Friday, September 21, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Parent fears favoring one of her children

Q: I know you get a number of writers who have been treated differently from their siblings by their parents with respect to gifts, money, privileges, etc. Do any parents out there actually intend to treat their children differently?

I am asking because I was treated very differently from my sibs — still am — and I am expecting a second child now. I feel nervous about how it will change my relationship with my firstborn.

Treating Kids Fairly

A: What bad behaviors do any of us intend? Our minds are rigged to self-justify, so I have no doubt parents who play favorites see the merits of their choices.

The difference between the people owned by their frailties and those who behave honorably in spite of them is just a combination of self-awareness and a willingness to take on whatever discomfort comes with the good decision you need to make.

So when you find yourself preferring one child to another, you can either scratch that normal but highly consequential emotional itch, or you can step back, note your preference, and then make a point of blocking off special time with your currently less-favored child, so you can work on your bond.

It's not easy; you have to be patient. You have to find energy when you're tired. You have to be careful not to pick your favorite activities when they set that child up to fail, and instead choose activities that bring out the better in both of you.

You make this effort because it's right and because it's good for you, too.

And you watch yourself from that point on to make sure you're not turning a better face to either child, be it in the size of the cookie you hand out or the depth of the empathy you express.

If it helps, you're in a good spot right now: You understand your power and how much harm you can do by abusing it. That's good news for your babies.

Comments
Mark your calendar for these Halloween events

Mark your calendar for these Halloween events

13 Ugly Men Halloween PartyThese "ugly" men sure know how to party with three floors offering new tricks and treats, DJ dancing and a light show making the 10th annual Halloween party a "Party with a Purpose." Benefits Beat NB. 8 p.m. Oct. 26. Yborís...
Published: 09/19/18

Tell Me About It: Frequently displaced wife has had enough moves

Q: I have been married to my second husband for 24 years. We have a 16-year-old and I have two adult children.I have moved seven times in 17 years for his job. He didnít have to quit and take another job, but they were opportunities for him to climb ...
Published: 09/19/18
Where to find kid-friendly, not-so-scary Halloween fun

Where to find kid-friendly, not-so-scary Halloween fun

Spare the gore and take the kids to these family-friendly Halloween parties planned at theme parks and attractions in the coming weeks. Creatures of the Night at ZooTampa The weekend nighttime Halloween party at ZooTampa at Lowry Park returns with...
Published: 09/18/18

Tell Me About It: Busy couple seeks ways to downsize for the future

Q: Over a decade, my salary has tripled (Iím quite well-paid now), my work hours and responsibilities have increased, and ó because Iím so frequently tired or short on time ó my "outsourcing" has increased, too. Think: frequent takeout, a dog-walker,...
Published: 09/18/18

Tell Me About It: Parents want bully brother to be his best man

Q: Iím getting married. Thatís awesome. However, my parents want me to ask my brother to be my best man. The idea of letting my brother, whoís spent his whole life being the biggest jerk he can manage, stand up and give a speech about me makes me wan...
Published: 09/17/18

Tell Me About It: Mom is frustrated by teenís dislike of academics

Q: I have a 15-year-old son who is obviously bright but hates school. My husband and I canít helicopter him to success because (a) we donít want to be helicopter parents, and (b) he has developed ninja-like skills when it comes to evading any attempt...
Updated one month ago

Tell Me About It: In search of ways to stop the family over-talker

Q: During extended family get-togethers with my side of the family, there is one person who does 95 percent of the talking. When I ask someone else in the room a question about their lives, this person always jumps in and takes over the conversation ...
Updated one month ago
Busch Gardens reveals plans for Tigris, Florida's tallest launch roller coaster

Busch Gardens reveals plans for Tigris, Florida's tallest launch roller coaster

Busch Gardens will open Florida’s tallest launch coaster in spring 2019, company officials announced Wednesday. The triple-launch, tiger-themed roller coaster called Tigris will hurl riders 150 feet into the sky, turn them upside down and swirl...
Published: 09/12/18

Tell Me About It:

Mom-to-be decides who will join her in deliveryQ: I am six months pregnant with my first child. Iíve been fixated a bit on who to have in the delivery room with me, I think because itís one of the few elements I can control in this pregnancy. Should ...
Updated one month ago
Tampa’s first KittyCon is coming, and cat lovers are purring

Tampa’s first KittyCon is coming, and cat lovers are purring

Kitten Lady and the owners of Cole & Marmalade will be at KittyCon.
Published: 09/11/18