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Favoritism from Aunt to one DC.. what to do? Poll Added
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Poll

Should I let my sister shower one child with attention 2+ times a week
Let sister spend as much time as she wants with favored dc  
 20%  [ 10 ]
Limit sister’s time to the one class that Is not a problem  
 44%  [ 22 ]
Work to find a better balance so favored child could benefit more from my sister’s attention  
 20%  [ 10 ]
Not let my sister spend any one in one time with favored dc  
 16%  [ 8 ]
Total Votes : 50


amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Apr 02 2021, 3:26 pm
amother [ Blue ] wrote:
Um, aunts do get to have a special kesher to one kid, especially if their are lots of aunts. My favorite nephew is the snuggly one. My DHs is the one with tons of personality, my brother favorites the one who is a serious academic and really a Talmud Chacham. Why can’t you be closer with the one you relate to? Should you have no relationship with anybody? You need to be even handed with birthday gifts and treats, but we all have people we connect to better than others. My sister and my shopping/popular DD click and my dad is closest with my DD who is a tremendous baalat chessed. My mom relates to the one who enjoys baking.


By special kesher do you mean that they have some kesher with other family members? My sister wants to spend 0 time with older dd..thats no kesher.
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Apr 02 2021, 3:29 pm
amother [ Green ] wrote:
It's not always so special to be favored. Look carefully that the child isn't being spoiled excessively and made to feel superior to their siblings. make sure the one doing the favoring isn't grooming the child to question your authority as a parent. From my experience the ones that favor excessively don't usually end up having a very healthy dynamic in many of their relationships.
can you elaborate or give examples, my guy suspected an unhealthy connection with the favored child, but I had nothing to put my finger.
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amother




Lime
 

Post Fri, Apr 02 2021, 3:33 pm
You don’t have to pathologize it to put an end to it if you dont like it- your house your rules
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amother




Green
 

Post Fri, Apr 02 2021, 3:38 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
can you elaborate or give examples, my guy suspected an unhealthy connection with the favored child, but I had nothing to put my finger.


1. Child is overly emotionally dependent on that family member.

2. Child starts to defy your authority because family member told them they don't have to listen to you

3. Child acts superior to others in family because they know they are favored by that family member

4. Child is devastated when that family member leaves

I have more examples but those are off the top of my head.

It's one thing to favor a child and entirely another to only offer affection and special treats to them.
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notshanarishona




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Apr 02 2021, 3:49 pm
Personally I would stop it. I don’t think it’s healthy for family dynamics for only one child to get that type of individualized attention if the others won’t get such opportunities. It probably causes more trouble than it’s worth
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amother




Lime
 

Post Fri, Apr 02 2021, 3:51 pm
If everyone has to do and get everything the same then no one ends up getting anything
That said we all know our situations best and can decide accordingly
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Apr 02 2021, 4:41 pm
I added a poll
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professor




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Apr 02 2021, 4:52 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
oldest dd will be home when my sister wants to take favored dd to the class. Also even if she would be in school oldest dd would find out and put two and two together (favored dd mention time with the aunt, oldest dd see a picture of favored dd with the aunt, extended family talk about time aunt and favored child did such and such). She is very observant.

If it were just iff balance and she spent 70% with favored dc and 30% with oldest dc, then that would be more disguisable . But she wants to spend 100% of time with favored dc.

The way I see it it would only work if oldest dd has her own equal activity that happens to be with someone else. An activity/person she prefers over whatever my sister is doing with favored dc.

Maybe I am thinking too hard about it and should just stop it at the one activity( which was conveniently balancing and activity that oldest dd was going to do anyway).

I guess I fear my sister will not understand and it would turn into some kind of drama or negative feeling towards us. But I’d rather it be that way than sibling rivalry.


No, you are not thinking too hard, this is very strange. I assumed you were talking about 70% to 30% which from an aunt to a younger, more friendly child makes sense. This 100% to 0% it totally not OK.

