How to be hard up and happy: Avoiding the curse of the black sheep

Columnist Amy Kelly.

Columnist Amy Kelly.

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Favouritism. It’s one of the biggest causes of family feuds since Cain killed Abel, all because he thought God loved him more. So how do you manage to keep all your children happy and feeling as loved as the next?

I know of many families that have been torn apart by favouritism and don’t get me started on the phrase ‘black sheep’.

The black sheep syndrome is responsible for so much damage

Amy Kelly

It spreads like a disease throughout the generations ruining more lives through resentment and bitterness.

I have witnessed this many a time where one, or two, of the children have been treated blatantly better than the other.

It’s terrible to see somebody grow up thinking they’re better than someone else because their parents put them on a pedestal or, indeed, seeing someone with such low self-esteem they think they are worthless.

The ‘black sheep’ syndrome is responsible for so much damage.

Being a mum and step-mum to five children, I know more than most how hard this can be, especially now my husband and I have had our first child together. This instantly gives him the ‘golden child’ status in the other children’s eyes.

One thing my step-daughter loves about my house is they are all treated the same.

So how do I manage to make them all feel as special as the next?

Well it’s easy really, I take what’s unique about them and turn it into their speciality. I say to Olivia she is my ‘favourite’ eldest daughter, Lula is my ‘favourite’ step-daughter, Neve is my ‘favourite’ youngest daughter, Archie is my ‘favourite’ step-son and Chase is my ‘favourite’ son.

We also love to tell them... they all do our heads in equally!