Home » Ask the Therapist » Parenting » My Mother Seems to Favor My Siblings/Older Brother Over Me

My Mother Seems to Favor My Siblings/Older Brother Over Me

Asked by on with 1 answer:

It seems as if my Mom is always siding with my older brother, if he puts his feet up behind my head while I’m sitting on the couch, my mom tells me to move. She does this with all my siblings too, though. I have three younger siblings as well and no matter what they do she will defend them in every way, if one calls me a bad name, she will say they are going through something. Anyways, my brother is a year and a half older than me, he has had a few health problems in the past and my mother has really flocked to his side since then. (it’s obviously not his fault, I usually get along with him and I do love him.) He has recently started University which was really hard for my mom to deal with, he started the process last year and every step of the way she wanted to know how it was going with him and supported him whenever he was doubting himself. I have a lot of the same problems and struggles he went through, when I start to talk about University and how I’m stressed and worried about applying to my mom she just says “You’ll do fine.” Or “Don’t worry so much.” She doesn’t seem to really want to know how i’m doing or how i’m feeling. Whenever she gets mad about something, as well, I’m always the one she will scream at. I’ve gotten tired of it. If it’s not a big deal I’ll just take it, but sometimes I come home from school and I won’t be able to relax until I go to bed because she’ll start looking for fights and expects the most out of me. She treats me like a child and holds my siblings in favor (I feel), but expects me to act like an adult. If it’s a real problem I’ll stand up for myself and that’s when she’ll scream at me, my dad often gets involved because he knows I am not trying to pick fights with her, but I won’t take her disrespect if I have not done anything to deserve it. My siblings are never really yelled at. Anyways, sorry this is so long. I started to blurt out everything rather than stick with one issue.

My Mother Seems to Favor My Siblings/Older Brother Over Me

Answered by on -


From Canada. It is okay that you let all of this out here. I can appreciate how difficult it is not to be acknowledged in the face of your siblings getting preferential treatment. I would not keep going to a dry well. You mother either doesn’t know how — or can’t — see your needs. In either case you wanting something from her that isn’t forthcoming will continually annoy and drain you.

I’d put my emphasis on getting ready to leave next year for the university. Start looking to carve out a life of your own and find people who will notice and love your for who you are. While it is sad and unfortunate that your mom is this way — trying to change who she is won’t help as much as you investing in yourself.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

My Mother Seems to Favor My Siblings/Older Brother Over Me

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). My Mother Seems to Favor My Siblings/Older Brother Over Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 2 Nov 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.