Dysfunctions of The Partial Parent 7

Parents are usually unanimous in

the belief that they treat all their children equally. And yet siblings seem to grow up having an acute sense about who was the proverbial apple of the parent’s eye.

Often in families with two or more kids,

the youngest  one usually occupies the position of the little baby way past the infancy period. Stuck in a notional time warp the parents tend to unknowingly push away the older sibling/s in the belief that being older, he/she can fend for himself while the younger one needs focused attention and hands on parenting.

At first the older one seeks attention

in innocent loving ways like hugging more than usual, trying to please mum etc. When the need for attention is not recognized and reciprocated, the child may adopt regressive behaviors like pretending to be a little baby, wanting to sit or lie in your lap. If these tactics also fail, the child may become distant, rude, rebellious or simply non compliant to instructions or requests from the parents.

At this stage the child may become

prone to sulking, having occasional mood swings or even outbursts. His every attempt to seek attention meets with disapproval, scolding, punishing or a harsh reminder of how he is becoming difficult and impossible to deal with.

Deep inside the older child feels

lonelier than ever before and secretly starts resenting the younger one for stealing his parents love and affection.

No matter how wide the age gap between

your children may be, know that chronological age has nothing to do with the desire to feel loved, wanted, hugged and held by a loving parent. It directly affects the child’s self image and self worth or the lack of it.

Hug your children frequently

and for each hug you give your little one, don’t forget to do the same with your fully grown older child.

(P.S.: The favored child may not necessarily be the youngest one but this post points in the direction of preferential treatment to any one child in striking contrast to another and urges parents to shower their expressions of love equally on all children in the family.)



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