Why shouldn't we compare children?

Don't compare siblings with each other

Who is first Who was better? Over and over again arguments flare up between siblings, regardless of whether it is about play and sport, about getting dressed or about learning success. It is not always easy for parents to distribute attention and praise fairly. In all honesty: don't you have a favorite child too? How to avoid sibling rivalries from escalating. (Also test: How well do your children get on with each other)

Parents shouldn't encourage rivalry

"Especially with children whose age difference is small and who are of the same sex, it is easy to rival behavior. This is normal and will sometimes be more and sometimes less intense," says Andreas Hundsalz from the Federal Conference for Educational Advice (bke). Parents should ensure that each child receives adequate care and attention. If possible, they should not encourage rivalry.

Absolute justice is not possible

"They can achieve this by emphasizing the uniqueness of each child and foregoing comparisons. It can also be helpful to have their mother and father look after them separately, at least from time to time," advises Hundsalz. Ultimately, parents have to make it clear to themselves and their children that there is no such thing as absolute justice.

Children experience parents as partial

When parents have a second or third child, they almost always resolve to treat all of their children equally and to love with the same intensity. Mothers and fathers usually vehemently resist the impression that they prefer a child. From the children's perspective, however, this often does not work. It is difficult for a child to come to terms with the hurt of being loved less than a sibling.

Babies are preferred

In studies, fifty percent of mothers admit to having a preferred child. Most often they prefer the youngest child. This is especially the case when the baby is a girl, says child psychologist Wolfgang Bergmann. Problem children also sometimes receive a lot of attention, while unproblematic siblings receive less attention.

Similarity is flattering

The child's character or appearance can also play a role. As a rule, resemblance flatters the parents: More than three quarters of parents feel flattered when someone tells them that their offspring is very similar to them. As a reason why a child is particularly close to them, many mothers give that a similar character makes it easier for them to deal with their preferred child.

Mostly the favorite children change

It is quite normal that parents sometimes prefer one of the children. Most of the time, the favorite children change in phases. However, if parents find that they have a permanent preference for a child, they should consider what qualities they see in one child and which they may miss in the other. Just as parents are happy about similarities, they can feel too angry if you notice a negative trait in the child that a parent does not like in themselves. For example, an unsportsmanlike father may be annoyed that even a son in sports keeps coming home with a three or four.

Every child has their own lovable qualities

In general, parents shouldn't expect them to love their children the same way. Every mother and every father loves every child in their own way, although quantification is certainly not easy. According to Bergmann, the question is already wrong. Because love doesn't have to be divided like a cake. Feelings weren't exhausted and couldn't be measured like baking ingredients for a cake. The level of attention does not necessarily correspond to the level of love and affection. It is therefore important to make it clear to yourself and the children that they all love children, each in their own special way. But not more or less.