the case, then ideally one would make an effort to active-love all of their children to an equal degree. Because until they become parents themselves, they're not likely to grasp the concept that a parent's love for all their children is unconditional and infinite. And if you give them any reason to suspect that you like them any less than their siblings, they usually interpret that as you loving them less, as well.
I saw most answers from parents.Almost all the parents showed that their love is unconditional,infinite,equal.They make an effort to active-love all of their children to an equal degree.
From the perspective of children,differences in love really exist heavily.And my opinion changed gradually with the pass of time.Of course,I also contend that every children see up at a certain age.Experience, it is painful when we feel the difference from the family.The following is it:
As a little son in my family,I cried for this several times,because I think my mother love my brother more.By the way, I am alike my mother much whatever the look or the characteristics.And I came from a traditional and remoted countryside in China.There is a conventional phenomenon that is the elder son support mother while the little support father in the future. So it always makes me be random about my mother's love.What's more,compared with my brother,I always seemed in rags (years later,can I grasp the concept that it's just because of my crude behavior and careless not no love). I was clapped by my mother for my some behaviors frequently while my brother always sniggled appreciately.What a fucking time absolutely.So,surroundings also said whether my mom has a severe prejudice on me,if not,why I'm so....Every time I heard these,I would cry oneself.Honestly,it really do harm to my childhood.
So,if you pay more attention to one child out of the simple feeling that someone is easier to love,(maybe you don't think so) don't ignore that.The bad feeling goes with me until I'm 15years old because I burst tears\U0001f648.What if I was bubbly and chatterbox!Ok,next is some suggestions for children like me and maybe for parents.
- If you feel your parents love you less,cry for this,It's enough.
- If you want to avoid such situations like me,just question your children's feeling.
"As a parent, did you ever feel that you have loved one child more than the other?"
I hope I never will have that feeling.
I'm immensely fond of both my children and I love them both unconditionally, in part because of my own childhood. I really love being a father and I hope I am a good one.
My son has ADHD and he's a handful, but I love being there for him and helping him through difficult periods. He was born dysmature (full-size but low birth weight), but I always knew he was a fighter. He's kind and gentle and curious about the world, and we have these great moment together where we ruminate together about life and how it could be and what we could do to make our lives and those of others better.
Parents do have favorite child. The liking is based on factors like, first child, last child, most intelligent, only male child, only girl child. It's only that some parents make it evident and some conceal it. It does not mean that they don't love the other's.
My mother who experienced this bias made is sure she gave us the equal attention and love.
Throughout her illness I was by her side.When she was put on palative care, she had given up on talking. 2 days before she passed away she asked my brother to stay back in the hospital. She had reserved her energy for talking to him that whole night. She asked him to sleep by her side just like her baby.
He was her first child and special....
I don't hold anything against her. We are humans and it's okay if you love one child more than the other but it is not okay if you show that. She did a great job till it was time to say good bye...
I love her and miss her...