Now I get it.
While I may have had a child I enjoyed playing with more than the other, both of my boys would never say I ‘loved’ the other more or less.
Today, my eldest showed me how kids understand when you play favorites.
Zacharie has been talking back to our nanny (M) lately. She’s concerned about it, as are we. We’ve expressed that when we are not home, the nanny is the boss. I’ve asked the nanny to be stern in her direction of the boys, realizing that a rather lax approach is what resulted in our son hanging himself under our first nanny’s care.
Still, whenever she asks Zacharie to do something, he resists and talks back.
“Once I was riding my bike and I fell and M doesn’t even care about the bruise. She loves Charlie more. Even when Charlie hits me, she always yells at me and cozies Charlie,” he said tonight when I asked about his day and relationship with M.
We’ve noticed it, and asked her to stop, and have asked him to listen and to do what he’s told. Still, whenever we come home at the end of the day, it’s always Zacharie that did something wrong, and concerns about Zacharie. And he feels it.
The story, as we understand it, is that Z (only in day 3 of riding without training wheels) lost control at the park and almost hit a girl. For this he was scolded. If it was my wife or I, a sincere apology to the parent would have been happened and a small chat about making sure you’re careful when riding your bike with Z.
When someone who is not emotionally invested in the child is involved, it turns into a scold. And it gets even worse when all the nannies sit at the park and gossip. You wouldn’t dare tell another mom how to raise her kid. Sure, you might gossip about some other neighborhood terror behind their back, but never to their face. With the nannies, they tell gossip about the kids they’re raising—to their face.
“He really shouldn’t be talking back to you,” one nanny told our M. Sure, she’s right, but that sort of gossip is just making things worse. It emphasizes M’s thinking that Zacharie is the problem, and she continues to treat him as such. It’s a fault of both sides, one that was started when our oldest didn’t feel as loved or as appreciated as his younger brother.
So, internet, I get what it means to ‘have a favorite’ and to treat that favorite child with a favored approach. That’s nothing I’ve ever done with my son, and I’m pretty ticked someone else has brought that poison to our house.