If you have more than one child, you’ll really appreciate and understand how different two kids can be – but one mum has been left feeling like a bad parent as she’s closer to one than the other
Some parents claim that they don’t have a favourite child and that they love their kids equally, which is most likely true – but what happens when you genuinely have a better relationship with one child than the other?
You’d probably feel really guilty and confused, and want to know how to strengthen your relationship with the child who you may not see eye to eye with.
One mum took to Mumsnet with that exact dilemma – she has a daughter and a son but claims her son seems closed off.
She desperately wanted to know whether this was normal and how to cope with the situation when both her children are so different.
She wrote: “I have a son who is 17 and a daughter who’s 15, both very different personalities but they get on well. I obviously love them both the same and have tried to treat them both the same over the years.
“Daughter is very sociable. She actively comes to me, joins in with whatever I’m doing, loves filling me in on drama with her friends, what’s going on at school etc.
“Son tells me NOTHING. Every day I ask him how college was, what’s your friends up to, etc. I generally get a reply of either ‘fine’ or ‘boring’ before he walks off and shuts himself in his room.
Get the news you want straight to your inbox. Sign up for a Mirror newsletter here
“We eat together as a family when we can. He never contributes to conversation or asks anyone anything unless someone talks to him, then he gives the minimum reply. He can’t wait to leave the table.
“I genuinely feel like he thinks everything I say is a form of nagging him, and as he doesn’t talk about anything I often feel all I do IS nag him ie. asking for help with something, asking if he’s done everything for college and so on.
“Subsequently I feel like I know everything about daughter and nothing about son and it makes me so sad and guilty because I love him so much. I’m worried that he’s going to leave home one day and I’ll never hear from him.
“I really try to be a good mum. We drive him everywhere, encourage his hobbies, let his friends stay whenever they want etc. but just get no information from him in return.
“Don’t know why I’m posting this but I feel particularly sad about it today.”
Many mums commented on the thread to offer their support for the woman, saying that they were in similar situations and it’s just something she’ll have to ride out.
One said: “Sounds like most teenage boys. Don’t force it – just let him know that you’re always there for him.”
Another wrote: “I think you need to accept that people have different personalities and ways of communicating.
“You seem to almost be taking this really as a personal attack against you, but it could simply be that your son is the type of personality who enjoys his own company, is very private and does not feel the need to chit-chat…
“I am a happy introvert and I can’t think of anything more boring than having endless chit-chats about my day or gossiping about who did what all the time.
“As long as your son is happy and has a full life, that’s all that matters.”
People were also quick to tell the frustrated mum not to worry because many teenage boys are similar.
“I think a lot of teenagers (maybe more so boys) are the same, please don’t worry or take it personally. He knows you love him and he can talk to you if he needs to.
“All you can do is be there for him and keep the lines of communication open. The teenage years can be tough to navigate for teens and parents”, one advised.
Someone even said that they were like her son as a child and he may just be introverted.
They wrote: “I was somewhat like this as a kid. I loved my own company and would stay in my room and read or listen to music, or do whatever. Sometimes I just needed to be away from my family, especially if I had a lot on my mind.
“But I’m a serious introvert, so after being around my parents and sister I would need a break from them. I didn’t really have too many friends and no boyfriend so I was usually in my room. My sister on the other hand hated to be alone and was glued to my parents most of the time.”
Do you have a parenting story to share? We want to hear all about it. Email us at email@example.com