Contrary to what some people believe, parents are humans and they can make mistakes. One of those mistakes is playing favorites with your kids. A father might play favorites with his daughter because she’s his little girl or a mother might play favorites with her son because she’s his little boy. But playing favorites can be for a variety of other reasons, too. Unfortunately, this can be detrimental to growth in many areas of your child’s life. Here are some tips to help avoid playing favorites for the sake of your children’s well-being.
The first step in avoiding playing favorites with your children is to admit that you do it. If you can’t see that you are playing favorites, it’s going to be difficult (if not impossible) to recognize when you continue to do it. If you aren’t sure, ask your spouse or your children to see if they think you play favorites and what are some things that make them think that. That’s a good starting point for working on your actions so you can avoid it in the future.
Recognize the Beauty of Your Children
One of the reasons that a parent might play favorites with their children is because one might be better in an area of life than the other. For instance, a dad might play favorites with his son because he’s captain of the football team. But that doesn’t mean that the other children are any less important. They all have something that they are good at and it’s important to recognize the skills and talents in each child. Just because their talents aren’t on display in front of hundreds of people on the field every week doesn’t mean they are any less important.
Playing favorites usually involves comparing one child to another. But this simply isn’t fair. You can’t compare your children to determine if one is better than the other. Recognize that they are both individuals and you’ll find yourself respecting both of them equally instead of favoring one over the other.
Spend Time with Them Individually
One way to show each of your children that you appreciate and love them is to spend one-on-one time with them. Learn what they like to do and spend some time doing that. Does one of your kids like trains? Take them to a local train museum – just you and him. Does another kid like playing baseball? Take them to the park and play catch. You’ll see that each child has something great that you can be proud of.
Using these techniques to avoid showing favoritism will help your kids know that they are special and that you love them.