How to deal with being the least favorite child

Maria Papadopoulou By Maria Papadopoulou, 14th Sep 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Daily Life

Being the least favorite child in the family can cause big problems. Good news is, there are ways to deal with it.

Being the least favorite child

Not all children are treated the same way in a family. Whether that happens on a conscious or a subconscious level, this is difficult to handle. If not handled properly, this issue can have detrimental effects on the personality. For that reason, it is important to learn how you can deal with it.

Accept reality

This is probably the most difficult thing to do, however it is also the most important thing to do. You cannot deal with a problem unless you accept it exists. If indeed you are the least favorite child, what you need to do is learn to accept it, no matter how much it hurts. Trying to convince yourself that this is not the case and whitewash certain attitudes is not going to help you. As a matter of fact, it is only going to make matters worse. Denying the problem is going to prolong the pain.

Try to become the best person you can be

Instead of obsessing over not being the favorite child in the family, swift your focus somewhere else. Make a conscious and serious effort to become the best person you can possibly be. Work on your strengths,develop your good traits, fight for your dreams. Listen to your inner voice and follow your mind and soul in order to reach the heights you dream of. Focus on the things you can actually change for the better.

See the situation objectively

There is a chance that you have come to the wrong conclusion about being the least favorite child. If you suffer from low self esteem and many insecurities, it is likely that you are overly sensitive to certain attitudes. Try to see the situation objectively, as if it has happened to someone else instead of you. Take a look at the facts and come to conclusions based on them. If you are not sure whether you can make it, ask from a friend to help you out. At least in the beginning, this can be proven to be extremely helpful.

Try to clear the air

Another thing you can do, is try to clear the air. Misunderstandings often lead to wrong conclusions. Have an honest discussion with your parents. Ask questions, provide clarifications, express your feelings and thoughts as honestly as you possibly can. Avoid playing the blame game, manipulate situations or blackmail emotionally. You may find out to your surprise that your judgement was wrong, at least up to a point.

See the glass as half full

Cruel as it may seem, none loves us the way we want to be loved and we don't love anyone the way they want to be loved by us. With that in mind, it will be easier to come to terms with the fact that we should not expect the best, but adjust to every situation and make the most of it.


Attitudes, Children, Family, Favorite Child, Least Favorite Child, Parents, Problem

Meet the author

author avatar Maria Papadopoulou
I am a certified health visitor and i also hold two bachelor degrees in translation as well as a bachelor degree in subtitling.

I have been working successfully as a professional freelance translator and proofreader with several prestigious transl...(more)

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author avatar leylucs
15th Sep 2010 (#)

great article! but to us we all treated the same, that's why we all love our mom and dad!! great share anyway..

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author avatar Maria Papadopoulou
17th Sep 2010 (#)

Unfortunately, we are not all treated the same, and this is why problems arise, as i explain in my article. I am glad you liked it though!

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author avatar Laura
7th May 2011 (#)

This was a great article! I'm struggling with accepting the fact that I'm the least favorite child in my family. I've known it for years - they don't make it obvious that they love my brother and sister more than me, but you can still tell. I'm going to try to move forward, though!

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author avatar Veronica
13th Oct 2012 (#)

Hi Laura. Somehow reading your short comment made me feel like I'm not the only one. In my family They dont make it obvious rither but Everyone knows and ive known for years. I'm going I do the same. Good luck to you!

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author avatar Shelby
8th May 2011 (#)

This article doesn't really explain how to deal with this situation though.I am a least favorite child although I am a successful classical musician,have excellent grades at school.Don't fight,don't swear etc.My brother has awful grades,never cares about school or career,fights(so often he beats me like an animal although he's younger),swears and does nothing good.My parents don't support him but they just don't appreciate what I do,always stand on my brother's side and protect him.It's awful,my self esteem is so low and i'm depressed but I accepted my situation as it is...It won't change whatever I do.

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author avatar Lolly
21st Jun 2011 (#)

hah great, my parents still hate me though.

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author avatar Anna
1st Jul 2011 (#)

Once you are 18 it's all on you. Make your life what you want it to be. Listen to your own heart not what others think.Learn to distinguish between old feelings & new ones. I'm in my 40's now. It has gotten easier durring the day but a night, sleeping with T.V. or radio on keep the nightmares at bay. Look for yourself within yourself. No one will love you more than you can love yourself. You will never fill that empty feeling with love from another. Nor will you find what you want in life if you are obsessed with finding the person who will fill that bottomless hole. Relationships with men and women..spend too much time trying to figure out men your female relationships suffer and visa versa. Be charitable to the needy, but also be charitable to yourself. Be good to yourself. No one else will ever be as good to you as you can be to yourself.

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author avatar Jessica
11th Jul 2011 (#)

I am the oldest, my brother is 3 years younger than me. We have different dad's, and he was the planned baby, while I was the birth control trajedy. My mom loves us both very much, and she doesnt realize she does it, but when I became pregnant with my son at 18, she was none too happy, but she accepted it, and she got excited by half way thru the pregnancy. My brother just found out he is going to be a dad, he is now 20, and my mom cried tears of joy, and has been pushing the wetlock pregnancy for months. He and his gf can stay together for more than 3 weeks at a time. Now I worry that my son, will become the least favorite grandchild, once my brother's child is born. I dont want my son to have to go thru the same pain, I have for years. This article really doesnt say how to move past this at all. As long as my brother is off, Im the favorite, but as soon as he comes around, I am ignored, and pushed aside. I am 23 years old, and this still bothers me greatly.

