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The Blessings Of Being The Unfavored Child In The Family, Part 1/2

Updated on June 13, 2014
gmwilliams profile image

With over eight years of writing and researching experience, Grace specializes in debunking commonly held myths about family psychology.


To My Parents, Well.....I Was Just Not Significant

The topic of the unfavorite child in the family is a topic which is seldom discussed if ever. It is difficult enough for parents to even acknowledge that there is favoritism within the family. Even when the subject of favoritism is mentioned, some parents steadfastly repudiate the issue although their children know otherwise. Other parents begrudgingly admit that it is only "human nature" to have a favorite child, especially if there is more than one child in the family.

As there is a favorite child in the family, there is quite the opposite situation, the unfavorite child in the family. If you think that many parents elect not to recognize that there is favoritism in the family, the issue of the unfavorite child is a totally moot issue in many families. The situation of being an unfavorite child in a family is more commonplace than it is ascertained. This subject is an extremely taboo subject within families.

The unfavorite child is often in a precarious situation within the family structure. He/she often feels like a persona non grata in the family situation. No matter what he/she does, even when it is quite superlative, his/her parents seem to never notice. However, if he/she makes a mistake or does something wrong, he/she is often punished more harshly than anyone else in the family, particularly the favorite child. In actuality, he/she is in a Catch-22 situation- quite damnable in every situation.

Even though parents purport to treating all their children equally, children within that family know who the family favorite is. Conversely, they also have a knowledge of who is the unfavorite one in the family. No matter how parents vehemently proclaim that favoritism is not practiced within their respective families, there is no deceiving a child's eyes. Children see and record everything, good and/or bad.

The fact is that there are some highly enlightened and evolved parents who refuse to practice favoritism and/or unfavoritism within their particular family structure because of its deleterious effects. However, these types of parents are extremely few and far between. Parents are human beings with their own likes, preferences, and dislikes. These likes, preferences, and dislikes often include their children.

The unfavorite child in the family has characteristics which brings out the subconscious animus within the parent. This child can be the unfavorite in the family because he/she may possess characteristics which are diametrically different from that of the parents and/or the rest of the family members. These difference may include personality differences. A sensitive boy whose father and/or brothers have less sensitive but roughshod personalities may the unfavorite child because his personality is divergently different from that of the rest of the male members of the family.

An unfavorite child may have different physical characteristics than the rest of the family. He/she may be blond with amber eyes and light olive skin whereas the rest of the family are dark brunettes with dark brown eyes and light brown complexions. Or the unfavorite child may be the only brunet in a family of light blonds. In many ethnic and/or racial groups, children are oftentimes unfavored based upon how their ethnic/racial phenotypes are either approximate or non-approximate of either their familial ethnic/racial phenotype and/or that of the majority society.

Furthermore, there are some children who are unfavored by their parents because they are outstanding physical characteristics beyond that of ethnicity/race which are different from their parents. This child may be outstandingly handsome/beautiful while his/her parents and other family members are plain. Conversely, an unfavorite child may be homely and plain in a family of stunners.

In many families, children who are often assertive, nonconformist, and independent thinking are often unfavorites. In such families, these children are often considered "disobedient", "hardheaded", and "rebellious." They often question their parents in terms of the latter's beliefs, sayings, and their mores.

To many parents, such questioning goes totally against the grain and is considered quite an affront to their parental authority. They think to themselves how dare this child who is under my roof question me! They portend that they are the parent and the authority and he/she is just a child and should stay in his/her place so to speak!

Because these children have natures that are more assertive, nonconformists, and independent than most, many parents deem them to be quite recalcitrant. Parents tend to like/favor children who tend to be nonthreatening i.e. obedient and conformist. Such children are considered to be "nice" and "controllable." Conversely, parents tend to not favor children who they deem uncontrollable for certain reasons. In essence, children who have more nonconformist and independent characteristics are deemed to be "not nice" and "uncontrollable."

There are unfavorite children who have talents which the rest of the family do not have. These talents may be of a quite extraordinary nature whether it is art, science, and/or other creative endeavor. The unfavored child may possess strong spiritual gifts that the parents and/or the rest of the family do not have.

There are unfavorite children who have the same characteristics and/or personalities of their parents. These parents often do not like these characteristics and/or personalities within themselves and they either sublimate or try to elminate these characteristics and/or personliaty issues. These children are a constant reminder to these parents regarding the aforementioned characteristics and/or personality issues which they wish to hide and/or forget.

There are some unfavorite children who are used as scapegoats by their parents when situations go wrong. Since these children are deemed as somewhat outsiders by their parents, they often take the brunt of parental anger. Unfavorite children in families are the most likely to be subjected to abuse whether it is physical, emotional, and/or verbal than other children in the family. They are also more likely to be subjected to differential parental treatment albeit in a negative sense than other children in the family.

Of course, such negative differential treatment does not detrimental effects on the unfavorite child. He/ she feel quite insignificant as a person. He/she has to worth since his/her parents never stated this to him/her throughout his/her developmental years.

However, there are positives in being an unfavorite child in the family. Many unfavorite children learn to become independent of other people's opinions early in life. They realize that others, particularly their parents, are human beings with their own foibles and beliefs of what is acceptable and/or unacceptable. They further learn that seeking the approval of others can be quite pointless. They know that the approval of others can be quite capricious depending upon the circumstances involved. They realize that people often like you if you go along with their program and can avidly dislike you if you choose to be your unique self.

Some unfavorite children develop meaningful relationships with other related and non-related adult figures who give them hope, support, and encouragement. They They learn the lesson of the approval of others can be quite meaningless. They also learn that depending upon their own counsel is the most important thing in the world.

Unfavorite children learn to take responsibility for their lives. Since no one is in their corner so to speak. So the lesson that they learn from this is to become self-reliant and to fully own their lives. They also become extremely cognizant of the fact that no one is the owner of their lives except for them. They know how detrimental it was to have their parents own their lives so to speak. They know that when a person gives power away to another person, they are not content people. In essence, their happiness is solely dependent upon the whims and desires of the more powerful person. If the powerful person is not happy, that means the less powerful person is not happy and vice versa. Many unfavorite children are strong proponents of taking individual responsibility for one's life and thoroughly owning it!

Relating to this, the unfavorite child believes that proactivity is essential to happiness in one's life. They portend that life is what one makes of it, no ifs, ands, and buts. They are of the opinion that if one is not happy in his/her situation, he/she should stop negating the situation and devise solutions to remedy the situation at hand. They assert that life is for the participator, not the whiner and/or spectator. They contend that it is totally futile to complain about a negative situation when it is more intelligent to assess and to take steps to implement some sort of positive solution.

© 2012 Grace Marguerite Williams


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    • gmwilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Thank you for your response. Please read part 2.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I'm the middle child in the family. I found all of this to be true especially in a CHinese family. I was usually ignored and my mum never get along with me because I question her saying or belief. My dad was opposite with mum. He always support and take the initiative to know men more. I guess gender does matter..


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