Is it normal to dislike one child?

I have three children. The oldest is nine and not my biological child. The middle child is three and the youngest is one. I have a great relationship with the oldest two children but I haven't developed the same level of attatchment to the youngest child. I rarely want her around and look forward to her nap times. Is this normal?

Catherine Hobson
Catherine Hobson
Feelings are clues to growth and meaning

This is your experience, your feeling and you are wondering if it is normal, which means is this common or the rule. 

This question about how you feel about your third child leads me to believe you are dis- turbed [etymology: agitated or stirred up].  Feelings are messages from our soul or spirit that something is not right.  So, though  it might be normal [common, the rule]  to look forward to a one year olds nap time when you have a three year old a nine year old, the dis- turbance or stirring up in you, is important and requires your attention, your listening, if you will to your higher self.  

   


The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Stacey Shapiro
Stacey Shapiro
Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor

This is a common response parents can have.  There are many reasons for attachment disruption.   But attachment is  important for the child as well as your long term relationship with them.    I would want to know more about the history of the child and any stressors you have gone through during the child's lifetime.  Often if there is stress parents will not have the time or energy to attach well to the child.  Sometimes the energy of the child and the parent are mismatched as well.  But whatever is at the core this is something that can be addressed in counseling.  The earlier the better because adult relationships are based on parental relationships we had as children.  Therapy can start at age 3 to address these types of issues.  Visit staceybshapiro.com for more information about getting started.  

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

Congrats on being honest about the way you feel!

Many people state having a favorite child so the reverse would also be possible, of having a least favorite child.

Try to understand your own reasons for not liking your youngest child as much as the others.

One point to consider is whether it is the child' personality or the way they interact with you which gives you the feeling of not liking this child as much as the others, or does the reason have more to do with younger children requiring more care?

Also, do you generally prefer older kids to younger ones?   

It is possible the problem will go away as your youngest grows older.

Is there another parent in the household who can make up for what you feel unable to naturally give to your youngest?

Is it possible you feel your own need to be involved with activities or to have time on your own?   Maybe you simply need a break from constant mothering.

Continue to give as much as possible to your youngest child.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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