Last week, a blog entitled “Having a Favorite Child” went viral. Apparently, a writer had the nerve not only to put in writing that she favors one of her children over another one, but to charge that if you’re a parent, you have a favorite too.
The topic struck a nerve because it’s one that almost everyone can relate to. Even if you don’t have children, you more than likely had a sibling and may have or may not have felt like your parents played favorites.
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Lots of talk shows made this their hot topic of the day without delving into the entire blog. But after reading it, turns out that each of her six children were her favorites at different times. So, in private, she would tell the kid she was talking to that he or she was her favorite. By doing this, she says, all of her children grew up believing that he was appreciated more than the others. It wasn’t until they got older that they figured out Mom’s plot and realized they all were extra special.
After I got past the fact that this woman has six children – sorry, don’t get it – I began to think more about her feel-good story.
I’m all for making both of my boys feel that they are special to me and pointing out why, but taking them into my confidence and declaring that I favored one over the other is not the way to do it, for a lot of reasons. I don’t want to make my children feel that they are competing for my love or that my love and appreciation for them is based on their deeds and changes from day to day. They aren’t competitors or adversaries; they’re brothers who need to be taught to have each other’s backs, not conspiring behind each others backs with – of all people – their mother.
I also feel that as brothers, they should celebrate each other’s unique and special qualities, as I do. And I think that they are. Tyler loves it when Willis Jr. makes him laugh. And Willis loves it when his big brother helps him with his homework or a building project. They both have their strong points that lend strength to the other’s not-so-strong points.
Now, let’s turn the tables and get on to one that may spark more conversation. Who’s your favorite parent? Ahhh.
Anyone who knows me can testify that I am a big ol’ Daddy’s girl. He has always been – and always will be – my hero. And although I know my mother treasured the special relationship I had with my father, it had to have hurt for me not to have blatantly showered her with as much love and affection as I did my dad.
As a child, I never considered how my favoritism might have affected my mom. As an adult, I began to appreciate the special role and sacrifices my mother made for me, whether I was grateful or not, and felt bad for how I treated her. I really was no joke. Now, as a single mom sharing custody of my boys with their dad, most of time, I’m sure they love us equally, but there are times when I can too closely relate to my mother’s pain of being the parent who was left out.
Flashback to my arrival home after the cruise: The boys were high off of a week spent with father and were understandably sad