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What to do when you’re not the favourite parent

Parenting - By Audrey Masitsa | November 23rd 2020 at 10:32:13 GMT +0300
Being the less favourite parent is not a reflecton on your parenting skills (Photo: Shutterstock)

There’s nothing as heartbreaking as knowing that you’re not your child’s favourite. It can be very disheartening, especially as a mum, and you feel like you’ve given up so much for your child that the least they can do is love you. Let’s face it, we’re human and we all want reassurance that we are loved. But when we don’t get this confirmation from people we expect it from, it is heartbreaking, to say the least.

If you find yourself in this situation, where your child favours their other parent more than you, consider the following.

1. Don’t take it personally

Just because your child seems to have a better relationship with their other parent doesn’t mean that they don’t love you. Granted, it hurts when your efforts at bonding are rejected but always remember that your child does love you and at some point they will come right back looking for your company. Avoid taking out your frustrations on your child or neglecting your duties just because they don’t seem to appreciate it.

2. It’s not a reflection of your parenting skills

Children tend to favour one parent, perhaps the one who spends less time at home, because they already have a secure bond with you. This allows them to want to explore other relationships. Keep in mind that just because your daughter leaves mummy the minute daddy walks into the door doesn’t mean that you’re not doing a good job. Give them the space they need to form bonds with others in the family without becoming desperate.

Both parents should take part in fun and discipline equally (Photo: Shutterstock)

3. They’ll come back to you

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Be confident in knowing that your child will eventually come back to you. The older they get, the more their interests develop and if they are the same as yours or you become your child’s role model, they will in turn want to spend more time with you.

4. Encourage family unity

Both parents need to work at improving interactions within the family. The favoured parent should take a step back every once in a while and allow the non-favoured parent a chance to bond with their child. Discipline shouldn’t be the purview of the non-favoured parent. Both parents need to take responsibility for steering their child to the right course.

The favoured parent should also avoid exploiting this favouritism i.e. using it to coerce your child to do things or against the non-favoured parent.

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