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Many parents find it difficult to recognize it even towards themselves, but it is common for parents to feel a predilection or greater affinity for one of their children. In fact, it is popularly considered that mothers are more prone to a deeper relationship with their boys, and fathers with girls.
However, various professionals believe that it is a question of personality, rather than gender. Parents often feel like allies with the child (ren) who resemble themselves, who have similar interests and behaviors.
In his book "The Sibling Effect: what the bonds among brothers and sisters reveal about us", Jeffrey Kluger assures that: "95% of parents have a child preferred, and the other 5% lie ”.
In any case, the most important thing is to be careful in how they handle these bonds, since children who feel withdrawn in a family, can suffer depressions in adult life, according to the gerontologist Pillemer Karl.
It is important that parents take care of their speeches, since children end up believing what is said about them. If you tell a child that he is slow, bad, selfish, unintelligent, he will believe that he is. On the other hand, parents must promote a healthy relationship between siblings, and obviously this will be impossible if the children feel that there is favoritism for one. On other occasions the opposite may happen, and that is that we do not feel favoritism, but some of the boys do believe that it exists. Remember that "reality" does not exist, there are different perceptions about the facts.
This does not mean that we should treat all children equally. Each child has different needs and being a good parent means detecting and addressing those needs. However there are general tips that can be applied for example:
- Do not treat the smallest child like a baby, because it makes older siblings think that the youngest occupies a privileged place in the family.
- Highlight attitudes and positive behaviors of “underdog” children to help build self-esteem.
- Generate moments alone with each of the children. While family instances are essential, individual spaces are also necessary. Children tend to highly value the moments when they can share alone with one of their parents.
- If at some point we get angry and lose patience and criticize them excessively, once the waters have calmed, apologize. We can indicate that a behavior was not appropriate, but recognize that we did not raise it in the best way.
- Show love to everyone by caresses and positive words. Doing so even if they do not come naturally to us and involve an educational effort. If we get used to it, then the words will come to our lips by themselves.
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