1. nahuati says

    What an adorable smile!

    I’m curious. Why do you call one of your children The Freak? In my community the word “freak” has negative connotations and is unfortunately used by school bullies to torment their victims.

    • Joe Sands says

      She exhibits all the lovable behavior of a wild child, confident in herself, independent and strong willed, and brilliant. We called her the freak years ago and the nickname just stuck.

  2. nahuati says

    You mentioned in the OP about having a favorite which reminded me of a very good article I read on NPR.

    When Kids Think Parents Play Favorites, It Can Spell Trouble

    If you have siblings, you probably think that your parents liked one kid best — and you’re probably right. Scientists say the family pecking order does affect children, but not always in the way you might think.


    Jensen looked at how teenagers’ perception of favoritism affects their behavior. He found that the kids who thought they were getting less favored treatment were more likely to get into trouble, even if the parents were actually being fair.

    “They were more likely to drink alcohol in the last year, to have used cigarettes,” Jensen says. And the teens were also more likely to have smoked marijuana or used harder drugs. “So it’s linked to some pretty serious stuff.”

    And the more that children felt they were being shorted, the riskier their behavior. Luckily for us parents, Jensen says there is a workaround.

    In his study, he found that in families that were close-knit, with good relationships and not a lot of fighting, there was less effect from perceived inequality. “In families like that there’s really no link between kids’ perception and their behavior,” Jensen says.

    So as long as you love and respect all your kids, Jensen says, the fact that you like one a wee bit more won’t matter.

    Or you could try taking to heart the advice of my neighbor Malcolm: “Picking favorites, it kind of makes the other people who are not the favorite not feel as well — feel sad. That’s why parents should not pick favorites.”

  3. lorn says

    Oh please. Parents are human, and they are going to have favorites. That is part of being human. While I understand that you have strive to love your children as equitably as possible it is simply not possible to like your children equally, or in the same way.

    One of the common tragedies is to fail to understand that your children are human beings and unique, each in their own right. That what is helpful to one may be hurtful to the other.

    Sad is the outcome for parents who try to treat their children the same by imposing a common standard that is, inevitably, hurtful to all of the children because it is a compromise.

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