I would never say no to a class paid by a sibling for my child and help taking child to class, but this? This is just very strange.
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Just One




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Apr 02 2021, 5:56 pm
A healthy adult does not act this way. Yes she may enjoy spending more time with one over the other but blatant favoritism like this cannot be coming from a healthy place. What would happen if you were to tell her the issues her favoritism is causing? Would she be inclined to put more effort into showing affection to her older niece (even if just in action)? If she doesn't have the emotional maturity to do that I would prefer for the younger child not to get too closely enmeshed with her anyways, regardless of the older sister's reaction.

P.s. What you suggested as a solution -larger family gathering with younger daughter and Aunt going off on their own- sounded a bit strange and somewhat alarming. Why the need for this totally private one on one time? From the little you've shared it seems like an unhealthy dynamic.
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Apr 02 2021, 6:03 pm
Can a mod add a poll option :

“Not let my sister spend any one in one time with favored dc”

[Done. You can do edit your poll yourself by editing your op. Always leave a blank option after your poll - for some reason, the poll deletes the last option. Note that you already have many responses by the time I added this option, and people who already voted might have chosen this option instead but cannot change their vote. - mod]
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amother




Lime
 

Post Fri, Apr 02 2021, 6:08 pm
Is this your younger sister? Is it possible the two of you are subconsciously playing out dynamics of your own childhood relationship experience and dynamics? If so then that can be the reason for it being so charged for you and her as well.
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Apr 02 2021, 6:16 pm
Just One wrote:
A healthy adult does not act this way. Yes she may enjoy spending more time with one over the other but blatant favoritism like this cannot be coming from a healthy place. What would happen if you were to tell her the issues her favoritism is causing? Would she be inclined to put more effort into showing affection to her older niece (even if just in action)? If she doesn't have the emotional maturity to do that I would prefer for the younger child not to get too closely enmeshed with her anyways, regardless of the older sister's reaction.

P.s. What you suggested as a solution -larger family gathering with younger daughter and Aunt going off on their own- sounded a bit strange and somewhat alarming. Why the need for this totally private one on one time? From the little you've shared it seems like an unhealthy dynamic.


We did tell her that her behavior was negatively impacting oldest dd. She responded by explaining she enjoys spending time with favored dear daughter, and oldest dear child it hard for her, and she just wants to spend time with her, and she doesn’t really want to feel forced to spend time with oldest dd.

She also mentioned that we used to intervene with the relationship between her and oldest dd and now she has negative feelings with dd, but I dont think she realized that we intervened, because she was displaying blatant favoritism or negative emotions or immature reactions to oldest dd. Die to this we don't want her to spend unsupervised time with oldest dd anyway.

Favored dc does not exhibit any unhealthy dependency (yet) as the other poster suggested, but I wonder about my sister being dependent on favored dc. ( From my perspective it sort of seems a little like she is using favored dc as a service therapy dog.) but I have no basis for this, besides observing my sister give her unusually long hugs/cuddles and knowing she recently went on meds (I think for depression).
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Apr 02 2021, 6:20 pm
amother [ Lime ] wrote:
Is this your younger sister? Is it possible the two of you are subconsciously playing out dynamics of your own childhood relationship experience and dynamics? If so then that can be the reason for it being so charged for you and her as well.
she is quite younger, could you elaborate Or give an example. Note for this reference we have an autistic sister that got a lot of attention. Also unbalance (bit more like 70/30) and I know my sister was felt she had to fight for attention. Their relationship is complicated close and at the same time distant. Favored child is not autistic, but is simple and easy going.
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ra_mom




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Apr 02 2021, 6:40 pm
Sorry, DC2 is not available without DC1. End of discussion. I wouldn't even allow that 1 class.
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amother




Aqua
 

Post Fri, Apr 02 2021, 6:44 pm
Her responses sound concerning to me. I wouldn't want her spending so much alone time with any of my kids. Why does an aunt have to spend that much time with kids anyway? She can come over and hang out in your house where you can observe her. The whole situation seems very off and has a lot of red flags.
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ra_mom




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Apr 02 2021, 6:44 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
What if we tried to schedule outings with all the extended family. Maybe my sister could sneek off with favored daughter while oldest dd would presumably welcome the attention offered by a different adult that misses her and will shower her with attention. I worry though that my sister would be still be too obvious if my older dd approaches her (be cold).

