He said “Dad’s just sometimes relate to older kids better.” I think he got flamed because he made a “forever” type statement and didn’t really clarify what he was feeling inside.
Have you ever looked at both of your kids and thought, oh, this one is my favorite? I don’t think many of us really think that way. Most of us realize that any “favorite feelings” we do have change from moment to moment, and day to day.
What I do think crosses a parents mind sounds something like this, “At this moment, after the day we’ve had, and the stages both the kids are going through right now, this child was easier to deal with today!”
The dad in this case I assume was simply thinking about the day’s events and honoring what was true about how the day unfolded. Most parents understand that any “favorite feelings” are a reflection of how we feel in the moment. I think most parents realize that any “favorite feelings” do not mean they now have a preference for life.
The feelings I had about my kids didn’t create a preference for life. When my 4 yr. old was in the death-defying-power-struggle stage and was arguing about everything, but my 9 month old just wanted to sit in my lap and give me kisses, I’d think, wow, today was a tough day. And yes, it was easier and more fun to kiss and be kissed by my 9 month old than to argue with my 4 yr. old. But did that mean I liked my 9 month old more and would feel that way for life? No!
And, on the many days when I was horribly sleep deprived because my 9 month sucked at sleep at that age, I would think, I’m really enjoying my 4 yr old today. (We didn’t sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time for the first 10 months of my 2nd child’s life due to physical issues) Did that mean I liked my 4yr. old better than the baby and would continue to feel that way about them for the rest of my life. No!
I always appreciated the different qualities each of my kids had. I always adored how they were each charming in different ways, how they clearly stated their case in their own unique way, and so on. Other days they each had qualities that could make my head explode!
If we’re honest, we’ve all had thoughts like that from time to time. As long as you realize that these feelings shift and change from moment to moment, and as long as nothing is said out loud to the child, and as long as nothing is unconsciously communicated to cause a child to feel like the favorite, I think it’s okay.
I think it’s okay for parents to be honest about the days events, because it’s more important to feel your feelings than hide from them.
Where things go wrong is when the transitory “favorite feelings” are communicated to the kids. That’s very hurtful and can lead to other issues.
There were no favorites in my life. Some days were just easier with one child than with the other. That’s called parenting honesty.
There’s no perfection in parenting, and don’t let anyone tell you there is!
Could we all just give each other a break and STOP attacking the things other parents say and do.
Who are we to judge?
Who of us hasn’t felt a bit of what I am talking about?
Really people, give a parent a break.
What do you think?