This is a sad truth! As much as parents say they love all their children the same, the reality is they don’t. They love their children differently based on the personality that they have noticed within each of their children. John will receive tough love because he challenges authority and David will receive a gentler love because he doesn’t put up a challenge. As both children become older, tasks are given to them and they are expected to follow instructions and make mom and dad proud. However, the child who prefers to question authority before he completes his task is met with a frown from defeated parents who have grown weary of John’s “smart mouth, mess ups” etc. So he makes a decision not to even do the task – “Why bother, my parents don’t expect me to do it right anyway?” Yet, the favored child completes the task and doesn’t let the parents’ attitude or his sibling’s objections affect what needs to be done. Moments like these are repeated over time, from asking that the room be cleaned to taking out the trash while parents are judging who is more responsible.
The more responsible child will ultimately win the prize once they are older whether it be college paid for, a trust fund, property left to them, their grandchildren receiving gifts and a host of other rewards. The already favored child gets an increase of “brownie points,” while the other child is labeled irresponsible and reminded about the past and all the times he or she failed at assigned tasks and didn’t follow parent’s orders. Could it have been the un-favored child just needed a little more instruction, attention or maybe a simple smile from mom or dad that said, “I have faith in you”?
Now that the children have become adults, parents are observing each adult child’s behavior more-so, because they know that the kind of adult their child has become will reflect on whether the parents enabled the success or failure of all their children. The favored child has shown a consistent lifestyle with little, if any, fluctuation in it. He or she doesn’t seem to waver too far from mom or dad, they seem to be around to help them in whatever way they can –sometimes without being asked. They aren’t frivolous with their finances and seem to have stable relationships with everyone around them. Yet, the not so favored child is not coming around the parents often. In fact, they may have moved out of the state, against his or her parent’s wishes. He or she doesn’t have many stable relationships and enjoys spending money at times more than what the parents would have done when they were his or her age. The parents see their adult child as irresponsible in their eyes. Is the adult child really irresponsible or just different and the parents don’t like it because they can’t control them? The answer to this question lies with the person going through a similar experience.