My daughter is obsessed with not being my “favorite.” She’s convinced I like her brother better, and sometimes, I wonder if I don’t. How should I handle this?
Dear No FAVORITES
Oh, yes, I know it well. The Ol’ “Mo-om, you like Charlie better than me.”
The only way to counteract such a ridiculous accusation is to refute it at all costs. Tell this poor child, “No, you’re my favorite.”
Some children think that just because they annoy us and we are more short-tempered with them, that we love them less. We have to correct this terrible misinterpretation.
So tell your child that just because you get more annoyed and act more short-tempered doesn’t mean you like the other child more. You like children who speak their minds, trust their parents enough to show their emotions, and try to get what they want. Just because you seem annoyed and frustrated, disappointed or angry, only means that you are a bad parent sometimes.
Placing all blame for bad feeling on yourself will help your child get over the idea that who they are annoys people. As long as they know that you are working on being a better parent — more patient, less annoyed, and totally loving, you can be who you are without hurting their self-esteem, their feelings, or your wonderful, open relationship.