How to Avoid Favoritism

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le

Parental favoritism is when you give unfair preferential treatment to one child while treating fair with another child. This leads to disadvantages in the psychological development of your children.

What are the kinds of favoritism?

There are various kinds of favoritism and reasons that parents use to justify it, such as:

  • One child has the same trait as one or both parents while their siblings do not. (It can be behavior, preferences or gender)
  • Parents can only spend time with one child because they do not have enough time for
  • The first-born and last-born children seem to have more love than middle children.
  • Parents tend to love children who are pleasant and more affectionate.
  • Children with high academic achievement may get more favoritism.

How does favoritism affect your children?

If favoritism is a consistent, evident, and arbitrary difference, it will cause troubles in your family. Favored children will grow up with a high level of self-esteem and live without rules.

Besides, children who are not favored will live with the feeling of being defeated and left out. When they make an effort to do and gain something, they will not receive the reward as it should be. Also, they are at a higher risk of mental health problems, including attention, aggression, and emotional problems.

How to stop favoritism in your house?

If you are using favoritism on your children, this is the time to stop.

  • Every kid has a different personality. So, assigning your expectations to all of the kids is unfair. It should be appropriated to your children’s ages, personality, abilities, and so on.
  • House-works should be shared fairly between siblings. However, you should remember to divide tasks based on your children’s age so you don’t overwhelm the younger ones.
  • Spend equal time with every kid to show your attention. They will not feel like they are being left out.
  • Give every kid the same opportunities such as love, attention, and money for their development. It may be difficult when you have multiple children. You could ask for some advice or ideas from other experienced parents.
  • Rewards, gifts or punishments should be given proportional to your children’s age.
  • Parenting needs the cooperation from both you and your spouse. Sometimes, one of you may make a mistake on giving some unfair things to your children, which should be avoided at all cost.

Every child has a different personality. As parents, you should accept their uniqueness and treat all of them fairly with unconditional love.


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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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