Do you prefer one child to the others? Part 2

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Mum comforting her daughter

4. She's very like you

You may find yourself identifying with one child more than the others simply because she reminds you of yourself.

Maybe she looks like you or has a very similar personality. She may worry about the same things you did and have the same hang-ups, fears and insecurities that you once had.

Maybe you think no-one else understands her, except you. Or maybe you both share more positive personality traits. Maybe she's hard-working and conscientious, just as you were.

5. She's had a tougher time than the others

Mothers often feel more protective towards the child who, they believe, had the most difficult start to life.

Perhaps she was born premature or suffered ill health early on. Maybe she finds schoolwork more difficult than your other children, or doesn't think she's as pretty as her siblings. Maybe she's shy and finds it difficult to make friends.

All these things can make a child seem much more vulnerable and in need of extra careful handling.

The Golden Rule

You can't help how you feel, but you can help how you behave. It's very important that none of your children feels they're being treated unfairly.

Never ever say anything out loud that may make them think you prefer one to another. And if they ever ask you, deny it at all costs.

If you often hear your children say things like 'I always get the blame' or 'you love her more than me', you need to stop and think.

Ask yourself honestly

1. Do they have grounds for feeling this way?
2. What can I do to correct the balance?

You can't always treat children equally. They're all different and their needs are all different. If one of them is going through a difficult time, they may need more attention - and the others need to understand that.

Continued below...

More help and advice

- Coping with sibling rivalry
- Help your kids deal with disappointment
- How to deal with stressed-out children
- Help you child do well at school
- Choosing the sex of your baby
- Sleep problems in babies

All pages in this article

  1. 1. Do you prefer one child to the others?
  1. 2. Do you prefer one child to the others? Part 2

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