Husband Favors Child

Updated on March 03, 2010
P.W. asks from Fulton, CA
8 answers

Do any of you have a husband who blatantly favors one child? I do, and I can't stand it. Any suggestions on how to deal with it? Thanks.

EDIT: Thanks for the responses so far ladies, VERY helpful, but just to add, I have told my husband many times, and he does not alter it. It's my youngest son, I have another son and a daughter. My daughter has even said she's noticed it since she was 5. This son is now 16, so most of the damage has been done at this point. The reason for this in my eyes is that this son feeds my husband's ego more than the other two.

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answers from Denver on

I think you need to try to talk with him about it ... help him to understand how his behavior may be hurting your other children and why it is problematic. Family dynamics are so important to EVERYONE's well being. My guess would be that his favoritism is a symptom of something else that is going on, or part of a larger issue. If he isn't willing to even consider that it's a problem, I would suggest finding a counselor who specializes in family systems. You could go yourself, even if he won't go. What you learn will probably help the situation, although it would be better if he goes too.
Good luck to you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

I had this same problem. The fix? Take a week and a notepad, write down EVERY instance in that week that your husband favors one child over the other. At the end of the week, make sure you are alone with your husband and present the list. when I did this, I looked at my husband and said "these are both your children, they both love you, and you're shutting one of them out. Is this the way you would like to be treated if you were the one NOT being favored?" I asked him to stop himself in the next situation and put himself in each child's shoes before he makes a decision on how to handle it. Two very negative things will come from this if it continues, no matter HOW nice you are to the other child. 1. The child being favored will learn that they are able to do no wrong and show signs of selfishness and superiority. This WILL cause problems for the child in his/her future. 2. The child NOT being favored will develop a hunger for attention he/she is not receiving from the father. I've seen children, especially girls, who have had this happen to them. They get the "daddy doesn't love me" syndrome and seek attention from other males to fulfill their sense of need from their father. In boys, they usually act out and try to get attention from anyone that will give it to them. Children that are treated unfairly learn that any attention is good attention. If your husband remains stubborn, I'd suggest counseling. I'm telling you right now, you can try to your wits' end and NOTHING you do will repair the damage of one child being favored. You will become the "bad guy" to the child being favored and the "rescuer" to the one that is not. Either way, your husband has to change. Hope this helps!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I wish you would have elaborated on that a bit more. Is it a boy that he dotes on? Do you have more than two? What makes this kid "special" in his eyes?
If it is your son that he favors maybe it is because he understands him better than your daughter. If it is an older son over a younger one the same can be true too.
Sit down with him and try and figure out what it is that makes him favor this child over your other(s). Tell him it is ok to identify with this child but to also make sure he spends time with the other children by taking them out individually for ice cream, to the store, to a movie, on some other errand, read only them a book, play a game....
As a mom with 8 kids I can tell you that there are some of them I "like" better than others. What makes the difference is that you LOVE all of them, meet their needs and be a good example. You never know, the kid that you thought was a pain when they were 12 may grow to be one of your closest friends when they are 24. =)
That's my 2 cents....

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

No, but sometimes I think people don't realize what they're doing, until you point it out to them. Talk to your husband, and tell him it bothers you. You might also want to point out that if you notice, then the children probably do as well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

you ideally should speak about it to your Husband.... things like that can affect the child as you know... and may even create resentment in the child.
And its not good for their self-esteem... and sometimes, in teenhood, if that child still always feels "unloved" by that parent, they may seek out someone else (not necessarily it being a good choice), to fill their emptiness.

A "Dad" is a role-model, and is a direct impact on a child's development as a person... and their identity and self-esteem.

I really hope, your Husband can understand that... or maybe he is unaware he "favors" one child over the other. But still, talk with him.. because it will negatively affect the other child... and it affects you too, as the Mom/wife.

All the best,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

My husband use to tend to favor our youngest. Our girls are only 4 and 2 so we are not where you are. Our eldest is very serious, high maitenence, picky, fragile... Our youngest is not only his twin but she is so funny, easy going, silly and rough.

I brought up my concerns to my husband and although he didn't necessarily see what I saw he did agree to spend one on one time with both of them. He now has date night once a month with each of them. Because of these dates he has really come to love each of them individually. He loves taking my eldest to a fancy dinner and watching her act "fancy" and listening to her talk "fancy". He loves the way her little face lights up when he comes downstairs in a tie and how excited she gets to dress up. He loves taking my youngest to the park or an inflatable play place and rough housing with her. He loves to watch her get messy when she eats and listen to her grunt when she thinks something is yummy. It has made such a difference in their relationship. He really enjoys having two seperate relationships with both of them. They love their daddy like you would'nt believe. He is very well taken care of in this house of girls!

Maybe having your husband take each of your children somewhere one on one of their choosing he would see the great characteristics they all have. Since your children are older I'm guessing it will be a real learning time for your husband! It is so important to see your children as individuals not one unit or extentions of yourselves. Just remember not to fight with him about this or put him down. Maybe even talk to your kids first and have them go to their dad and say "hey dad this weekend could just you and I go..."

I hope your situation gets better.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

we all favor one kid over the other for different reasons, but love our children to death equally. i favor one child over the other, reason being, she has had a not so normal childhood due to medical problems. i have been accused of loving her more than the other which is untrue. i hurt more for this child. but i love them equally. my other daughter calls me her best friend, and we are so alike. she is five, and even though so so young she understands my pain for her sister, and has never expressed jealousy. on good days, i make sure i am more than available to the 'healthy' child for balancing purposes.
my husband also has a favorite, which is the same child, but his reasons are different. he relates to her more. they are so similar, same attitude, same mannerisms, and it is obvious as well. i am not bothered by it. it is what it is. our children are loved to the moon and back.
i was my dad's favorite child. no damage was done to my siblings. my youngest sister was my mom's favorite. no damage on my part because of it. i don't understand why you say damage has been done? i don't get that part.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

The best way to deal with it is for you to show each child equal love and then it will outweigh his favor in the end

1 mom found this helpful