The secret?? AVOID THE POISON OF FAVORITISM!
“Favoritism you say? We don’t have favoritism in our house!”
Well sometimes we may be blinded and the poison seeps in.
Our families are forced to be together now. Every person is unique, different, has different feelings, beliefs and desires. Sometimes the differences cause tension and frustrations and outbursts of anger. Differences are not wrong, just different. Families can shatter when the family members are at each other all of the time. This is where favoritism comes in. Because we are so different we have a tendency to compare.
Favoritism shows up when one child does their homework and the other doesn’t. When one child goes to bed when told and the other doesn’t. Can you see where favoritism can seep in? It happens because we have a tendency to show love and appreciation to one child and not the other. When the husband says his wife is not helping to do as much around the house as he is. Or the wife says the husband is not doing his part. This is a subtle comparison that causes irritations.
AVOID COMPARISON! Sibling rivalry raises its ugly head when comparison which leads to favoritism happens. Avoid comments that favor one child or the other. Sometimes when we talk about physical attraction, intelligence, skills and athletic abilities favoritism can slip in.
It is not healthy to allow our children to attack each other because one feels favored. When we introduce our children watch your words. This is “the pretty one”, “the smart one”, “the lazy one”etc. You get the idea. I was told about a young lady who was always introduced as a child as “the sick one.” These words became a script in her mind. As an adult now she feels she is the sick one. She reported that her counselor helped her see the words “the sick one” had become a life commandment. She had to reframe in her mind that she was not sick and learned to live a healthy life.
The words we say to our children are so important. Words can influence the destiny of our children. If you have ever said these words, may it never happen again____”Why can’t you be like your brother/sister?” These words are devastating. No one can be like someone else. Sure we want our children to be a certain way but as I said in the beginning, we are all different. Being different is not wrong it’s just different. Each personality has strengths and weaknesses and as parents we have to teach our children about personality differences. Then we have to model how you accept everyone.
In case you are feeling guilty now as you think about some things that have happened and you desire to keep your family from shattering during this pandemic, I encourage you to examine yourself. If you have shown favoritism ask yourself these questions: What makes me biased against this one and not the other? How can I practice impartiality? What is the reason one child is more challenging? Need help? Contact Bill Neely 240-401-8325 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be honest with yourself! Because each child is different we have to respond differently to meet the need of that personality. However as parents our goal is to show unconditional love to each child. I didn’t say it is easy, but with God all things are possible.
“The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement!”
May your family be safe and healthy!