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?

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 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.

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