Thursday, November 6, 2008

How Favoritism Harms Children

Favoritism can lead children into sin. James 2:9 is clear: "If you show favoritism, you sin." As your children observe your behavior, however, it is more likely that they will copy you rather than obey the scriptural exhortation. Like Esau, children who do not receive the favored treatment may develop an apathetic attitude and seek to find pleasure in sinful activities in an attempt to escape the hurt of a parent whose love was not impartial.

Favoritism crushes the self-esteem of the less-favored child. Perhaps one of the greatest mistakes a parent can make is to harm the precious children God has entrusted to her care. Acts of favoritism crush the spirit of children, leaving scars that can take a lifetime to heal.

Favoritism can destroy family unity. As we have seen, Jacob and Esau experienced a bitter separation that lasted many years. Thankfully, they eventually forgave each other and reunited. But not every family is that fortunate. Favoring one child above the rest can permanently separate families as bitterness and envy destroy relationships.

Favoritism can be repeated in future generations. Jacob married and had 12 children. He also had a favorite child, and thus continued the damaging cycle in his family. Just as the sins of alcoholism and abuse tend to repeat themselves throughout generations, the sin of favoritism may continue to live on as well.

Psalm 127:3 says, "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him." Always keep in mind that each of your children is a gift from God; each is truly special in his or her own way; and each is a precious reward to enjoy. Do not be poor stewards of the wonderful blessings that God has given you, but rather love with an impartial heart and reap the benefits of raising your children in a manner that pleases God.

Avoid Child Favoritism

Parenthood is one of the most blissful stages of life! It is also very challenging and should be properly handled. For children, the best gift from their parents is the sense of belonging with a lot of love.

Unfortunately, sometimes a few actions of parents lead to some unexpected consequences. Usually, parents do not agree and admit existence of favoritism in their family. Favoritism in family can have devastating psychological affect on the neglected children as well as the favorite one.

According to experts, children of same family grow and develop distinctly. Thus, it becomes obvious that the parents may approve some acts or disapprove others. It is the self-esteem of the child or the victim of favoritism that is at risk. If you don't treat a wound then it can develop a fatal infection and can have far reaching consequences.

Signs of Favoritism

When you reward the favored child and hardly appreciate the other one for same kind of achievement then it is favoritism. The child or victim will feel left out and alone Similarly, if you punish the neglected child more compared to the favored one for the same misbehavior then it is favoritism.

Other significant signs of favoritism are encouraging one child than other, buying gifts for the favored child or celebrations for the favored one, etc. All these acts will make the victim feel lonelier and disheartened.

Favoritism could be harmful for the favored child in the long run, as he/she would not be able to cope rejection. So, parents should take utmost care while dealing with their children. Their treatment for all their children should be balanced and neutral, as this would lead to a happy family.

For children, the best gift from their parents is the sense of belonging with a lot of love.

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