In every household, there was always a favorite even if mom didn’t like to admit it. However, what happens when this occurs in a toxic environment in the home? Does this explain the different views the children have of their parent? What happens when children don’t even realize that they are in a toxic environment?
Parents have the tendency of picking favorites. Psychology Today mentions Parental Differential Treatment, or PDT. It discusses how in a dysfunctional household picking favorites and treating a child differently in comparison to their siblings can deeply affect the mindset of both children. If one is being marginalized or picked on, their view of their parents will be different in comparison to the one who is favored and treated with more respect.
Normalize the experience
According to Psychology Today, children, in the beginning, might think that the way their parents are treating them is normal and that this treatment occurs in other households. However, children become conscious of their parents’ toxic behaviors, not because of childhood experience but their adult life. Some examples given by Psychology Today would be a theme of failed relationships, choosing partners who aren’t emotionally available and more. This happens when the adult is exposed to other families who have people who care and are kind. They come to the realization that the relationship they had with their parents was toxic.
However, children who face these issues realize that they are in an unhealthy environment. Psychology Today discussed how some would have the tendency to normalize the situation by using coping methods such as blaming yourself for being bad instead of believing that the treatment is wrong.
Adult sibling warfare
What happens when you must choose between a sibling and a parent. Psychology Today discussed how in some households, when an unloved child can’t take the emotional turmoil in the home, they redefine their relationship with their mother by challenging them. The child goes against the authority of a parent which threatens the mother’s ability to control. With this, the siblings would have to choose whom to be loyal to, their mother or their sibling.