Showing Favoritism with Your Kids

Parents with more than one child typically try to keep an even playing field with their kids. After all, it wouldn't be fair if only one child was rewarded for finishing their brussel sprouts at dinner, right? But there are times when parents may unintentionally show favoritism toward a specific child based on the situation. So, how does this impact your children and the relationship they have with you as well as their siblings?

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Episode Transcript

Parent Savers
Showing Favoritism with Your Kids


Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

[Theme Music]

NANCY COHEN: There is no doubt we all love our kids as much as we can and that our love grows with each one. But as parents with more than one child can attest, there are times when certain children may emerge as favorites in specific situations; whether it is because they are able to stay calm in the grocery store or being an adorable helper in the kitchen. Parental bias can and does emerge, how this favoritism affects your children.

Today we are talking about Showing Favoritism. I am Nancy Cohen and this is Parent Savers.

[Intro/Theme Music]

JOHNER RIEHL: Welcome everybody once again to Parent Savers broadcasting from the Birth Education center of San Diego, Parent Savers is your online, on-the-go support group for parents with infants and toddlers. I'm your host, Johner Riehl. Thanks so much to our loyal listeners who join us every time a new episode is released. And, for those who continue these conversations with us on Facebook and Twitter, make sure you check our parent savers apps, you could listen all of our episodes wherever you go.

Now Sunny is here, making noise over there I think that was Sunny, I was going to blame you. So now you tell us about all the cool ways that people can get involved telling what's up with that.

SUNNY GAULT: This is my first mail programs though feel like people are emailing me okay, Hi everybody so I'm Sunny, I am producing today Show and we want to hear from, we want to hear from our listeners we have some great segments that you guys can be part of, we have. . . first of all we just have a mail bag, it is not really a physical mail bags because who really does anymore but if you guys send us email and you could, you know ask us questions about the episodes you could make suggestions for us we're all ears and we're going to read some of those on future episodes as well. So we're always looking for that you can always submit and ask our experts question.

Nancy is actually one of our experts that answer some of the questions. So please do that, it could be parenting question, silly stuff, whatever you need and we've got a whole team of experts that can answer it and then will include the question and the answer in a future episode.

And to Johner’s point, we have a new segment out called “What up with that”, and it is where us parents. Yes, and sometimes you just look at your toddler and they do something and you just have, you cannot make sense of it like, in no universe with that actually makes sense as a human being to do that and so as parents we just kind of like look at that and internal I know your thinking it, “What up with that, What up with that”.

So we want to hear your “What up with that” stories, and if you want to submit for any of your segments, you can go to our website click on the contact link and submit that way, you can kind of type it out if you want to, a long email to us and we would read it on the air. But, what I think is more interesting is, if you actually call our voicemail which is 619-866-4775 and with your own words, in your own voice, you submit it and just tell us your story yourself and you know it will be in a voicemail format, we will put it on the show and then that way we can share your gift with the whole lot in our Parents Savers audience.

JOHNER RIEHL: Nice, we do love hearing from you or have your kids like write it down for them to read and have your kids read it to. “What up with that!” Nice, hopefully you guys can participate and so tons of ways to do it, Sunny is coming up with new brilliant ways.

SUNNY GAULT: Every day, every moment, you know what’s in my brain.

JOHNER RIEHL: So, today we're going to talk about, showing favoritism with your kids. We're joined in the studio by Nancy Cohen, welcome.

NANCY COHEN: Thank you, happy to be here.

JOHNER RIEHL: Happy to have you and So, I'm Johner, for those who don't know I have three boys, an eight-year-old, a six year old and a four year old. And I will admit that, some of my favorites in different situations for sure..

SUNNY GAULT: Right, like there's not a core like, a main favorite over all just, different situations, yeah.

JOHNER RIEHL: No, but yes as we dig deep into the conversation. . .

SUNNY GAULT: No, but yes . . .

JOHNER RIEHL: But I have a story about that . . .

NANCY COHEN: True confessions . . .

JOHNER RIEHL: That’s right . . . And Sunny.

