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Beware of Favoritism

Rebecca’s love for Jacob, as well as Jacob’s love for Joseph, caused problems between the favored children and their siblings. This is why you need to be aware of favoritism. How?

First: Do not compare children. Sometimes parents compare, but do not do this. You would immediately create jealously, or perhaps, even hatred among them.

Second: Do not form a closer relationship with one more than the others. Do not make one child to be known as, “Dad’s beloved child.” This is not right. Do not make one child closer to you than his siblings.

Third: Do not criticize one child severely and hurt his feelings in front of his siblings. It is better to take him aside and talk to him one-on-one in private.

Fourth: Do not distinguish one certain child receiving all your praise. If you are going to praise, praise all of them. Look for the good qualities in each child and try to praise them for it.

Fifth: Do not to give all your attention or all the opportunities to a specific child. Specifically, do not differentiate between the boys and the girls. For example, do not give all the good opportunities to the male children and treat the girls differently or not as favorably; this is not right. Similarly, do not ignore one child by giving all the others more care and attention than him. Sometimes people use this method in discipline by totally ignoring one child. This is very hurtful for the child’s soul and psyche. The purpose of discipline is not how you can hurt the child; the purpose is how to help him improve. This is the target. When you ignore one, you can cause him to begin to hate his siblings for no reason, and not because his siblings did something bad to him, but rather, because of your harsh treatment with him, or by ignoring him, or because you treat all of his other siblings better than him.


Excerpt: H.G. Bishop Youssef (2021). Beware of Favoritism. Counseling Series I: Raising Children (pp. 136-137). Sandia, TX: St. Mary & St. Moses Abbey Press.