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author avatar Carmella
3rd Aug 2011 (#)

My mother has a fororite child she gets her everthing she wants and treats her the best and i feel very sdepressed about it i think its really going to effect me long-term so thank you for making this article i hope it will help me in the future.

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author avatar Naj Ali Saadiq
12th Oct 2011 (#)

Yeah. I'm the oldest son of 3 and I can tell you guys right now that the favored usually don't see that he/she is being favored or could care less if they were. It's no skin off of their noses. As for the least favorite child, it's hard to follow those steps when you don't even know why things are the way they are. It sucks when you know that your parents love your siblings more than you do but you don't know why.

Is it because he's stronger?

Is it because he's more handsome?

Is it because you just don't like me?

Am I not good enough?

Chances are that the least favorite will not want to accept it, especially if both parents are spewing that " We love all our kids equally " crap when it's evident that one is being favored. Not all kids handle situations the same.

For example, I was the least favorite and I was raised by my biological dad and stepmother along with my biological younger bro and step bro. My dad favored my younger bro and my stepmom favored her son. There were others that I've talk to about it and they would say " Nah, Naj. Favoritism has nothing to do with it. You're the oldest so they're gonna be a little harder on you. " Funny thing is, those who said that were the favorites in their families as well, which pretty much left them on the outside looking in.

I'm 24 years old and I rarely ever talk to my parents to this day. Why? Because they won't just come clean with me and admit they had something against me and loved both of my brothers more than me.

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author avatar Serena
17th Jul 2012 (#)

im going thorough favoritisum. I live with my aunt because my moms a schizophrenic, My dads a manic depressive and my sister is a prostitiute.My aunt favors her daughter and grand daughter more than me. For example: Her daughter has great birthdays and gets to do everything and my aunt gives her hundres of dollars. Me im lucky if i get a dollar. Ex 2: Her grand daughter can hit me and ill hit her back and my aunt would say don't hit my grand daughter. and smack then her daughter would come andsay noone hits my child andlives another day.I legitlly wish i wasnt born.Ive thought about suicide but i am a pretty confident person as far as phiscal appearenes. I just can't seem to do it well im glad i got that out lol thanks for readng though

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author avatar Person
27th May 2013 (#)

<b>Hello, World!</b>

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author avatar Jen
28th Dec 2013 (#)

I understand that I have to accept being the least favorite child but it's really difficult and has now begun putting a strain on my relationship with my sister who is the favorite child.

We used to be so close but I simply don't understand why she doesn't call my dad out on him treating me so poorly and her so well; I would definitely call him out if I were the fav.

For her birthday she got an iPad for my birthday I literally got nothing from him. For Christmas she gets an iPhone and literally I get nothing from him. Everyone thinks he's the greatest guy but because of him I'm constantly seeking affirmation of my worth from other people and I really only ever wanted to make him happy.

He knows it's obvious and doesn't care so it's not a matter of me making him aware. I feel it's going to impact all of my relationships and I won't be able to ever introduce her to any guys I'm seeing for fear they'll also take to her and she wouldn't do anything to stop it.

Don't get me wrong, I love her and think she's great I just feel hurt that she's not upset or bothered by it the way I would be were I in her shoes. And while I know I have to accept it I feel accepting it means I have to give up even trying to have a relationship with either of them and that's not something I'm prepared to do yet so in heartbreak limbo I remain.

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author avatar Em
18th May 2014 (#)

My question is, how do you behave around your parent, knowing you're unloved? I think it's because I look the most like our father, her ex-husband. My mother claimed she loves all her children equally, but anyone with sense can see it's a lie. She brags ceaselessly about the others but rarely mentions me, unless an aunt brags about me first. She holds birthday parties for the others and invites all their friends. One of them has a birthday two days from mine, so if my birthday falls on a Saturday, she'll have his party on my birthday. Oh, she'll say its my party too, after he picks the restaurant and the invitations are sent... At times I've shamed her into taking me out to small family dinners on my birthday at nice restaurants. I invite her sisters so of course my mother picks up the check. But I recently discovered she's keeping a running total in her head. She has grudges against me decades long, for things she'd laugh about if the others did. I don't really want her in my life if she's just going to stick pins in my heart like this. I wish I could fix it by having a talk with her, but she's over 70. And she's in denial about a lot of things. And she gossips and plays the victim. I think having a talk with her at this point in her life isn't going to do much good.

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author avatar Mich
23rd May 2014 (#)

I am the least favorite child and also the middle child. My parents always say that they love all 3 kids equally but I don't see it that way at all. Sometimes I feel like they buy me stuff just because they want to make sure it's only fair. It's not because they really want to buy it for me. And sometimes they only do things for me because they did it for my other siblings. It feels like they are obligated to do it and honestly, I don't think their action is even sincere.
Sometimes I often think that I'm being ridiculous and I'm just overthinking. But outsiders do notice and often come to me and ask me why aren't your parents doing the same for you? Or why don't your parents care? I hurts me more that people who comes to my house once in a while sees it but none of my family members realize. I've talked to my older sister about it and she say I'm just overreacting.
Once in a while, I lock myself up in my room and just cry thinking about all this. Since I was little, I've never been beaten or have ever been in trouble. I was the brightest in my family and always trying to be the best for my parents. But I'm a so freaking stressed up trying to be their perfect child and the worst part of all they don't realize. I try to live my life the best I could by trying to be happy but sometimes I feel like I'm just faking my happiness. People always see me as the joyful one but they can't see the pain i am going through. I can't talk to anyone about this because they'll think it's nothing.

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author avatar Cade
16th Sep 2015 (#)

Being the least or 2nd to least favorite child doesn't bother me, what annoys me is that my mom treats me like crap compared to everyone else.

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