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, so I've got four kids of my own and a five-year-old boy, a three-year-old boy and then identical twin girls, who are at least two, next week they'll be two. It is really tough, when you're talking about twins because, an identical twins too, because you're not supposed to show favoritism. But you know people always ask me because that is a common question, people always ask parents of twins and which one is your favorite, which is a horrible thing they ask. I said the one that's not crying and is my favorite. That's my standard line, but honestly, I kind of do have a little favorite but I will never tell you who's so if you’re listening, then these girls twenty years from now mum’s the word.

JOHNER RIEHL: Well thanks for joining us Nancy.

[Theme Music]

JOHNER RIEHL: Today we are going to take a closer look at an app that is good for younger kids. I search the App Store far and wide for good recommendations or at least talk to my kids and see what they're playing. I really do some research, try to find some cool apps for you guys because I feel like apps are one of those things that you can get good recommendations or hear something; it's kind of hard to discover these things.

So the app today we're going to talk about is called “the on color” for iPhone. It is a $0.99 app. It is from Christy brand Co., LLC and basically it's free. It's for really young kids and I know that these days and we've got tons of discussion about this but even from the youngest age kids are getting the phones looking at him and so with this one it is called “the on color”; well try it away, it is kind of intrigued by the title and so you have sort of a black screen and don't mind Sunny she is dropping everything on the ground over there.

So you have kind of a black screen it is got little bit of texture and then with that kids do is with their fingers they wipe away the black screen and reveals an image in the background and maybe a couple giraffes in a forest, it might be a lion and they are real basic and once they get enough of the black screen off in the front, plays happy music, happy sounds and then it goes on to the next one and so that's really the extent of the app and it's really cool.

I think when you're looking for handing your phone sometimes they are for really young kids playing with your phone, you don't want too many buttons or bells and what sorts of weird things. You kind of want really simple interface and that's what this app “on color” is really good for.

SUNNY GAULT: It's a great way to train our kids to use apps at a very young age.

JOHNER RIEHL: And leave us alone . . . no I know that's the whole trick and we all feel kind of guilty about it and we're going to feel guilty about giving on the phone.

SUNNY GAULT: But there some manual dexterity stuff going on there right?

JOHNER RIEHL: And if they are not clear enough they have to like get each corner and like clear off. If you're not on board with apps then this whole concept discussed . . .

SUNNY GAULT: This whole segment won’t work for me.

JOHNER RIEHL: Yes, exactly, but if you are on board with apps then this is a really good one to check out especially if you have young kids like 2 years old, this is even good for possibly even if you are somehow giving it to one younger than that and some people do that. It is called the “On color” it is $0.99 it's worth the buck for kids to be able to scratch that now.

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, so put a link on our website so you guys can check it out.


[Theme Music]

JOHNER RIEHL: So what do we do about like favoritism, I think that you know as you alluded to, like all my three boys, I don't have a ultimately a favorite and I mean we always talked about, we had one then our love grew, then we thought we don’t have to divide the love, like the love grows right and you love everyone and the love grows and you can let people differently but you can love them and so we have three awesome boys and I definitely don't have a favorite but, I do have favorites based on situation.

NANCY COHEN: Right; and I think that's fair and I think that’s okay and I think that's actually can be accepted by kids. I don't think that's a bad thing, because the kids themselves know, that their brother or sister, are better than they are in certain things or, I like things better than they do and if we try to hide their to pretend it's not true, then they think they are lying, we are lying to them, because it's really not true, they know that their brother is a better cook, likes to cook, they hate cooking so, we're going to want to cook with the kid who likes it.

SUNNY GAULT: Frankly don’t they play favorites too with us and, mom and dad. You know, there are favorites like for different things, they will come to Mom for certain things, they come to dad for certain things, it’s just a two-way street here

NANCY COHEN: Exactly and they know how to play you to.

SUNNY GAULT: Yes, they do

NANCY COHEN: Yes for sure, so yeah if there is a certain amount of favoritism, I don't like the word itself, kind of a negative connotation. I think knowing our children and what they're good at and what they like to do and accepting that and promoting that and helping to foster that is very different but when we start getting into favoritism and start acting in a way that's different towards one child then another, we're really negative toward one child, and was talking badly about one child to the other child, that's where I think we get in trouble.

JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah and I think that's I think what, none of us want to do or what we want to avoid and I think that, so how could we celebrate, the ones that are our favorites in certain situations without making other feel bad.

