Parental favoritism Growing up in a family with no love is bad but being in a family with an apparent favorite sibling is worse. Many parents have a favorite child or children. Some parents are aware of what they are doing, while others are not.
While it is unfair to favor one child over another, some cases, such as disabilities, require a parent to pay more attention to one child, which could lead to perceived favoritism to the siblings.
Teenagers and young adults tend to draw apart from their parents as they develop their identities and may feel unloved or incompatible with their parents. However, such feelings fade as they grow older. This article looks at some possible causes as to why parents have favorites and how you can handle them.
Why Do My Parents Hate Me But Love My Siblings
Hatred can be real or perceived. At times a child may fail to differentiate the consequences of misbehavior from hatred. For instance, when a parent withdraws privileges as a punishment for bad behavior, a child may misinterpret the action. Some signs that can show that a parent hates you include;
- Abuse; physical, emotional, or sexual.
- Neglect when in need.
- They deny you basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter.
- Excessive or age-inappropriate punishment. However, such could be due to ignorance.
- Excessive criticism. When your parents don’t see anything good in you and always compare you to seemingly well-disciplined or successive siblings.
- If your parents ignore or resent you.
Your Sibling Has Special Needs
Children would wish to receive fair and equal attention. However, if there is a child with special needs in a family, they require more attention from the parents. Such could Parental favoritism be misinterpreted as hate, especially by insecure siblings. It is crucial to explain to your children why you need to spend more time with their special-needs siblings. It could help them appreciate and support their siblings better.
Your parents could favor your siblings over you. They could encourage competition between you and your siblings, judge or take sides when you have a fight or argument or even compare you to your siblings. They could favor others due to;
- Gender. Some parents prefer a child of one gender over the others.
- Birth order. You may find a parent preferring a child due to his birth order. For instance, you may find a parent favoring the last born more than others.
- Special needs.
- Personality. Some parents might favor a child with a personality that easily fits into theirs and resent the child with a different one.
- Genetics. A parent may favor their biological children over adopted or stepchildren.
- LGBTQ+. A parent may show favoritism towards a child due to their sexual orientation. For instance, in a conservative family, a parent will likely withdraw from a child who is LGBTQ+. Such hatred could result from a lack of knowledge of sexual orientations, societal prejudices, myths, and religious viewpoints.
How To Overcome Favoritism
When you realize your parents have a favorite child, you may blame yourself for not being good enough for them. Moreover, you could blame your siblings for accepting the favors they receive from your parents. It is important to understand why they hate you, is it entirely their fault, or have you contributed in any way? For instance, you could have withdrawn or pushed your parents away due to your character or behavior. You Parental favoritism could have become secretive, stopped calling or visiting them, stopped supporting them, or become outrightly resentful. Some tips on how to overcome favoritism include;
- Respect and honor your parents. Where possible support, visit, or call them to keep in touch.
- If you have misbehavior, work on improving or turning away from it.
- Talk to your parents about how you feel and how you would wish them to treat you. Avoid accusations, confrontations, and blaming them or your siblings. Use ‘I ’in your conversation. For instance, I wish to accompany you on your next road trip.
- Understand why they favor other siblings. For example, do your siblings have special needs?
- Sometimes, your parents may hate you for reasons beyond your control. Avoid blaming yourself or your siblings.
- Take care of yourself. Work on your self-esteem, your grades, and other working relationships. Also, focus on what you like, hobbies, activities, or events.
- Seek help from a trusted person or professional therapist or counselor if you feel overwhelmed.
- Journal your feelings. It could help you relieve stress and gives you a chance to express yourself.
- If there is any form of abuse, consider seeking help from the authorities.
Your parents could hate you due to mental disorders. They Could be anxious, depressed, or stressed and use you as a scapegoat. If one of your parents rejects you or is not supporting the parent you live with, they could develop resentment and hate you as they see you as a cause of their failures. In such cases, you could help your parents seek medical attention or therapy.
Some parents will hate you because of your personality. For instance, a narcissist might favor a child who praises them and helps boost their ego. If you fail to pamper their esteem, they could easily hate you. However, it is essential to note that some parents have different personalities from their children and have healthy parent-child relationships.
You Could Be The Problem
Your parents may hate you for your character or behavior. Parents deserve respect and honor, but if you are outright disrespectful or dishonor them, they might stop treating you like your siblings. Yo should evaluate yourself and see whether you could be the reason they treat you differently.
Parental favoritism, when your parents apparently hate you but love your siblings, it could be heartbreaking. The hatred could be real or perceived. The above highlights might help you deal with this hatred.