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My daughter favours one child over another

(43 Posts)
Nana69 Sat 20-Apr-19 08:04:23

My daughter has 4 children and is divorced. She is a good mum but favours one child over another. It breaks my heart to see how she picks on one and allows another to get away with anything. Any advice would be welcomed

phoenix Sat 20-Apr-19 08:35:44

I'm not sure if there's anything you can do about this, tbh, but didn't want your post to go unanswered.

Starlady Sat 20-Apr-19 08:35:50

Oh, Nana69, my heart goes out to you and the child who is "picked on." Iv heard before of families where one child is the "Golden Child" and can "do no wrong," while another is the "scapegoat." So I guess this is not unusual, But it is still wrong, imo, and very sad.

Is it possible that the Golden Child is so good most of the time that dd looks the other way when they're not? Or that the scapegoat is especially difficult, argues more, or whatever? This might be a reason for the different treatment, even though that doesn't excuse it.

How about the other two kids? Even though they aren't scapegoated, they must be aware of the favoritism, and it must hurt them, too.

Not sure there's much you can do about this. Have you spoken to dd about what you've observed? Do the kids say anything?

If you've spoken to her to no avail, then I'm afraid all you can do is be as loving to all of them as you can, make sure they all know their talents, abilities, etc. and that they are worthy human beings no matter what. Please resist any temptation to balance things by favoring the scapegoat, as that would hurt the others and probably explode in your face, anyway. I wish I could think of some "magic" things you could do or say to fix this situation, but I'm afraid I can't. Perhaps someone else will.

Beechnut Sat 20-Apr-19 09:20:20

This isn’t a fix. I am just saying something from the unfavoured. I am one of four and I can tell you it’s not much fun when the Golden Child does something wrong and you get the flack for it, even when you no longer live in the family home.

Nana69 Sat 20-Apr-19 09:30:39

Thank you so much for your reply. I know there is not much I can do and I must not be seen to be over compensating in the favour of the less favoured.
But what I can do is pray and God will answer my heart prayers in His good time. In the meantime I need to give all this pain to Him.

Nana69 Sat 20-Apr-19 09:32:04

Sorry to hear you are still suffering from being the unfavoured one. The consequences can last a lifetime.
Bless you x

paddyann Sat 20-Apr-19 10:04:38

is this middle child syndrome,I'm a middle child my sisters were aleays the most beautiful the" best at " everything according to my mum.I have self esteem issues and have had all my life.I remember one day in particular when we met an old friend of mums she introduced my sisters first with,this is my beautiful one ,this is my gorheous baby and this (me) is the one who always has her head stuck in a book It hurt then an dsometimes it still hurts.Most middle children I know have similar experiences .Try talking to your daughter about making one feel inferior ,the alternative is for you to always make that child feel special.I hope it gets sorted before it does damage to the childs self esteem .

Nana69 Sat 20-Apr-19 13:40:33

Paddyann, thank you for your comments. I do try and will go on making her feel special, but have to do it discretely.
Sorry that you know how it feels. Interestingly she is the middle child. The others have serious anxiety issues.

midgey Sat 20-Apr-19 13:57:26

I always made sure that my middle child was called the middlest. My DH and I thought we treated everyone the same but apparently we had a golden child! Maybe your daughter is not so aware?

mumofmadboys Sat 20-Apr-19 14:42:50

I was the middle of 3 and I thought it was a good place to be! I was probably the best behaved though!

Starlady Sat 20-Apr-19 15:43:42

Beechnut and paddyann - hugs!

Beechnut, I knew a family who always blamed their oldest child for anything that any of their 4 kids did. I think it was just easier, somehow, and got to be a habit. Not that those are any excuses. Idk if it extended to when the oldest grew up and went out on her own though. I'm so sorry you have to deal with that. I hope you try to ignore it and just end the conversation/visit if it happens.

Paddyann, I wish your mum would have could have called you her "intellectual" or her "smart one" or her "reader," instead of how she phrased it. At least, that would have given you a positive identity. But Idk if that would have made up for the fact that she called the others "beautiful" and "gorgeous." I never understand why any parent feels the need to introduce their kids that way. Simply saying their names should be enough.

