Playing favourites


By: Natasha Archary 

The holidays, when families come together and spend what seems like eons of time bonding. All well and good while everyone is getting along but it’s family and there’s bound to be some drama one way or another. Afterall, what would the holidays be without some?

Family favouritism can be somewhat of a dampener to the mood over the festivities.

Grandparents, uncles, aunts and yes, even parents are prone to favouring one child over another, which can often lead to resentment and risk ruining the vibe during the holiday season. It’s easy to overlook the signs of favouritism in a family dynamic because one would not readily admit to it. Or you may just choose to keep the peace by ignoring the telltale signs, than to call a member of your family out on their deliberate indifference towards child 1 vs child 2 or vice versa.

The principle of favouritism is a tricky slope of denial and complete obliviousness but it happens and it may seem trivial to point this out until it’s all tears and tantrums because an older sibling received a more extravagant Christmas gift from gogo. However, material signs are not the only clues that favouritism may be at play.


3 Tips for handling favouritism


It’s important for family members to each understand how to speak, treat and interact with children when you are all together. If you suspect that your parents, in-laws, brothers or sisters are guilty of playing favourites, you should stand up to them and bring their actions to their attention.

Describe as best you can how this makes your child feel and try to find solutions together. Explain that it is in your child’s best interests to learn that everyone gets treated equally – same gifts for each child or same price range for gifts with each child, discipline, praise etc – that the rules applies to every child, no exceptions.

No grandparent sets out to deliberately hurt their grandchildren, atleast none whom are caring and thoughtful so it could just be that they are unaware of their actions and bringing it to their attention should remedy the situation.


It’s important to validate your child’s feelings. Children as young as three are able to pick up that grandma spends more time cuddling their older cousin. Remind them that they are not measured by someone’s actions but rather what they give of themselves. Teach them to forgive the flaws in others and stress that it should not define who they are. Where there’s an obvious discrepancy in treatment, explain that grandma and grandpa loves all their grandchildren equally. And when grandchild 1 goes to Private School because grandma spent a fortune of her savings securing her place then you will have to find a better excuse.


Despite the chats with your relatives and children, prepare yourself for a repeat in pattern when it comes to favouritism. Something there is nothing you can do to change behaviour but you can instil in your children the ability to be thankful, gracious and immaterialistic in this cruel, cold world.

It’s natural for the first grandchild/niece/nephew to be treated with undivided adoration and love from all parties concerned. Doting grandparents devote unlimited time and affection to their newest addition. Grandchildren have a way of wrapping grandparents around their tiny, chubby fingers. Many grandparents carry around little brag books and most are unrecognisable to their own children, who may have grown up under stricter conditions. Grandparents tend to spoil and limit the rules when it comes to their grandkids. But what happens when the novelty of the first grandchild wears off?

Grandchild 2, 3, 4 and 5 have joined the expanding brood and you wonder how your mom and dad can juggle all 6 so effortlessly on their knees. You’re in awe of your parents’/in-laws’ ability to love your children and their many other grandchildren with seemingly equal flourish until…

You start to notice that the picture frames that once housed your childs’ photos are now holding the newest additions pictures, grandparents are always babysitting the oldest grandkids, your older siblings’ kids seem to do no wrong in the eyes of your parents, your mother-in-law seems to only talk about your nieces and nephews in a praise worthy tone all while your child is in earshot.

Doesn’t seem quite so trivial anymore does it? Favouritism in any form can have long term effects on a child. Self-esteem, confidence, emotional stability, security, relationship building it’s a very touchy path to tread but one you should consider if you want to avoid hurting little feelings. Granted it may not always be easy for family to treat each child equally – geographic implications for example could be a factor – but this doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t try!

Children have an innocence in them that cannot be described and it is this profound trait that one should try to protect as best they can. Often, favouritism hurts mom more than it does the child but this doesn’t mean it should be dismissed. What about parents who play favourites? Well perhaps that’s a topic for another day.







    Don’t miss out on the latest local news, interviews and competitions.

    Don’t miss out on the latest local news, interviews and competitions.

    More Articles
    Receive the latest news

    Subscribe To Our Newsletter



    Copyright Notice


    1.1 The contents of this Website, including but not limited to its compilation and arrangement, is the exclusive property of Kaya 959, alternatively the suppliers of content to Kaya 959, and accordingly remain protected by South African and International Copyright and Trademark laws.

    1.2 Any person accessing this Website, may not, save for downloading one copy for their personal computers and solely for their private and non-commercial use :

    1.2.1 Copy, disseminate, distribute, advertise, publish, adapt, modify or in any way reproduce the contents of this website for commercial purposes, unless this notice and any disclaimer attached thereto is published in its entirety, or unless the permission of Kaya 959 is obtained in writing.

