Is it possible to treat all your children equally, or do you favour one of them?

This is a very tricky question to answer, because all children are different. No one size fits all, so what is right for one child is not necessarily right for another. Maybe your eldest child is very sensitive and your youngest is very tough, so how do you approach them when you need to reprimand them?

Maybe you have to adopt a softer line with the more sensitive child, and be more severe with your youngest, but then you can be accused of favouring your oldest. But of course you are not. It is completely normal that you might empathise more with one of your children, particularly if he has a complimentary character to yours, but this is not to be confused with favouritism. You are managing the situation with different strategies for each child.

So long as you avoid giving things to one child and not to the other, then you are certainly treating them all equally. It is of course possible to give something to one of them and something different to the others, but make sure they all get something which is interpreted as fair for everyone. If for example you take one child on vacation with you, and leave the other at home with grandparents, then this is definitely not fair and would certainly be showing favouritism towards one over the other. The problem would then be that you create jealousy between your children, and resentment towards each other. If you can’t take them all, then you shouldn’t take any of them.

Favouritism is to be avoided at all costs, as if you want your children to grow up and get on with each other when they are adults, then you have to be careful not to create resentment and jealousy between them when they are youngsters.


6 thoughts on “Is it possible to treat all your children equally, or do you favour one of them?

  1. I’ve always stressed to my 3 children that everything I give to one, or other, of them will be balanced out over the course of time & they now readily acknowledge that to be the case. I love & support, albeit differently because they have different needs & wants, them all the same.


  2. Ironically I had this very conversation with the mother of our two children earlier today.
    I always use my own childhood as the barometer here. I grew up with a brother a couple of years my junior but our mother was fantastic and not once has there ever been any signs of favoritism.
    Now I am blessed with a girl (14) & and a boy (12) – although my daughter is older and thus more independent, I make a conscious effort to let her know I’m there and available for here even though she’s got her own agenda at this time. in the past I know I have been guilty of being ‘the man’s man’ and playing more football with my son than spending time with my daughter so I’m making sure she knows now that should she so wish – I’m there for her.


    1. Thanks for your comment David. It’s always more of a challenge to treat boys and girls the same because they have such different priorities, particularly in the teenage years. But if you explain why you do things with each one of them and make sure they understand fully, then you will avoid sibling jealousy


  3. This is why I am not sure I could have more than one little one. I love my first so much I can’t see how I could love anyone more. But I am sure that parent instinct kicks in and I would love them both the same–but I’m sure in different ways like you said. Very insightful post 🙂


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