NANCY COHEN: Because we celebrate the others in the ways that they are talented or liking the situation or easier let's put it that way. So, in kids they have different temperaments, that's the thing that's important to recognize to and we have temperaments, so when you get a family together, sometimes we have a goodness of fit so we tend to get along better with one child than the other because, our temperaments fit better together.

We like certain things, we act certain ways and so that child we have sort of a little kinship with. Whereas, other kids may be different than us, they may be really outgoing and really extroverted and love crowds and we don't and so that's harder for us to come to relate to their kid. So, I think its parent that's really important to recognize “Oh their child is very different than I am” and need to make some changes in how I see that child and really embrace who they are different than who I am and look at their skills and talents, and really try to give them you know a lot of kudos for that.

JOHNER RIEHL: Right but, and so, obviously we are thinking about it from the parent perspective. But, from the . . . and so we're saying, oh it feels like it's kind of bad word to say, you're my favorite. But, from the kid's perspective it feels kind of good to hear that, right?

NANCY COHEN: That, you're my favorite?

JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah, or I am wrong. . .

NANCY COHEN: I think Yes or No.

JOHNER RIEHL: I mean I might be totally wrong but there's something that feels kind of good about getting some positive parents but may be favorite’s a strong word to use.

NANCY COHEN: I think it's the wrong word to use, because I think in certain ways, I believe the kids who have siblings, want to be loved only and the best. I think it’s a bottom line, who do you love the best? They always ask that. Who do you love the best? And I wish we could get rid of those other kids, so you could love me only the best. So I think it's kind of underlying everything, but I think if we were to say to a child do you know what you really are my favorite. I think a part of them would feel like, “Yeah, I'm the favorite, great.” And then, I think maybe part of them I feel, a little guilty, little bad, because oh, you know, okay then, they don’t really like the other kid, could that happen to me? Do you know what I am saying?


NANCY COHEN: It’s really, it's little, it’s complicated, it's deeper than that. But, that’s why favoritism, I think has a negative connotation because, we can enjoy doing certain things with certain kids like, we might love going to a ball game with one kid. The other kids aren’t interested and he likes it and he is not going to kick and cry, and jump around and he has temper tantrums, okay. He's a kid that's older, more ready interested, and can accommodate that situation so, we love going with their kid. That's honest, that’s being honest. So, we're not saying you know, “you're my favorite kid.” So, you get to come to the ballgame.

SUNNY GAULT: So, interesting story. When I said in the beginning that my twins I secretly can have favorite, according to my parents, that twin is a lot more like me when I was kid. And, I do relate to her a lot and that you would think twins you know, I know it's kind of sounds silly they're identical, like are they kind of the same. No, that they're really not. They have totally different personalities and my personality, when I was a child and even now measures much more with the child that thinking about that, I do show . . . I try not to show favoritism but, I do, you know and that’s interesting to me because, I'm just, kind of now making that connection you know she looks more like me and acts more like me. And, I really like myself . . . [Laugh] which is the bottom line I guess.

NANCY COHEN: We like the kid who is most like us, pretty simple right? . . . No, but it's true you do tend to have a . . . or you might relate more to the oldest child if you were the oldest or the youngest, if you were the youngest child. So I think, in a lot of ways you know it’s complicated because, a lot of different reasons why we might get along with or embrace one child or have a favorite more than others and I think we have to be aware of it.


NANCY COHEN: I think we have to be honest about it and aware of it.

JOHNER RIEHL: So what happens if, you're not playing here but a kid thinks that you are playing favorites?

NANCY COHEN: They always think you're playing favorites.


NANCY COHEN: Oh, they always think, you are playing a favorite, that’s the thing, because, they want everything to be equal, you know “oh! You gave him a bigger brownie. He always gets the bigger Brownie, it's not fair! You always give that to him.” You know, and then we're like, “Oh my god! Did I do give him the bigger brownie. Okay, have another brownie; we want to make everything equal and the same.” They feel it anyway, so I think playing into . . . we often played into it. And I think, if I think, we try not to play into it, and I think that makes things better.

If he says “he always gets it to say it “oh it sounds like you which you got a bigger brownie this time.” I mean, I think kind of taking the steam out of their sails, you know it sometimes helps to acknowledge the feeling understand, I understand you didn't get it today and you wish you had. Let's move on.

JOHNER RIEHL: So, yeah, emphasizing is probably better than saying like, “that’s not fair.”

