Dear Therapist Within:
For years now, my dad has showed favortism to one of my younger sisters. In high school, I was involved in many activities such as student government, yearbook staff, dance, soccer manager and had a dancing role in one of the spring musicals. When the musical arrived, my dad had shown up but for only one of the four nights the show was playing. Two years later, my sister was involved in her class’s spring musical for the next three years. He went above and beyond to show his support. He invited family from out of town, took everyone to dinner prior, saw the show at least three out of the four nights, donated a lot of money and food, etc. His actions bothered me. Why did he show more support to my sister than me? Also, around the house I was expected to do more cleaning while he kept making excuses for my sister when she never helped. When she was 16, she was secretly having her boyfriend spend the night, who was 18. I had my boyfriend in my room one night to watch a movie. My older sister and I had told our dad about my younger sister’s boyfriend sleeping over and he said “he’d talk to her” about it. When it came up in a family meeting, she told my dad that she would see my boyfriend in my room “all the time.” My dad got angry with me and said if he found out my boyfriend was in my room again I’d have to “pay a fine.” As far as my sister goes, he’d “talk about her punishment with her.” Similar incidents have happened even years later. Anytime I’ve asked my dad why he favors her more than any of us kids, and he never has a real answer and seems to deny it or avoid the subject. Parents are not supposed to favor one over the other when it comes to their kids. What are some possible explanations for his favortism?
ANSWER: There are a number of reasons I can think of (and I might talk to my mother about it if I were you). But the simplest is usually the most accurate: aome parents are idiots. I guess the only lesson you can learn from this is that much of the time in life, other people’s behavior has nothing to do with you. Some people are just idiots. I am sorry that you have one of them.