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Columns : Relationships Matter - Cedric Beckles Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Parenting and Favoritism
By Pastor Cedric Beckles
Apr 23, 2010 - 1:30:18 PM

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Parenting provides the greatest opportunity to impact the world by impacting children.  God graciously placed children in the hands of parents, totally helpless, empty brain (knowledge), prejudice free and emotionally entangled free.  Thus the journey begins for dad and mom to mold and equip each child to succeed before God and in a cruel, unrestrained world of people. 

Parents are to unconditionally and totally embrace each child equally, but not necessarily parent each child in the same manner; the personality of the child determines the style of parenting needed. Nevertheless, there is however; a common, destructive, behavior that has almost become part and parcel of parenting, and it is favoritism.  Before listing the negative results of favoritism, it is a reality that the personality of a child can make it much easier and much more pleasant to interact with than other children in the family.   Nevertheless, favoritism must be avoided at all cost. 

Negative Result so Favoritism

  1. Favoritism can lead to intense, life long sibling rivalry, sometimes resulting in murder.
  2. The pain of rejection experienced by the non-favorite child can lead to destructive pain numbing behaviors like drinking, drug abuse and promiscuity, etc.
  3. As parents age, it is not uncommon for the favorite child to be saddled with the burden to care for them and to be abundant by the other children.
  4. The favored child may has problems gaining acceptance in other arenas because of a “better-than thou“attitude with is scorn by others.  Favored children cannot handle being treated equally with other children and usually not able to measure up because they were never made to earn anything.  Rules were created around them and because of them and for them. 
  5. Rejected children (those not the favorite) struggle with low self-esteem, can be withdrawn, and lack confidence, which can lead to anti-social behavior.
  6. Deep seated hated for parents can haunt children for life.

Favoritism has no healthy place in parenting because it is destructive.  If you do find yourself openly favoring one child over the other examine yourself and find out why you are doing it.  Make a commitment to love and except all of your children unconditionally although one may be easier to interact with than the others.  Be careful that you are not rejecting a child because of the reminders of the unpleasant memories of his/her other parent.  Do not destroy the life of your children because you have a problem.

About the Author: Cedrick Beckles is a pastor, family/marriage counselor, motivational speaker and writer, who equips people  to establish and maintain healthy relationships.  Email bahamaslifeministries@ yahoo.com Tel:242-352-5268, or 352-5252

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Relationships Matter - Cedric Beckles
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