Posts Tagged ‘ labeling siblings ’

One More Thought On Sibling Favoritism: What About Labeling?

Friday, September 30th, 2011

To wrap up some thoughts on the sibling favoritism topic – which is quite complex – there’s one more thing to consider: labeling.

Last fall, Brett Paesel wrote a great article in Parents magazine on the tendency for parents to label their children. As in:

  • Child A is the “smart” one
  • Child B is the “cute” one

Brett talked about her own experiences doing this with her sons, and how labeling can be reinforced by other family members (for example, grandparents). She acknowledged how labeling often has some roots in reality. And she discussed how it can get distorted – and how parents (and others) may need to consciously attend to the times when the smart one does something cute, and when the cute one does something smart.

I remind readers of this article because these types of things can also contribute to the different experiences siblings have growing up.

So more questions for you all:

  • Do you label your kids?
  • Does it get extreme?
  • Do you think they are aware of it?
  • If you do this – do you want to change it?

P.S. If you haven’t seen the prior posts on siblings and favoritism, click here to read about the issue of playing favorites, and click here for a summary of what you all said thus far

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