Why would she sneak off? What are they doing? How old is aunt, and how old is this younger dd?
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amother




Lime
 

Post Fri, Apr 02 2021, 7:55 pm
Think op means “sneak off” as in making it so older Dd does not notice
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amother




Seashell
 

Post Sat, Apr 03 2021, 1:53 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
My sister for some reason show obvious favoritism to one child, only wants to spend time with one child. Our older daughter noticed right away and kept asking why, so We brought it to her attention thinking that maybe she wasn't aware. But she admits she only wants to spend time with one child even after we told her it is negatively effecting oldest daughter (caused jealousy and hate). She asked to take favored child to dance class, And I allowed because oldest dd would still be in school by the time she got back and I was going to sign up oldest dd for a different class anyway. Now she wants to do more activities with the favored child. What should I do or how do approach it? I feel like I should just stop it where it is and not allow any more special attention.

Update: I have tried balancing by giving oldest dd more special attention but apparently failed because at the time oldest dd started expressing hate and not wanting anything to do with favored child. After several months of hard work (and a natural covid separation from sister) they are a loving pair now.

It depends if this is good for your DC and other kids.

I have a DC who would benefit from special attention from certain people. During that time I would be more available to give attention to my other children, who have lost out from this child's misbehavior. Attention from the people I am thinking of would help this DC feel less like they are the only one with certain trauma and experiences and help give that DC a role model for handling those difficulties. We could easily make up that attention and ask the person to give a token amount of attention to the others. But mostly it would benefit the entire family to have DC receive that special attention. So yes I would allow it and even encourage it.

I would even explain to the others that this is helping DC and look, it frees us up to spend more time, quiet quality time, with you. Isn't that great? Isn't it worth it? We are getting just what you wanted.

But this really depends on what's good for YOUR family.

EDIT: Just read the whole thread and it doesn't sound like this is going to benefit anyone but your favored DD, and maybe not even her, because favored kids sometimes suffer for their positions. So I would probably put a stop to it in your case, or find a way to severely limit it.

I'm leaving my original comment up because maybe it'll be useful for someone other than OP, sometime in the future.
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Iymnok




 
 
 
 

Post Sat, Apr 03 2021, 3:13 pm
It sees that when she spends time with DD2 then both girls don’t get along. Their relationship comes first. If the outing enhances their relationship, give it a go. If it won’t, it’s nixed.
They are out of your watch for a long time, you don’t want your daughter groomed for an unhealthy relationship.
I’d be devastated if my little sister favored one of my children over another. Right now they all adore her.
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ora_43




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Apr 04 2021, 6:21 am
Just One wrote:
A healthy adult does not act this way. Yes she may enjoy spending more time with one over the other but blatant favoritism like this cannot be coming from a healthy place. What would happen if you were to tell her the issues her favoritism is causing? Would she be inclined to put more effort into showing affection to her older niece (even if just in action)? If she doesn't have the emotional maturity to do that I would prefer for the younger child not to get too closely enmeshed with her anyways, regardless of the older sister's reaction.

This, 100%.

An adult who is an emotionally safe person for your kids would be concerned that she's hurting your older dd. Sure, it's natural to prefer one kid's company - but going from there to "so I'm just going to ignore the unfavorite completely" is the reaction of someone who either doesn't understand how kids think and feel, or worse, doesn't care.

And that lack of understanding/care is ultimately likely to hurt your younger kid too. Maybe she gets older and her mini-rejections of auntie's opinions get less cute, and she gets cut off. Maybe auntie leans on her too hard for emotional support. Who knows.

I don't mean to make your sister out to be some kind of emotional predator. I'm guessing she's just immature. But IMO, it's at a level where I wouldn't be encouraging an unsupervised connection with either of your kids at this point.

And even whole-family visits, only if she can keep her favoritism a bit less blatant. WADR to the aunt-niece bond, which is potentially amazing and important, the bond between your kids is even more important.
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