Much as we try to make our kids feel equally loved, they accuse us of showing “favoritism.” I recently received the following email from a twelve-year old boy named Jordan. His message shows the damage of parental favoritism:
I know my dad loves me and wants me to do really well in life, but he’s making me -feel so bad about myself. All he does is compare me to my brother and tell me I should try to be more like him. I know I can never be like him, but the worst thing is I’m starting to hate my brother. I don’t mean to. I just do. Can you help me?
His message hurts, doesn’t it? We don’t mean to play favorites and deliberately set out to make one kid feel less loved. But if we’re not careful, our subtle day-to-day behaviors can set up deadly feelings of jealousy amongst siblings. And those feelings can take from family harmony as well as last a lifetime.
Of course, treating kids equally is plain unrealistic: they come packaged with different temperaments, interests, and needs. So don’t drive yourself too crazy trying to always make things always fair. The real trick is to minimize conditions that break down sibling relationships and cause long-lasting resentment. Bottom line: while some rivalry is unavoidable, parents can discourage sibling disharmony by giving careful attention to how their household atmosphere is structured. Here are seven ideas to guide you in minimizing jealousy and disharmony amongst siblings:
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Hi, I'm Gabriella. Mama to 3 kids and married to my high school sweetheart, Jake! My toddler drives me to the brink of insanity but coffee helps me survive :)! I try catching up on some reading after putting my kids to bed. I am also a big time foodie. You can check out my posts for recipes, fashion tips, mom hacks and more. I'm here to share my journey, become a part of yours and learn from everyone's experiences :)momsbeyond.com
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