Loving ALL Children Equally? Come Now.....
Parents DON'T Love All Their Children Equally As Much As THEY'D Like To Believe Such
This hub is in response to the request, Do parents love their eldest or youngest child?", proposed by fellow hubber,Kevin Peter.
There are mature and enlightened parents who view their children as individuals and potential adults in the making. To such parents, their children are individuals in their own right with their own unique and particular characteristics, wants, goals, and desires. These parents cultivate, encourage, and nurture their children's innate talents and interests.
These parents find it abhorrent and soul destroying to compare one child to another. They also consider it to be mortally harmful to elevate and favor one child over another. They consider each child to be worthy of love and disrespect. They believe that although each child is different in terms of characteristics, talents, intelligence, and personality, no one child is better than another in their eyes. In their eyes, to believe that one child is better than another child is the ultimate in disrespect.
Such parents give their children the same responsibilities at the appropriate ages regardless of their respective birth order. They would not inundate the oldest child with responsibilities and deny them of their childhood. They see that the oldest child is a child also, deserving of love and attention. If they happen to give the oldest child an arduous task, they thank and reward the child. They are not the type of parents who would take the child for granted.
If they have a middle child, they would never overlook him or her. They would take extra time out to spend time with him/her, telling him/her how unique and special his/her birth order is. They would tell him/her to be develop his/her unique brand, never to wish that he/she wish to be either the oldest and/or youngest sibling.
These parents also do not believe in mollycoddling and babying a child because he/she is the youngest in the family. This youngest child will get chores and other responsibilities when he/she is old enough. He/she will also be subjected to the same and/or equal treatment as the older sibling/siblings in the family. He/she will NOT get away with murder when he/she commits an offense and/or infraction. He/she will be taught to be accountable for his/her actions.
The mantra of the mature and enlightened parents is to treat each child in their family equally while appreciating and valuing their individuality. They feel that the one of the most important thing as parents is to give their children prerequisite skills in order to thrive in this world. They also believe that they are obligated to impart to their children a high sense of self and to respect their own person.
Most parents, unfortunately do not practice the abovementioned methodology regarding raising their children. Although they claim to loving all their children equally, they subconsciously know that such is not the case. Somehow and somewhere, they love one child or some children better than they do others. Countless psychological and educational studies have verified and authenticated repeatedly that parents do love one child or some children better than they do other children in the family. If they refuse to acknowledge it, the children in the family do.
Parents have a myriad of reasons, many personal, why they love one child better than they do another child and/or other children in the family. Those reasons can be tangible and intangible. The child can possess the same characteristics and personality as the parents. He/she can have the same interests and/or beliefs as the parents. The child may stand out because of special gifts that he/she may possess. The child may be a compliant, obedient, pleasant child who does not give the parent trouble.
Birth order can also be an influential in explaining why one child is loved more than other child. In many families, oldest children are often favored and loved more than other children in the family. Many parents look upon favor upon their oldest child because he/she is considered to be the mature, responsible one whom they do not have to worry about much. Some parents see the oldest children as the model, well behaved child who does not cause them any trouble.
Many parents view the oldest child as the adultlike child whom they can have a reasonable relationship and a somewhat decent conservation with. In small and medium sized families of 2-4 children, oldest children are often favored and loved more than the other children in the family. Grace Kelly in her interviews and biographies, stated that her oldest sister, Peggy, was favored and loved more. Ms. Kelly reported that her father, Jack Kelly, idolized Peggy, having high expectations of her.
Even in some medium large, large, and very large families of 5 and more children, the oldest children is the one who is loved and favored more than the other children in the family. In such families, the oldest child is often the golden child whom other children in the family should aspire to and emulate. Joseph Kennedy Jr., the oldest of the Kennedy children, was groomed to enter politics with the ultimate ambition of being the first Irish Catholic president of the United States. However, he was killed during World War II while on a mission and this aspiration was transferred to the second oldest child, John F. Kennedy.
However, in the typical medium large, large, and very large family, the oldest child is not favored or loved more. He/she is often discarded and left mostly to his/her devices with births of each succedent child. The situation to aptly describe oldest children in many medium large, large, and very large families are benign neglect. Many parents of such families strongly assert that the oldest child is old enough to look after himself/herself and do not need them so much.
These parents assert that the oldest child is no longer a baby, a child and is viewed as a grown up in their eyes. They find that the younger children are more deserving of their attention than their oldest child. They fail to realize that their oldest child do need attention, nurturing and love. Many oldest children in medium large to very large families are considered to be adults or near adults even though they are still children.
In medium large, large, and very large families, oftentimes or not, it is the youngest child who is loved more than the other children in the family. In many such families, the youngest child is viewed as the jewel and the baby of the family. He/she is oftentimes indulged and pampered in ways that his/her older siblings are not. He/she is babied longer than the other siblings and given the least responsibilities.
In large and very large families particularly, it is the youngest child who is treated the most preferentially, oftentimes to the chagrin of the older children in the family who often had to shoulder more responsibilities. In large and very large families, there is a strict hierarchy and an unequal parity among the respective birth orders. Oldest children are the ones shouldered with the most responsibilities early on in life while youngest children have little, if any, familial responsibilities at similar ages. This inequality of treatment oftentimes lead to resentment of older children, especially the oldest child, towards the youngest sibling.
Middle children, sadly, are often overlooked and misunderstood by parents. The middle child is neither the oldest or youngest child. He/she is oftentimes indecipherable. Parents do not know what to make of the middle children in the family. Many times, more parental time is spent with either oldest and/or youngest children than it is spent with middle children. They can be classified as the most unfathomable and least understood birth order imaginable. They are the ones least favored by their parents. They are also not loved as much as either the oldest and/or youngest child in the family. They are more likely to be left to their own devices and to go their own way than either the oldest and/or youngest child in the family.
In conclusion, there are parents who love all their children equally. They find it totally abhorrent to practice favoritism and/or to love one child more and better than they do other children in the family. However, many parents do love one child or some of their children more than they do other children whether they admit or not. It is common practice that many parents do love one child more than others but they are loathe to acknowledge the fact.
There are tangible and intangible factors which are influential in such parental favoritism. These factors include similarity in personality, characteristics, and beliefs. Another factor may include a child's giftedness or talents which makes him/her distinguishable from the other children in the family.
Another factor which influences a parent loving one child more than another is birth order. Oldest and/or youngest children in many families are recipients of such favoritism for a myriad of reasons. Many oldest children are viewed as stellar and golden children who are viewed by their parents as possessing potential and promise. Others are seen as well-behaved, adultlike, and very personable by their parents. In other families, it is often the youngest children who are loved more because by their virtue of being the youngest, they are seen as utterly defenseless and vulnerable thus needing the utmost of parental love and attention. Middle children more often than not are left out of this parental equation. They are the ones most likely to be unfavored and left to their own devices.
Parents have their own particular reasons why one child is loved more than other children. However wise parents love ALL their children equally. Such parental favoritism often cause dissension and division in families in addition to irreparable emotional and psychological damage to children that could last a lifetime.
© 2013 Grace Marguerite Williams
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