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Here's my tip: recognise your own biases. A teenager I know (son of close friends) told me recently that I am the only adult who listens to him when he talks. After a bit of analysis I realised something interesting. His mother is the oldest child in her family and she blatantly favours her youngest child. His father is the baby of his family and he favours the oldest child (in the sense that she orders him about and he generally accepts it). The child who spends a lot of time at my house is the middle child and is MY (secret) favourite! Why? You probably guessed it - I'm also a middle child, and I totally sympathise with his concerns with his younger brother and older sister. Once I recognised this I realised I had to be really careful to be objective in dealing with all three kids, so that my biases don't turn into favouritism.

Sibling order is just one kind of bias. There's also things like boys and girls being treated differently, or natural kids being treated better or worse than step-kids. If we don't observe our own behaviour and think about the reasons behind it, we'll always be inconsistent in our treatment of childen.

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