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What makes a parent love one child more than another?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Family<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (26 July 2008) 8 Answers - (Newest, 3 May 2009)
A male United Kingdom age 51-59, anonymous writes:

can anybody tell me what makes a parent love their child less than their other children and blatantly show it.

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A female reader, couldbe United States +, writes (3 May 2009):

I wish I had the answer.I just know that it's more common than most "normal" mothers think.I,personally think that these mothers love themselves above all.I believe that there is so little left,it's just enough for the chosen one.It doesn't make it hurt any less,I know,I've lived with it my whole life.It's not you.it's her.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (9 August 2008):

Well..it's isn't easy to say this. But from my personal experiences it seems to stem from a parent receiving 'something more' from one sibling over the other.

For example.

My parents never had a lot of money. So..they often borrowed from my sister. (She married into money) I didn't have the ability to help my parents in this capacity while growing up..but she was.

When my sister and her husband moved to another country. My father and mother followed after her. Over the years..my parents interest in me, (and my family) dwindled.

They often blamed their inconsistencies on the distances between our countries. However, I knew there was a greater distance, and one which did not involve the miles that kept us apart.

Just recently, my father informed me that everything he owned would be left to my sister and her husband.

And even though I knew this would probably happen..hearing his words still shocked me. It couldn't have hurt any worse then if he had slapped me across the face!

Over the years I had to struggle. I wasn't able to lend them money, so now, they wouldn't leave me an inheritance. Because you see, to my parents...love was all tied up with material things.

Which of course..isn't really love at all.

Did I see this same scenario play out before? Sure.

My wife's mother..though a loving woman. Still favored her son over her own daughters. He would send her gifts and money on a regular basis. And the funny thing is..my mother in-law.. often spoke about 'her mother' favoring her eldest brother over her. (Her brother did the same thing. He supplied her mother with fiancial help).

I've seen this play out in many, many families. Not only between parents and children, but between siblings as well.

As I said, most times it's about money. But it can be something else. Where a parent thinks one child is prettier, or brighter, or more successful, etc. etc. etc. The list goes on and on.

What you have to remember is... people don't change just because they have children. They have the same weaknesses and faults before they had you. And they will continue as they are.. all throughout their lives.

What you have to decide is..how much of their faults can you overlook.

If it's too painful..then you must think to protect yourself..and find a reason to live on..to love someone else.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (27 July 2008):

i cant believe that any parent would deliberately favour one child over another,there has to be some form of mentality problem and needs to seek help to combat this,as the unfavoured child will certainly grow up resenting and hating the parent who did this to him/her

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A female reader, bellasmommy United States +, writes (27 July 2008):

what are some of the things your parents do that make you think they love you less? maybe your paranoid.. or maybe they just show their love differently towards you.

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A female reader, lexilou United Kingdom +, writes (27 July 2008):

lexilou agony auntI have three children and the older two will both tell you I love the other one more then them and that I love the little one more than either of them!

Of course I show more love to the little one as he is only three and very loving and cuddly. The older two are teenagers and are loved just as much but I do sometimes forget they need cuddles so try and make the effort to spend time with them away from the little one and on their own too.

It is very hard being a mum and as each child is different I love them for different reasons but it doesnt mean I dont love them equally. Sometimes we might treat them differently as they have separate needs and independant children especially often feel they are not loved as much.

When children get older mum's sometimes dont like them very much when they act out etc but the love is still there x

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (27 July 2008):

Any parent who will favor one child over another has some SERIOUS problems. It's wrong to break the rules for one child while you're ready to throw the other one out of the house. It's insanely selfish and parents like that don't deserve to have children. Odds are the favor kid will be very selfish and stuck up while the other will be insecure. With the unfavored kids, I wish them more success in life and love than the favored one...because the universe has a way of righting wrongs like this.

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A female reader, LilzDon'tKnow United States +, writes (27 July 2008):

LilzDon'tKnow agony auntWell some parents are crue and thier demented picture of what thier kids should be and single out one that in thier "demented" mind think is better. not meaning they are but sometimes they do

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (27 July 2008):

Hi

maybe it is not less, but different.

Or maybe there is a real reason, you have not given enough info. Maybe the parent is not a very good individual, we expect our parents to be perfect and this is not always the case. Some parents are bad and show it and some do show favouritism to one sibling and not the other. These types of parents are best to stay away from. Would you love hitler just because he was your father? probably no, family we expect a certain expression of love and they dont always express what we expect! or maybe you have a bit of sibling rivalry going on inside you and it reflects, are you feeling jealous and insecure?when really you dont need to be. Are you sure of your roots is there a family secret? these are all possibilities that i could think of with so little inf. 1. fIRST LOOK INSIDE YOURSELF and question if it is real what you are experiencing. 2. observe wether the parent realizes how they make you feel? 3.observe if the favoured one plays on it and demands this type of attention from the paren. 4. look at how you behave are you quite and just never speak up so all are totally unaware of how you feel? 5. if you come to the conclution that it is very real, then stay away from people if they make you feel bad. 6. Ask if there is anything in the past that you have said or done to hurt and cause resentment that they are still holding onto it? sibling rivalry. OR maybe it is you that is the special one? loved or unloved you deserve to feel love so long as you too give it and show it.

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