Wonder by RJ Palacio …a review and an analysis on the favoured child

I’m not a fan of character driven books but this book just made me go all aww over it
This book is just beautiful

This is such a sweet and powerful story of a boy called August. He isn’t any different from any of us – his heart, his soul. But his face – yes, that is different.

A ten year old boy auggie,who has severe facial deformation due to a genetic disorder and has undergone years of treatment and many surgeries and is starting proper school for the first time and as we all know it kids can be very mean sometimes. But he is so strong – coping with operations and bullies and everything with so much love it’s moving.

Also we also see auggie’s story from other people’s eyes and dive deep into his life and the life of people around him – how they have changed and developed through knowing him.

My favourite eyes were of his sister Via,who is a teenager and going through all the teenage stuff herself.

Here Olivia learns to adjust to her parents preferring Augusts needs over her’s. At a very young age she realises that whatever she is going through will always be less painful than auggie’s problems.

But at times we see her breaking ,teenage girl going through highschool,loosing friends may not be as bad as auggie’s genetic disorders but still it does bother Olivia but she is resistant to share her problems with the parents

Ever since I read this book I felt like many times in real life also we see around us and feel that one sibling is being favoured, that does not necessarily means one child is loved more than others but may be more attention.

So how does it actually effect and shape a person’s life?

I did some research and here are some facts

  • Affect favoured or both?

Though I feel giving one child more attention does not necessarily means more love but the study, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, revealed that these possible outcomes can affect both the favored and unfavored child.

  • Younger or elder

Also the elder and younger siblings react differently to the situation.

Specifically, Brigham Young University’s Alex Jensen found that favouritism is linked more to younger siblings’ parent-child relationships than with the older siblings’.

If the younger sibling feels like they’re the favourite, and the parents agree, their relationship is strengthened. If they don’t feel like the favourite and the parents agree with that, the opposite happens. Surprisingly with older siblings, whether they feel favoured or not, it has no major impact on the relationship.

  • Perception is everything

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re the chosen child or not, the perception of unequal treatment has damaging effects for all siblings,” explains Dr. Karl Pillemer, Ph.D., director of the Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging and one of the authors of the article.

  • “The less favored kids may have ill will toward their mother or preferred sibling, and being the favored child brings resentment from one’s siblings and the added weight of greater parental expectations.
  • Some positives

Long-term effects of being the favored child are not all negative. Ellen Weber Libby, Ph.D. asserts that there are, in fact, lots of advantages – including a bolstered self-esteem.

“The favorite child often grows up feeling confident and powerful with an attitude of ‘I can get things done,’” says Dr. Libby, author of The Favorite Child: How a Favorite Impacts Every Family Member for Life.

Dr. Libby points out that every American president since Franklin D. Roosevelt has been the favorite child.

  • Some Negatives

On the flip side, in the long-term, favorite children may struggle with intimate relationships when they find that no one can possibly love them as much as the parent who favored them.
“They’re more likely to be depressed because they spent so much of their lives trying to court parental favor that they may not have developed their own personality,” Dr. Libby says.
“Likewise, the overlooked child, who didn’t have to do the ‘pleasing dance,’ may have been free to experience the things he or she wanted to experience and to be the person he or she wanted to be. On the other end of the extreme is the unfavored child, who is often on the receiving end of the parent’s anger.”

*The unfavored child

The unfavored child perhaps stands to suffer the most – even long after he or she has left home whether it be through depression, weakened self-esteem or a chronic need to feel special.
In many cases, sibling relationships are strained as resentment from favoritism breeds.
“I see patients who, even well into their 50s, carry feelings about being the favored or unfavored child,” Dr. Libby says. “I have a patient in his 60s whose mom is still alive. He still feels slighted when his elderly mom needs something and turns to his sister. He still wants to be seen as special to his mother.”

Long term

Dr. Brenda Volling, director and research professor at the University of Michigan’s Center for Human Growth and Development, studies sibling relationships and knows all too well the devastating effects that can result from sibling relationships gone wrong particularly due to parental favoritism.
“When you’re young, you have to live in the same household,” she says. “When kids have grown and left the house, you’ll see a lot of instances where siblings avoid each other to the point where they haven’t talked in five years.
“The relationship can be that strained. And when parents get older, sibling rivalries don’t necessarily end. They often rear their ugly heads again.”

Published by drficticity

A twenty something girl who loves to read and talk about books & Stories and ideas

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