I think parents favor, not necessarily the "ugly" child but rather the child that is not in sports or cheerleading or popular or gets straight A's on their report. So in my opinion it is later in life (when they're in middle school or high school) not when they're infants and preschoolers. I have two boys that are 6 and 3 1/2. Lucky for me I think they are both attractive so I haven't found myself favoring one over the other because of looks. And they are too young to see if I'd favor one because they were more popular than the other. Hopefully I will not do that.
My ex and I used to wonder how our second child (daughter) could possibly be as sweet as our first (son). Well lo and behold, two absolutely sweet children, imagine that. They are both fortunate in the looks department and they're both popular in school. My son was in special ed (yes even he called himself a "sped") and is now a sophomore in h.s. and in regular classes (well mostly, he's barely passing English right now) Kids used to tease him but fortunately he turned the situation around and gained respect by doing things like stapling his shoulder and getting into fights. My daughter on the otherhand is an honor student/athelete in eight grade. Sings in chorus and has already read more books than I have. I always treated them fairly and never showed any favoritism over either one. I think what works is no matter what don't ever show one more attention than the other. If anything ignore them both the same. Imagine what that does to a kid's self worth when you favor one over the other. Accentuate the positive to your kids. "So you probably won't be going to college, then. You're a very good artist. You can fix things like that old broken radio. I love you." Those last three words are the most important, don't stop hugging and smooching your kids. It really does work wonders for their selfesteem.
And selfesteem goes alot further than looks.
I think about this once in a while and it's not a big fear. I know that when my child smiles at me I will not care about how he or she looks. What I am more preoccupied about is my child's future brain power. I hope that our kid will love to learn as much as my husband and I. If he/she does not have a natural curiosity for life and knowledge I think I will be disappinted but will try to culture and encourage excellence in other areas.
Kalil Gibran writes about our children not being "ours" in the sense we can't make them who they'll be later in life. Granted we have A LOT of influence over them when they're young, but believe me once they start spending time with peers our influence holds less and less weight. As long as we stay consistent in our love, affection and support for what they turn out to be that's about all we can do.
It was a slap in the face (but a good slap) when I realized my kids really were their own individual persons. And that can be hard at times when your personalities and wills clash (much worse than at two yrs old) because now we're talking about driving and sleepovers instead of eating their strained carrots.
It was very hard for me to accept my son was not the brightest bulb in the pack and even harder to praise my brainiac daughter without hurting his feelings. I think as long as you acknowledge from the start they are going to be who they are going to be it will be that much easier to accept them equally on their own merits. I love my kids so much and am facinated by the whole process of them becomming people in their own right.
I can't wait to spoil the grandkids rotten.
Most of you parents are crazy and you say such negative things about your kids. What kind of people are your children going to be with such awful parents?
Take a lesson from sanity and tell yourselves: We are proud parents...everything is fine... Our kid(s) don’t need to be the image of ‘beauty’ or be ‘popular’ like everyone or ‘smart’ especially if they aren’t ‘beautiful’… that kind of mindset is wrong and damaging for our kid (s) to live up to…our kid(s) are perfect...just like my wife and I are and that’s how it should be.
This advice will help raise normal well-balanced children that aren’t slapped in the face of life’s cruelties especially during school years. Your kid(s) are perfect to you…they need you…friends matter too, but only the true ones that love you for who you are and not for who you are not. Try not to pick complements or developmental motivation based upon looks or educational abilities, find something that makes them unique and make them proud to achieve at that instead of stressing over popular things that don’t really matter.