The trophy child is a porcelain doll who smiles in front of the camera.It is also the favorite within the siblings, the one who is bound to be the extension of this father or mother who aspires for their perfect child to satisfy his emotional needs, his fantasies or his unfulfilled desires. Although this is difficult to recognize in the family, preferential treatment between brothers and sisters exists and leaves a legacy.
We like to think that all families who have more than one child enjoy and love their children equally and without preferences. However, there are several studies that show us that this is not always the case. Preferential treatment in education exists, moreover,nearly 70% of parents admitted to having, at some point, shown a different treatment between their children.
"The best gift our parents can give us is this: believe in us."-Jim Valvano-
Doing it at a given time, whether because of the age or special needs of a child, is not punishable.The problem arises when this bias is excessive and constant.So when parents begin to give differential treatment to one of the children by glorifying him, shaping him and directing all their dreams, compliments and attention on him, then we are confronted with this phenomenon known as "the trophy child ".
The trophy child and the narcissistic families
The favorite child is not always the oldest or the youngest.Thus, many child psychology and family dynamics experts tell us that relationships between parents and children are not stable, they tend to change because of their own interaction, the age of the children and any other event.
The reason why a trophy child is erected and this preferential treatment suddenly develops is not always clear.Parents (or one of them) can be reflected in one of their children and not in others. They can also choose one of them for their physical characteristics or abilities or, simply, perceive that one of the children is more manageable. Anyway, we must be aware that this situation of favoritism is also not easy forthe trophy child.
This creature will understand very early that to obtain the positive consideration of his parents, he will have to repress his own desires and needs to coincide with this brilliant ideal, at this bar, sometimes too high, set by his parents.It is therefore common to orient the trophy child towards a certain number of objectives: to practice a sport, to play an instrument, to be a model, etc.
Moreover, we can generally perceive the existence of a narcissistic father or mother behind the trophy child. These are people who make this preferential education their greatest pleasure and their greatest obsession. These children are their daily emotional supply, a means of satisfying their frustrated desires and past unrealized goals, which the child trophy is forced to reach for them in the present.
The narcissistic father or mother will not be able to recognize that the child has his own needs, his own preferences, let alone that the rest of the brothers and sisters have been left behind. A complex situation that no child deserves to experience.
The trophy child and his brothers, children neglected identically
When a child is two years old, he begins to have a sense of identity and belonging.It is then that the first comparisons appear, when the"you have this and me no", "you can do this and I do not" … Jealousy already marks the battleground between brothers, and things intensify advantage when they notice that there is preferential treatment on the part of the parents.
All this leaves its mark from the youngest age.When a father chooses his trophy child and offers him emotional and material privileges, the rest of the siblings begin to develop problems of self-esteem and insecurity.Nevertheless, if they are able (as they grow up) to manage their own grudges, conflicting emotions, and poor quality of emotional bonding with their parents, the unprotected child will be able to become a confident adult. even.
However, it should be clarified again that the position of the trophy child is not easy either. This differential treatment of which he is the beneficiary has a high cost: the denial of his own life project, in many cases.In addition, it is common for this trophy child to develop immature character, low self-esteem and low tolerance for frustration.
To conclude,it is clear that this situation is neither easy for the over-valued child nor for the unprotected child.Both situations are the result of an inefficient, immature and, in many cases, narcissistic education. Education must be fair in every case, must be consistent, respectful and attentive to prevent one of our children from feeling out of place or feeling down.
We must remember thatour identity is also built from positive considerationthis look where we feel reflected and reinforced through love and affection without cracks or preferences.