NANCY COHEN: Yeah they hate that. They hate that.

SUNNY GAULT: Little kids cannot comprehend that really.

NANCY COHEN: Mean life is not fair. I am keeping the score Charlie what are you talking about.


JOHNER RIEHL: We spend a couple days in hospital for our youngest with asthma, came home on a new toys from like the ER. How come Xyler gets the Star Wars toy?

SUNNY GAULT: Next time you can’t breathe on your own you get some [inaudible].

JOHNER RIEHL: Exactly, but you are right as all they want is fair.



JOHNER RIEHL: They want the fair and the same is equal’s fair.

SUNNY GAULT: They don’t really want fair, because if you gave them more toys, they’ll be fine with that, right, as opposed to their brother.

JOHNER RIEHL: I don’t know. But, I mean, if we give actually likes one of them they share with their brother’s, because I think that they're wanting to know that, they would do that for that lookout. They will lookout for each other; I guess it’s good parenting. I feel like it's more like it's them against us like . . .

SUNNY GAULT: Wow! We better got to watch out.

NANCY COHEN: See what happens when this goes on.

JOHNER RIEHL: I heard a story, and I read it somewhere one time about the dad was kind of a joker and he was kind of starting to get older, his kids were older and he was on his deathbed and like called the Meech into the room, and gave him all the notes and the note said, “ you're always my favorite”, close the note that, don't tell anyone, “ you’re always my favorite”, and then within like you know, a few hours after he passed away, like they started late comparing notes and like dad told me he is the favorite and they all just started dying laughing see, but they don't believe it for a little bit like I always knew that I was . . .

And then they looked at and its kind of like their dad’s last laugh. Yeah, of course they don't want to be the favorite. But I think the kids . . . the story I read was that the kids where getting a little bit out of it but then I thought is pretty funny from the dad.


NANCY COHEN: But, I think they do want to be the favorite and they don't want to be the favorite it is a bit little of both in there. When I used to work at Children's Hospital, I was in developmental services and I remember going through the waiting room where speech pathology was happening, and I remember watching a little girl who must have been about seven, having total tantrum, Crying! Crying! Screaming, crying, and she was like, “Why I don’t get speech therapy? It's not fair that my brother gets speech therapy and I don’t get speech therapy and I want speech therapy. And I thought to myself you know, you can never win, because you think, “Oh my God! Speech therapy!” But really turns up all the kids in the family wants speech therapy.

SUNNY GAULT: Well it is something special is what it is.

NANCY COHEN: It is just like being in the hospital for asthma.

SUNNY GAULT: They don’t really want to have asthma they just want the . . .

NANCY COHEN: They just want the goodies.


NANCY COHEN: The attention


NANCY COHEN: It all comes down to attention.

JOHNER RIEHL: Yes, and being making sure we are parceling it out the right way and been aware of it. Let’s take a quick break and we'll talk a little more about that attention and some more things we can watch out for as parents.

[Theme Music]

JOHNER RIEHL: Welcome back everybody to Parent Savers. Today we're talking about playing favorites with Nancy Cohen, Sunny is also here as well and clearly she is giving enough information so, when her girls get older, and if they happened to stumble across this podcast in the vast internet archive. . .

SUNNY GAULT: Yes, they will never know who I'm talking about though.

JOHNER RIEHL: You where sort of giving some clues.

SUNNY GAULT: They will know that it is the twins but I was even just saying, I'm not even comparing my twins to my older boys I'm just saying, amongst the twin I might have a little bit of edge . . .

JOHNER RIEHL: So, what do you think, let us talk about long-term effects, like what do you think if, somehow you were to play fair with your twins in an alternate universe and she did know. What kind of effects would that have on her psyche going up or do you think it would lead to like self-esteem issues there?

NANCY COHEN: I think it often leads to self-esteem issues or a lot of rivalry in competition with the other child or children so . . .

JOHNER RIEHL: And resentment

NANCY COHEN: Yeah, and resentment and maybe they wouldn't be as close or friendlier wouldn’t tend to talk to you as much as because I don’t feel as validated. I think there can be some self-esteem issues and also pulling away and lot of competition, competitive. Look at me, look what I did, look at I did, I did that just as well as she did. You know, so you're constantly, having to validate them so, “Yeah! Yeah! You did it, great, that was great! Looking for validation. “

JOHNER RIEHL: So, that would be things to look for like if you're seeing that in your kids that maybe that could be . . .

