Are we using prisons as a form of behavior modification or are we using it as a way to keep criminals away from society?
Parenting is rewarding, but also challenging and difficult in so many ways. Mothers and fathers do their best to raise their children to be good and productive people. This is a very demanding task so it’s not surprising it requires a lot of skill, love and devotion.
While both mothers and fathers are praised for their parenting skills, one question often pops up in all discussions about parenting: who has it worse, mothers or fathers? Or, to put it this way: is it more difficult to be a mother or a father of a child? Who has a larger burden of raising children and leading them to the right path?
There are some common misconceptions about parenthood that make this dilemma more confusing. For example, most people assume that mothers are always those who invest more and devote themselves more to raising their children. This belief goes as far as assuming that a mother is always the “better” parent and that a child needs its mother more than a father. To be a single father is often seen as being more difficult because men are not seen as being capable to be their children’s primary carers.
Undoubtedly, there is some truth in those beliefs and it’s certainly true for some fathers. Traditionally, mother is the parent who takes more care of the children and devotes herself to this task. However, it’s not fair to assume that fathers never play a significant role in raising their children or that they are not able to raise their children as good as mothers can.
Indeed, there are many devoted fathers who prove men can be excellent parents. These men devote their time to their children and focus on their upbringing. Some of them do it because they are single fathers, while others do it in marriage. Today, it is not unheard of to have a family consisting of a stay at home father with a working mother. Also, many parents today share parenting duties equally. Being a parent is not solely a woman’s role anymore, which makes the burden of parenting more equal for both parents. In short, both mothers and fathers experience joys and difficulties of parenthood in equal measure.
What about Traditional Parenting?
These new models show a more equal approach to parenting, which also assumes a more equal share in responsibilities and difficulties. What about traditional parenting, then? The one in which the mother is more responsible for raising the children while the father works and spends less time with them. Does this model put all of the responsibility and burden of parenting on mother alone?
While this type of parenting sure makes the mother devote more time and energy to raising her children, it doesn’t necessarily mean the role of a father is non-existent. In fact, traditional parenting puts a different sort of a burden on a father. In this model, a father is solely responsible for providing for his family, so his children’s well-being and financial security depend solely on him. He has to work and he has to find a way to give his children the best possible life he can provide. This, too, is a difficult, time consuming task and an important part of parenting.
Not to mention that a father in a traditional parenting model is usually the highest source of authority in the family, required to teach their children discipline. This is not an easy task, and it has to be done in addition to a job and other duties a man might have. All these things make traditional fatherhood more difficult than it may seem at the first glance.
Bipolar disorder: A mood disorder sometimes called manic-depressive illness or manic-depression that characteristically involves cycles of depression and elation or mania.
Parental favoritism is usually seen as a bad thing; favoring one child over the others is not seen as a right thing to do. Yet, many parents do have a “favorite child”, whether they want to admit it or not. While some people claim they don’t have a favorite child or that they’d never favor one child over the others, the reality of the situation shows that favoritism is something that happens in many families.
Is This Normal?
While favoritism is seen as morally wrong, numerous researches point out that it’s actually normal and unavoidable. While there are some situations that can bring harm and that should not be done, it’s important to know that favoring one child over the others is not a bad thing on itself. In fact, it’s what most parents do, even if they are unaware of it.
Why do parents favor one child over the others? Experts say that it’s usually due to the bonds formed with said child as the opposite of the others. Sometimes, the child’s age is the major factor: older children have more of a personality and can do more things, so spending time with them is more fun. Oftentimes, favoritism comes as a consequence of gender: many parents bond better with the child of their own gender, though for some people find it easier to bond with a child of the opposite gender.
A lot of time, it’s basic human psychology: parents have their unique personalities and so do children. Just like we don’t get along with everyone equally, and just like we don’t enjoy everyone’s company in equal measures, we can’t enjoy all of our children’s’ personalities in equal ways. Some children will have personalities that match our own better than the others. Some children will be easier to understand and bond with. Some children will behave in a way that it’s easier for us to understand. This is just a fact of life, and there is nothing wrong about it per se.
It’s vital for parents to understand that children are people with unique personalities, and as such, may have personalities that suit us better than the others. It’s important to be aware of this fact and try not to deny it or avoid it.
That being said, it’s important to note that favoring one child does not mean and should not mean loving this child more than the others or actually giving them more attention and care than the others.
When it Becomes a Problem
Feeling a better bond with one child due to matching personalities is not a bad thing. However, favoritism can take an ugly turn, and this is what parents should watch for. You should never allow yourself to treat one of your children differently than the others. Acceptable favoritism does not mean that you should actually love one child more than the others or that you give more attention or care to this child than to your other children.
We all know numerous stories about parents who favor one child over the others to the point of being a worse parent to children they don’t favor. This harmful favoritism can have serious consequences for all your children and your family as a whole. The non-favored children will feel left out and unwanted, which can leave psychological consequences. However, the favorite child, too, can suffer consequences, ranging from weak character to guilt and other problems.
The bottom line is: favoritism due to different personalities is not harmful on itself, but it should not go beyond that. You should not be a better parent to one of your children than the others, and you should not give more attention or care to your favorite child than the others.
What do you think? Is parental favoritism a prevailing issue and is it a harmful thing? Share your comments below.
In the minds of many, arranged marriages are nothing but business arrangements. They are not seen as romantic or even honest, which makes some people have negative reaction to the very idea of an arranged marriage. The truth is, arranged marriages tend to last longer than the unarranged marriages and produce a lot of affection. How come?