Parents are people, too. They have likes and dislikes, preferences and opinions. When one or two children come along, parents not only have to love their children, but they also have to get to know them. And not all children are compatible with their parents. Great dramas and great comedies alike have come from family situations in which a child doesn't fit in with her family (such as an artist in a world of corporate types, or a child who doesn't like books in a family of readers).
Parents want not only to love but also to
Some parents bond easily with one or two of their children but find it difficult to connect with others. If this happens to you, it's important not to blame either yourself or your child for the situation. It's also important that you acknowledge your feelings of disconnection and face them; this will allow you to work through your feelings and work to find a way to connect to your child. Denying feelings and avoiding dealing with them will not help you or your child. If you don't find a way to deal with the issue and overcome these feelings, she will most likely notice them on her own, even at a young age.
Research has shown that people often disfavor children who show traits that those people dislike within themselves. If that is the case, try to show your child the love and support you wish you had received. It is important to support and value the positive attributes in your children, even if you tend to conflict with them.
Of course, if you feel this way, you shouldn't discuss the issue with your child. Instead, acknowledge your feelings to yourself (and your partner or a friend you feel you can trust), and try to work through them. It is usually fairly easy to find likable traits and things to appreciate in any child. If, for example, you wish your child weren't so shy, try to appreciate how quiet and calm she can be. If you wish your child weren't so dramatic, consider playing pretend games to enjoy that aspect of her personality.
When Kids Feel Slighted
Children are the authorities on favoritism. Even if you don't feel it, they know when you're showing it. At the age of one, your child won't be able to say he feels jealous, but he can show his feelings in other ways, such as by coming over to you if you're with another child, pulling your arm, or making a fuss to get your attention.
Research has shown that children, whether favored or disfavored, seem to pick up on the opinions of their parents. So don't think that your feelings aren't transparent. Show your children equal amounts of love and support based on their positive traits, and recognize each child's value.
Reassure your child that you love him and want to pay attention to him, even if he isn't able to tell you about his feelings. Don't ignore or minimize these feelings; at the age of one, your child doesn't yet know that you have enough love for everyone in your life. Until about age four or five, he will believe that the world revolves around him, and it's scary if his main source of reassurance seems to love someone else more.