NANCY COHEN: Yeah, they might need more time and more validation, and sometimes to we assume children aren't interested in something, or that one child is the better cook or more interested in it, and maybe the other kids is like, I really would like to do that but I'm not sure, I could be as good as my older brother. So, I'm going to step back and not do it just because I've never been asked.

So, I think sometimes if we bring in the other kid, who might be a little shy about it, and give him a chance then, we can often see, “WOW! He does like it. Okay, great! He could also make Sunday breakfast”. So I think that we tend to get into ruts with her kids, sometime, so we think of this one and we keep doing certain things with them and then they get good at it and the other kid feels a little bit left out.

JOHNER RIEHL: So if a kid joins the cooking is we are kind of giving that example. So, which we do about that because we want to embrace that but we want to give the other kids opportunities as well.

NANCY COHEN: Exactly! So you want to give other kids opportunities as well. So maybe one Sunday one kid does it, the next Sunday the next kid does it. So you take some turns or certain meals are with one kid and certain meals are with the other kid or one likes to make dessert, the others going to like to make the pasta, you know so I think you can you know offer variety to kids, even if one is good at something in the other doesn't seem to have as much of a tendency to want to do it.

Sometimes they do, so I think we have to allow that to happen, to not see our kids in tricks, you know, this is the kid who plays soccer, this is the kid who plays baseball, this is the kid who sings, this is the kid who paints, there is sometimes a little bit of overlapping sometimes there isn't, sometimes their kid is the good soccer player and you have to go with it, and the other kid is not interested in soccer and want to do something completely different but I think we tend to get our kids into molds even temperament, you know oh he's always happy, he's always cranky, well, then you're not really noticing when the cranky one is happy and embracing that.

JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah, I think that's happening early in earlier now to think that we're identifying and sort of put our kids in . . .

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, that happens a lot with twins too, because people want to know how to tell them apart yeah you know and then as a twin parent you are almost forced in a sense, I don’t want to play victim here but you're kind of forced to put them in containers, so other people can kind to tell them apart or get to know them a little, this is the one that does, this is the one that does this. I get asked constantly how do you tell them apart, what do I do here, well she is a little bit more reserved and this is my crazy one. You know, what I mean, you kind of, are forced to do that a little bit even if you don't really want to you, know.

NANCY COHEN: And they can start identifying themselves that way . . .


NANCY COHEN: I'm the crazy one

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, so then they give them a right to act crazy because you believe that is the crazy one.

NANCY COHEN: You have already labeled them that way, so I am going to be that.

JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah it's crazy how they can . . . it is sort of a self filling prophecy.

NANCY COHEN: It's hard not to, its really hard not to, you really have to pay attention, you really have to pay attention to, what you're doing and how you're interacting and I think the best thing we can do for our kids is to give each of them sometime, I called “special time”. But you know not now just going to the baseball game or taking them to a concert or doing something special outside the home, but even 15-20 minutes of play time with one kid, doing something that their kid likes.

So, you've got the kid who's the artist, so you say you know let's do, something what would you like to do let's draw, okay great let's draw and you close the door nobody else is there it’s one on one, one kid, one parent and you really giving their kid a lot of time, attention, with nobody else there and then you do something else with the other kids the next day.

So, if you have one on one time and they get to choose a simple activity or game or whatever for 20 minutes, they feel nourished, you know they feel embraced, they feel scene, and it's really great for parents too because, you know we get to have their time were we are like wow! You are good at Lego’s. Wow! You know it is nice to have this time to see how good you are at some to these things.

JOHNER RIEHL: I mean it's interesting that the way to deal with the isolation issues of favoritism is the one on one time. But, it's sort of like a separate but equal as a guess it is a horrible way to put it right on time

NANCY COHEN: No, exactly, because you are spending one on one time with all of your kids.


NANCY COHEN: So they can say oh, you always have special time with him, well we have special time tomorrow, you know so even if they think that because a lot of times kids think things, “oh you always take him to Disneyland”.

SUNNY GAULT: They generalize.

NANCY COHEN: “We never do anything fun together, oh really we just had all day at the zoo.” Always a never for a lot of kids.

