I feel I treat my children unequally and love some more than others: What is the solution to this problem?

Question: My children are not the same in most of their qualities, and this makes me and those who are in contact with them love some of them more than the others. Sometimes, I feel remorse; what is the guilt of this child who receives less love and sympathy than the others just because of the difference in beauty and sweet-tonguedness? Would you please guide me to the right, because, as you know, this is a problem of many people?

The answer: There is no doubt that each child has a special position inside his parents’ hearts and also in the house, school, and society. It is because of the qualities each child has and his/her educational manners that parents and others differentiate. An only child has a different position from one who has siblings. Likewise does the only male child among some sisters. A clever child is often preferred to a dull one. But, when admiring a certain child, one should be fair in dealing with all. He should show love and kindness to all of his children equally; otherwise, unfairness causes envy of the pampered child. Hence, parents should be careful in dealing with their children to get balanced relations among all. And, in order to not wrong the clever child when he and the dull one are treated equally, you should make the dull one understand that your greater care for the clever one is just because of his qualifications and efforts and make him understand that when he himself makes an effort to improve himself, he will deserve more care too. The matter will be different if the difference between the children is natural. For example, if one of the children is handicapped from birth. In this case, the handicapped one should be treated with more care than the others due to the mercy that Islam has made incumbent upon us and in order to avoid the psychological effects that may affect the children.

Here, I must mention two necessities:

First, we must think of the punishment in the afterlife if we harm a child or deprive him of his rights that are obligatory on parents or those who are responsible for him to fulfill.

Second, we must think humanely towards a deprived child.

I hope that in the future we can learn how to keep ourselves safe from the remorse that stems from the bad education of our children and its negative effects.