What To Do When Favoritism Is Shown To A Relative
Children can see and understand more than you think, especially when it comes to who is receiving the most attention. Favoritism may not be obvious to the parents, but when favoritism is shown to a relative, children can detect it and it can affect their behavior and their relationship with the parent or relative that displays the favoritism.
Parents try to keep it fair, but it is only natural to favor one child over another during certain situations depending on the child's temperament and personality. For example, if one child is fussier than the other, you may prefer to be in the calmer child's presence, unaware that your fussy child may become more disgruntled by the lack of attention.
Favoritism does not just negatively affect those who are not receiving as much attention, but those who are spoiled by it as well. According to Gina Stepp's article, "Parenting Issues: Playing Favorites", favoritism can cause a child to have anger or behavior problems, increased levels of depression, a lack of confidence in one's self, and a refusal to interact well with others.
What You Should Do When Favoritism is Shown to a Relative
When favoritism is shown to a relative, things can be done at both ends. That is, both a child and a parent can ease the effects done by favoritism. It must be made evident that the reason why a parent may pay more attention to one child over the other is because the child has specific needs that your other children simply do not have.
For example, if a child is ill, parents may pay more attention to them rather than their other children. If their other children demand attention, a parent must clarify that their sibling is ill and needs slightly more attention than they do at the moment. It might help if you take time to play or interact with them at another time.
People outside the immediate family can also influence the results of favoritism. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends can give children the appropriate attention that they may not be getting from their parents.
In fact, a safe outlet of any kind can do wonders for a child who needs someone to talk to. If you feel that either you or your child are not getting the attention that you deserve, that you should consider speaking with a therapist through the services provided by BetterHelp, an online therapy platform.