Summary List Placement
On Sunday, Beyoncé made history by becoming the Grammy’s most decorated female artist of all-time. During her acceptance speech, she momentarily acknowledged only one of her daughters, Blue Ivy — who also made history as the second youngest person to win a Grammy, ever — but quickly followed up mentioning all of her “babies.” This innocent oversight made the multi-talented icon relatable to all the moms out there.
“It just made me love her more as a person because she struggles with the same things that I struggle,” Leah Segedie, a mother of three boys based in Los Angeles and editor-in-chief of mom blog Mamavation, told Insider.
41-year-old Segedie has some forgetful moments, too. She regularly calls her sons the wrong name.
“If it’s James, I’ll call them Luke or Stephen,” she said.
Genevieve Von Lob, a clinical psychologist and author of Happy Parent, Happy Child: 10-Steps to Stress-free Family Life, said making Grammy history was an overwhelming, emotional moment for Beyoncé, and it’s tough to be on point when you’re put on the spot.
Von Lob also acknowledged that it’s natural for moms to prefer one child over the other, though, “It’s something people don’t want to admit,” she said.
In fact, Von Lob said parents favoring one child is something she sees in her own practice.
Segedie’s favorite child depends on the hour of the day. When it’s time to do dishes, her middle child is the favorite because he’s organized and gets the job done. When it’s time to snuggle, her youngest son is the favorite.
First step: acknowledge you have a favorite child
Von Lob said rather than denying that you have a favorite child, name it, and be conscious of the preference. That way, you can readjust your behavior, and treat your children equally.
Moms tend to favor a child who is more easygoing or has similar interests. But children that are strong-willed and defiant tend to give parents a harder time, according to von Lob. But these stubborn kids also have upsides. “You have to sort of work a bit harder to see their gifts and their positive qualities,” she said. Adding that kids with these attributes can grow up to be dynamic, thoughtful leaders.
Von Lob recommends spending more one-on-one time with the kid you don’t normally gravitate towards, but don’t reveal your preferences to them. Save that conversation for your partner, friend, or therapist.
If your kid notices your preference and calls you out, make sure to validate their feelings and assure them that you love all your kids unconditionally.
When your kid isn’t the center of attention, validate their feelings
Segedie said it’s inevitable that one kid will shine over another, and when another kid isn’t the center of attention, it’s important to validate their feelings. She also said kids coping with not being the favorite kid at all times is good preparation for adulthood.
“If you don’t have a situation where they have to deal with those weird feelings, how are they going to deal with those weird feelings as an adult?” Segedie said.
Von Lob said if you do have a favorite child, it’s important not to beat yourself up over it. There’s so much pressure to be a perfect mom and the most important thing you can do is to be kind to yourself because mistakes will happen.
“We’ve got to lower expectations of ourselves to be these perfect moms who are always lovely and kind and nice. It’s not realistic, or it’s just not how it is.”
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