Category Archives: sibling rivalry

Is It Ever Okay To Love One Child Over Another?

As a mother you are not supposed to have a favorite child. You are supposed to love all of them equally. I love my daughter more. Way more. But first, let me preface this with the fact that I am eight months pregnant, so my son has not yet been born. I have not yet met him. I have not yet held him (except for the fact that he lives inside of me).

We have a name picked out, and I am already contemplating what he will be like. However I feel far more love towards my daughter than when I think of my unborn son and this feels unnatural. Does it make me a bad mother? I keep telling myself that once he is born I will be overwhelmed with love like I was the first time I held my daughter. As he becomes a presence outside of myself the proper emotions will come effortlessly.

Of course I hope all of these things, but then I also worry. What if none of this happens? Don’t get me wrong. I love my son as well, and hope to be the best mother to him I can. I am not saying I feel nothing towards him, but just not as much as I think I should. Will I be one of those mothers who favors one child over another the rest of their lives? How will this affect my children? Will I overcompensate for loving my daughter more by showing my son more attention? Or just the opposite?

Sometimes it is enough for children to merely think that one is the favorite for the idea to affect them greatly. The child who thinks of themselves as the less favored tends to act out more, and later on in life carry a giant chip on their shoulder. Even though this has not yet happened and may change, I cannot help but feel responsible and guilty.

Do you have a favorite child?

How Does Sibling Rivalry Start?

How young does sibling rivalry start? My daughter is a little over one year old. I am seven months pregnant with my son. I was under the impression that my daughter was too young to really grasp jealousy, rivalry, or anything else with a negative connotation.
We visited our friends last weekend who just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. I scooped up the little two week old baby and moments later my darling little angelic daughter mustered a glare on par with Snow White’s step mother. I was quite taken aback. My daughter would not let me near her the rest of the day, and finally started warming up to me a day and a half later.
Is this a preview of what is to come? Will she react differently once the baby I am holding is her little brother? Will it make a difference that both her parents are now holding this new bundle of joy and including her in on it? I could not help but feeling that somehow it would have made a difference if I had let her come close up and explore the baby with me. However, this was not my baby, and it was not for me to decide who can and cannot touch her.
My husband and I talk to our daughter about the coming changes, but we do not know how much of that makes any sense to her, or how much she understands. We just hope that with love and patience it works itself out within a few months of our son’s birth.