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I feel like sometimes DH ignores DS1 in favour of DS2.

(7 Posts)
MrsHelsBels74 Sat 20-Jul-13 19:19:31

DS1 is nearly 3 1/2, DS2 is 10 months. DH adores babies and obviously the 3yo is a tearaway sometimes and difficult to deal with.

We went on holiday recently & DS1 actually turned round to DH and basically said 'DS2 is your favourite' obvious does it have to be for a 3yo to pick up on it.

I've noticed it more and more since then but DH denies it. I wonder if DS1 is playing up more to get DH's attention.

Tonight was heartbreaking, DH was singing and DS1 joined in, DH just ignored him and carried on singing to DS2. I know it sounds minor but it broke my heart (am suffering from depression so find a lot of things heartbreaking). Then DS1 was asking DH to sing something else and again DH ignored him.

Is there anything I can do, given that DH denies any wrongdoing?

Morgause Sat 20-Jul-13 19:20:42

Show him this.

ImperialBlether Sat 20-Jul-13 19:22:18

Record him. I think it comes as a real shock to some people to hear what they're saying.

Other than that you could say to your DH, "Such a shame for DS2 isn't it, looking at DS1 and thinking 'That'll be me in a couple of years'."

theoldtrout01876 Sun 21-Jul-13 04:08:21

my Ds2 was exh "golden boy". Poor Ds1, who it totally lovely btw, never cut it in his dads eyes sad

When we split it took lots of counseling for Ds1 to come to terms with this.

He is 21 now and has accepted his dad the way he is. It broke my heart to see him struggle with this

Ds2 (19) knows hes the golden boy and plays on this sad

I used to try and fix it when we were still wed,it made no difference,Ds2 looked like him,acted "normal",was into sport etc,he was the "NORMAL" kid,poor Ds1 was not

He never accepted that his attitude was different for both Ds's ( Dont start me on poor Dd1.shes just a girl )


AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 21-Jul-13 08:16:21

How did your H respond to that comment from your son?.

Your eldest may well be playing up to get his dad's attention; any attention albeit negative is better than none.

Your H is and will damage the relationship between his two sons irreparably particularly if he carries on in such a vein. Also he will come to have no relationship at all with his eldest because of what is happening now, he will cut him off - and perhaps you as well because you did not stop this in its tracks when they were younger.

Where did this behaviour of his come from, did such favouritism happen in his own family as well with your DH being the favoured child?. We learn about relationships first and foremost from parents, what did his teach him?. What is being taught now?.

JustinBsMum Sun 21-Jul-13 08:23:59

this is so sad. I hope it changes as DS2 gets older.
If you split up and DH had to look after DCs on his own he would prob stop this as he would have to deal with DS1's resulting bad behaviour. Just surmising, not recommending divorce!

Could you find something, sport or skill, that DS1 is good at which would boost his self esteem regardless of DH.

I would look for some expert advice on this, books, child psychologist.

Dahlen Sun 21-Jul-13 08:39:46

I think you need to sit him down and have a long, non-accusatory but firm chat with him about this.

It's very common for parents to have favourites. As people we tend to prefer people on our own 'wavelength' and it's not that surprising that some parents relate better to some children more than others. Get your DH onside by acknowledging this and not making him feel it's anything to be ashamed of. If he feels got at he's likely to get defensive and the conversation won't be constructive.

Once you've got his attention, you need to explain that while it's not a problem if he relates better to DS2, it is crucial that this he recognises this and takes steps to do more with DS1 to equalise the balance. He can feel what he likes, but his behaviour simply must be fair.

The way to make this point hit home is possibly to point out all the damage this could do to DS2. 'Favourite' children tend to grow up with a sense of entitlement that actually handicaps them quite severely when they enter the real world. This can affect their job prospects, future relationships and all sorts. Also, although no one has a crystal ball, it's to be expected that your DSs will outlive you and your DH by many years. How cruel to deprive DS2 of a loving, solid relationship with his brother - because that is precisely what will happen if DH keeps this up.

Then there are the effects on DS1. As he gets older his behaviour could well deteriorate markedly. If DS2 is the golden boy and DS1 is ignored, in true childlike fashion he will decide that if being good and like DS2 gets him ignored, he will define himself by being as different to DS1 as possible. At extremes this could result in expulsion from school, trouble with the police... He could also drag DS2 down with him, because although DS1 is likely to resent DS2, DS2 could easily have the hero-worship younger brothers often display towards their elders and copy his behaviour.

Your DH may not like this conversation and it may be unpleasant, but hopefully he mull it over. Despite his preference for DS2 I'm sure he loves both his sons and will want to do the right thing once he overcomes his denial. Then you can start talking strategies to overcome this (e.g. a couple of hours on the weekend where he does something exclusively with DS1).

Good luck.

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