JOHNER RIEHL: My four-year-old is big at that; Quinner always gets the iPad first. Like no, that is not how it always is . . .

NANCY COHEN: You know what you should try in your house to?

JOHNER RIEHL: What’s that?

NANCY COHEN: This also helps “Kid of the day”. This is the best thing that I tell parents ever, besides special time. If you have more than one child, the newer kids, the two year olds are a little young so I would wait till they are three but you've got a big calendar for the month and every other day or every third day in your case or fourth day in your case, the kid is special is the kid of the day and you put it on the calendar, and that kid of the day gets to choose the thing first.

So it doesn't mean the kid the day gets to you know buy the car for the family or you know would say “Oh today were are going for dinner” So not adult decision but kid decisions things that the kids fight about, who gets the iPad first well who is the kid of the day okay you are kid of the day you get the iPad first. You know I don’t want to take the shower first; well who’s the kid of the day they get to decide who’s to showers, whether they're going to shower first or not shower first.

JOHNER RIEHL: In my house right now with the shower and the iPad conversation . . . [laugh]

NANCY COHEN: I promise you, your kids are 8, 6 and 4 , okay “kid of the day”, it ready works.

JOHNER RIEHL: So, I heard as my sister gave me a similar idea a few years ago and whenever they're going on vacation, they would say that there was a kid of the day each day, and that's the one that got to push the elevator buttons that day.


JOHNER RIEHL: So there was no complain, that is the one but to translate it to life that is brilliant, right translate it to every day and if we did happen to go across an elevator, you are kid of the day, you get to do the buttons


SUNNY GAULT: Then they are going to be like you did leave the house when I was getting a [crosstalk]

NANCY COHEN: But the truth is it's tense to start to balance out after you've done it for a while. In the beginning sometimes they do fight about it “I didn't get to make that choice. Right you didn't but you know maybe you'll make other choices today”.

JOHNER RIEHL: That’s a great tip.

NANCY COHEN: That it's really great and they go for it and I don't really know why. I'm doing this for many years and many families tell me “Oh my God that was the best think I ever did.

JOHNER RIEHL: So what about the difference between you know some children are more difficult than others . . .

NANCY COHEN: Absolute!

JOHNER RIEHL: So, the difference between the perception that because you're paying more attention to the difficult child that the easier child might think that you like them or something . . .
NANCY COHEN: Or the opposite the difficult child might also think why you like the other kid better because I'm difficult and I'm bad and you yell at me and I am always getting you know, grounded or whatever, sent to my room. I get a time out he doesn't so you like him better. So, again I think we have to give our children what they need so, if you have a difficult child you take care of that child in the way that child needs it, and then pay attention to the other child too.

So, if you know that “Oh I do spend all this time on this one kid, I need to really focus on the other kid too”. A lot of times they're quiet, kind of easy kid, gets left behind because we are like “thank God!” He's a kid I don't have to do anything; you know just thrown him a little food and he is fine. He's grow up so, yes I think we have to really know that their kid might be feeling a little bit left out or not getting enough attention and they may not say anything.

This happens a lot with really easy kids; they don't say “my mom! You know pay some attention to me”, they're kind of like well you know I can just go in my room and read and that is fine. So we have to say to them you know, let's do something special today, or you know lets read a book together, let’s say a special time.

JOHNER RIEHL: Before you know it they'll grow up and they'll be acting out in like “oh they're getting drunk with their friends and stuff like that” because you know they've always been the easygoing.

NANCY COHEN: They are easy and now they think “oh now it is my time”.

JOHNER RIEHL: Right, no, I mean it’s fascinating to think, about I think that the connotations of the word favorite, are really interesting to think about it. Because favorites is a positive thing, if you favorite something is awesome. When you talk about your kids they take it really negative and you don't want them to think that.

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, you're just supposed to I guess divide everything equally and everything supposed to be same but that's not humanity, right? I don't think its humanity, to just be like everything has to be completely equal and we're not like a robot, you know what I mean our motions aren't just like categories and okay.

JOHNER RIEHL: But, we but we really need our kids I think to believe it, when it's coming from us that things are fair right? You don’t want your kids to think that you are unfair to them. No you do . . . [laughing]

SUNNY GAULT: Very deep . . .

