Do You Play Favorites?

It's not abnormal to have a favorite child, but it's not good parenting to play favorites. Get a reality check on your parenting behavior with this quiz.

Quiz

It's not abnormal to have a favorite child, but it's not good parenting to play favorites. Get a reality check on your parenting behavior with this quiz.

1. You often feel that you just don't "like" one of your kids. You:

  • Don't spend any more time with him than absolutely necessary.
  • Figure that it's just a phase you will both get through.
  • Make an extra effort to relate to him and see what makes him tick.

2. One of your kids excels at academics or sports. You:

  • Have special nicknames for her.
  • Find yourself praising her more than your other child.
  • Look for skills that you admire in the other child, and spend time helping him develop them further.

3. Your girls want the same expensive doll as a present. You can't afford to buy two of them, so you:

  • Cross the expensive doll off the list for now and look for two dolls that are comparable and more affordable.
  • Buy one for the older child - eventually she'll outgrow it and the younger one will get it.
  • Buy the expensive one for the older child and a knock-off for the younger child.

4. Your child is always accusing you of loving your other child more, and complains that you are always "on my case." You respond:

  • "If I get on your case sometimes, it's because I love you. Let's sit down and figure out what needs to change to make both of us happy."
  • "Don't be silly - I love you both equally. You're imagining things."
  • "Yes, I'm always on your case, because you don't behave yourself. Why can't you be more like your brother?"

5. One of your kids throws a tantrum when you ask her to help with certain chores. You:

  • Give her a different chore to do - one that she won't object to.
  • Make her take turns with her sibling on the dreaded chore.
  • Don't want to force her to do something that upsets her so much, so you avoid asking for her help.

6. Whenever you start wrestling, playing touch football, or generally roughhousing with your athletic son, your other son goes off by himself to read or sit at his computer. You react by:

  • Letting him go off and do his own thing.
  • Pressing the other son to join in, sometimes making sarcastic remarks you later regret.
  • Making a mental note to spend time with him separately, doing something that both you and he can relate to.

7. You recognized early on how different your kids are - and one of them is not at all like you. When you talk about them, you might say:

  • "We've got a shy one and a social one. We just can't seem to get the shy one to come out of her shell."
  • "One of my kids is just like me. I guess the other one takes after her dad."
  • "My kids are true individuals. It's exciting to watch their personalities develop."

8. In order to avoid playing favorites, you:

  • Make it a priority to spend an equal amount of quality time with all your kids.
  • Choose a favorite child each day: "John, I'm so proud that you got an A on your spelling test. You're today's favorite!"
  • Give everyone the same size piece of cake or bowl of ice cream, even though one child could stand to lose some weight.

9. One of your kids constantly accuses you of spending more money or buying nicer things for your other child. You reply:

  • "Look at all the nice things you have! Just think about the poor children who don't have anything!"
  • "I'm sad that you think that. Let's sit down and talk about this."
  • "Johnny is the oldest, and I don't want to hear any more complaints from you!"

Your Results:

1. You often feel that you just don't "like" one of your kids. You:
Make an extra effort to relate to him and see what makes him tick.

2. One of your kids excels at academics or sports. You:
Look for skills that you admire in the other child, and spend time helping him develop them further.

3. Your girls want the same expensive doll as a present. You can't afford to buy two of them, so you:
Buy the expensive one for the older child and a knock-off for the younger child.

4. Your child is always accusing you of loving your other child more, and complains that you are always "on my case." You respond:
"Yes, I'm always on your case, because you don't behave yourself. Why can't you be more like your brother?"

5. One of your kids throws a tantrum when you ask her to help with certain chores. You:
Don't want to force her to do something that upsets her so much, so you avoid asking for her help.

6. Whenever you start wrestling, playing touch football, or generally roughhousing with your athletic son, your other son goes off by himself to read or sit at his computer. You react by:
Making a mental note to spend time with him separately, doing something that both you and he can relate to.

7. You recognized early on how different your kids are - and one of them is not at all like you. When you talk about them, you might say:
"My kids are true individuals. It's exciting to watch their personalities develop."

8. In order to avoid playing favorites, you:
Give everyone the same size piece of cake or bowl of ice cream, even though one child could stand to lose some weight.

9. One of your kids constantly accuses you of spending more money or buying nicer things for your other child. You reply:
"Johnny is the oldest, and I don't want to hear any more complaints from you!"

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