Starlady Sat 20-Apr-19 15:44:19

Sorry, that should say "would have" not "would have could have," lol!

PamelaJ1 Sat 20-Apr-19 17:09:44

If it helps- I was that child.
I’m fine now, other people seem to like and value me. You must do what you can to make sure she knows she is valued.
I wasn’t a middle child, I was the eldest.

Lily65 Sat 20-Apr-19 17:43:51

Where's the lady that always issues the gracious welcome to newcomers?

Is the OP a newcomer?

crazyH Sat 20-Apr-19 17:48:58

No, I think she has posted before

Beechnut Sat 20-Apr-19 18:07:36

Thank you Nana69 and Starlady for you kindness. I’m glad to be able to tell you that after something upset me very much a few years ago I told myself “I am done” and I no longer have anything to do with that ‘child’.

BrandyButter Sun 21-Apr-19 09:33:36

My younger sister was always the 'favoured' one with our parents as she was planned and I was the 'accident' that forced them to marry too young (their words). Both sets of grandparents then favoured me to compensate which was not a good idea. We had a very complicated upbringing with us both being the victim and Golden child depending on the day and time. We never got on then and still don't.

dragonfly46 Sun 21-Apr-19 09:42:52

I only have two children but it is very difficult to treat them the same as they are two different people and respond in different ways. I love them both equally but my DD was always a difficult child, the eldest, on the other hand my son was so easy. I am sure my DD thinks I loved DS more but it was not the case - he was just easier to be nice to all the time.

Jaycee5 Sun 21-Apr-19 09:54:28

I think this harms the person favoured too. My sister always compares herself favourably to other people and is unaware that she is even doing it. She will say, 'look what that woman is wearing, I would never dress like that'. I ask her what someone else's clothes have to do with how she dresses but she doesn't get it.
The child not favoured will almost certainly have confidence issues but will realise that there is something wrong to be dealt with. The favoured one may acknowledge that they were the favourite but will think that it was justified - this is called filial collusion.
What you can do is be very positive with the child who is not favoured because it is surprising how many people pick up queues from others as to how to behave towards people. I have very fond memories of a great aunt who I rarely saw but was one person who always seemed to like my sister and I equally.
Children start to behave badly if they are not favoured which then causes more problems. They may become defensive or sly or introverted and then the parent can say to people - you see what I mean. That child needs to have someone in her corner even when she does not always seem likeable.

Jayelld Sun 21-Apr-19 09:54:46

Due to circumstances beyond my control I was the 'outsider' in a family of 7 children. I still am, but I've long since given up seeking anyone's approval or acceptance. It was/is a long hard road to walk but, IMO, if you show the 4 children equal affection it will go a long way to easing the situation. Also, if you are able, have them to stay with you for a few days during school holidays, one at a time.
I do that with my GC, 17, and have just sent the eldest GS home after a 5 day stay. I've also had my other GS, 12, staying for 5 days. Hard work but well worth it.

Jaycee5 Sun 21-Apr-19 09:55:22

That should obviously be cues, not queues.

Jayelld Sun 21-Apr-19 09:56:59

That was meant to be GS, 17, not GC, 17, - I only have 4 GC! smile3

Knittynatter Sun 21-Apr-19 10:09:46

Lols @Jayelld! I was thinking 17 GCs at 5 days each must take up all of your time!!! 😁

ayokunmi1 Sun 21-Apr-19 10:24:01

Tell her gently with an example not to say is worse than saying.
Continue to do what your doing praying as well as showing the unfavored on unconditional love

Ramblingrose22 Sun 21-Apr-19 10:24:46

Nana69 - I feel for you and the "unfavoured" child because I was an unfavoured child.
My mother would claim that she treated us all alike but you can't when all children have different personalities.
I expect your DD has her work cut out as a single mum looking after 4 children.
Perhaps you could start a conversation with her along those lines and tease out why she favours one of her DCs more than the others. Then you could broach the subject and express your concerns.
Be prepared for her to tell you to MYOB though!