JOHNER RIEHL: Obviously life is not fair and all that. But the challenges is that so we're human people and we're going to have favorites but, it sounds like it's incredibly damaging to the kids to have this that perception that we actually have these favorites so we need to . . .

NANCY COHEN: Or even if it's not a perception if it is a reality, I mean it is really clear to everybody because kids are often thinks . . . I think my brother was the favorite because I was the more difficult kid. I have to ask my mom [cross talks] I love you both the same. And it's impossible to love kids the same. So, when we say to kids, when they say who do you love more and we say Oh I love you both exactly the same.

They don’t really want to be loved the same so, we say you know I love you for who you are, I love you because you're the only Wendy in the family, and nobody else is like you and nobody else has your skills and talents and the only one in world like you and I love you for that. So we have to kind of take it away from who's the favorite, who's the best, to you know, you're different and I love you for who you are, and these are the great things about you.

JOHNER RIEHL: Our favorite answer in those situations as we always say I think the answer is obvious totally puts it back on. Who is the favorite mom or dad? I think the answer is obvious. [cross talks +laughing]. So Christine is grandma though literally would tell her growing up that her brother was her favorite.

NANCY COHEN: How did she feel about that?

JOHNER RIEHL: Horrible, I mean still to this day there's resentment and like and but also this very huge need to impress her grandma and like it’s there so I have seen it in her life like sort of the impact I mean specifically. . .

SUNNY GAULT: She trying to prove something.

NANCY COHEN: Trying to prove it.

JOHNER RIEHL: She does really and she still to this day still tries to prove it.

NANCY COHEN: So I think either way, you know it gets kind of interesting because it kind of brings up an either or situation. A lot of times kids will try to be better and better and better and better and better, so that they can be the favorite. Or, they give up and say well what the heck you know, they don't like me as much so I might as well act out you know he's the favorite anyway. So I'm not going to try.

SUNNY GAULT: The whole black sheep thing.

NANCY: Yeah, so it's difficult it's hard to be a parent . . . just have cats . . .

JOHNER RIEHL: And that is the ultimate Parent Savers tip right there . . . Literally Parent Savers.

SUNNY GAULT: It will save you a lot of emotional [inaudible] if you just like cats, some litter. You will be fine.

NANCY COHEN: It would be so much easier.

JOHNER RIEHL: Well thank you, Nancy for the conversation and Sunny, talking about favorite. It is really a new honest issue but something that I don't want my kids to think, that their parents so better listen to show.

Thanks everyone for sticking with us and listening, and for joining us today for more information, if you want to learn more about Nancy, please visit our website at But we are actually, we going to continue the conversation for the lucky members for our Parent Savers club after the right with a little bonus content who knows what we are going to talk about only Parent Savers club members do.

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SUNNY GAULT: Parent Savers, we have a funny “parenting oops” story to share with you guys, and this comes from Suzanne and this is a good one Suzanne rights. “My two-and-a-half-year-old son was in daycare and I got pulled aside when picking him up by the teacher. While playing on the slides there was a little girl that changed her mind about going down, when she was at the top.

My son was right behind her along with the line of others, she proceeds to sit on my son's face trying to push him and the others back down. Well, he bit her you know, where? The first word that popped out were; wouldn’t you bite someone sitting on your face?” They were not amused. Well Suzanne I am amused.

Thanks so much for sending this and we really do appreciate it if you guys have a funny “parenting oops” you like to share with our audience we would love to feature that on our show and we have a new way that you can submit for segments like this, you can go to our website at and you will see a great little box on the side of our website and that's how you can send us a voicemail.

So click on that and you can actually just use the microphone on your computer, and send it straight through the internet to us and then we will take that and we'll put it on a future episode. So again, Suzanne thanks so much and we hope to hear from your “parenting oops” stories, I hope to hear from you guys, very soon.

JOHNER RIEHL: That wraps up our Parent Savers show for today, we appreciate you listening.

Don't forget to check out our sister shows,
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed
• This is Twin Talks for parents of multiples and
• Newbies- for those who are going through it for the first time.

This is Parent Savers- Empowering New Parents.


This has been a New Mommy Media Production. The information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. While such information and materials are believed to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute professional medical advice or care, and should not be used for diagnosing for treating healthcare problem or disease or prescribing any medication. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek the assistance from a qualified healthcare provider.

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