    Competition Terms and Conditions

    • The competitions are open to all persons over the age of 18 years; except directors, partners, employees, agents, service providers, and consultants of Kaya 959, the sponsor and all its subsidiaries and its holding company, if any, as well as all spouses, life partners, parents, children, siblings, business partners and associates of such persons.

    • The outcome of the competition is subject to the decision of the judge/presenter, whose decision is final and no negotiation will be entered into thereafter. Neither Kaya 959, sponsors nor their agents will be held responsible or answerable to any dispute arising from the competition or prize awards.

    • Participants/listeners enter or take part in competitions at their own risk and Kaya 959 bears no responsibility for any loss, damage or harm suffered as a result of participation in any of Kaya 959 competition.

    • One listener is entitled to winning one prize in a period of 3 months. Kaya 959 reserves the right not to award a prize if the listener has won a prize prior during the 3 month window period. This also applies to listeners who provide family or friend’s contact details.

    • Kaya 959 reserves the right to redistribute all unclaimed prizes if not claimed after 3 months after being given away On Air or on the website.

    • Prizes are not transferable and may not be exchanged for cash.

    • Finalists will forfeit their participation in the competition if they fail to attend the draws.

    • The competition will run during the period advertised on Kaya 959; entries received outside of the competition period will not be considered for the competition draw.

    • Kaya 959 and their sponsors reserve the right to cancel, modify or amend the competition at any time if deemed necessary in their opinion, or if circumstances arise outside of their control.

    • By entering the competition, entrants agree to accept these rules and to be bound by them.

    Privacy Policy


    POPIA ActTo promote the protection of personal information processed by public and private bodies; to introduce certain conditions so as to establish minimum requirements for the processing of personal information; to provide for the establishment of an Information Regulator to exercise certain powers and to perform certain duties and functions in terms of this Act and the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000; to provide for the issuing of codes of conduct; to provide for the rights of persons regarding unsolicited electronic communications and automated decision making; to regulate the flow of personal information across the borders of the Republic; and to provide for matters connected therewith.


    • section 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, provides that everyone has the right to privacy;
    • the right to privacy includes a right to protection against the unlawful collection, retention, dissemination and use of personal information;
    • the State must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights;


    • consonant with the constitutional values of democracy and openness, the need for economic and social progress, within the framework of the information society, requires the removal of unnecessary impediments to the free flow of information, including personal information;


    • regulate, in harmony with international standards, the processing of personal information by public and private bodies in a manner that gives effect to the right to privacy subject to justifiable limitations that are aimed at protecting other rights and important interests,
    1. Definitions and Interpretation

    1.1.“Personal Information” means information relating to an identifiable, living, natural person and where it is applicable, identifiable, existing juristic person, including all information as defined in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013. 

    1.2  Parliament assented to POPIA on 19 November 2013. The commencement date of section 1Part A of Chapter 5section 112 and section 113 was 11 April 2014. The commencement date of the other sections was 1 July 2020 (with the exception of section 110 and 114(4). The President of South Africa has proclaimed the POPI commencement date to be 1 July 2020.

    1.3. “Processing” means the creation, generation, communication, storage, destruction of personal information as more fully defined in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013.  

    1.4. “You” or the “user” means any person who accesses and browses this website for any purpose. 

    1.4. “Website” means the website of the KAYA 959 at URL www.kaya959.co.za or such other URL as KAYA 959 may choose from time to time.   

    1. Status and Amendments

    2.1. KAYA 959 respects your privacy. This privacy policy statement sets out KAYA 959’s information gathering and dissemination practices in respect of the Website. 

    2.2. This Privacy Policy governs the processing of personal information provided to KAYA 959 through your use of the Website. 

    2.3. Please note that, due to legal and other developments, KAYA 959 may amend these terms and conditions from time to time.  

    1. Processing of Personal Information

    3.1. By providing your personal information to KAYA 959 you acknowledge that it has been collected directly from you and consent to its processing by KAYA 959. 

    3.2. Where you submit Personal Information (such as name, address, telephone number and email address) via the website (e.g. through completing any online form) the following principles are observed in the processing of that information: 

    3.2.1. KAYA 959 will only collect personal information for a purpose consistent with the purpose for which it is required. The specific purpose for which information is 
    collected will be apparent from the context in which it is requested. 

    3.2.2. KAYA 959 will only process personal information in a manner that is adequate, relevant and not excessive in the context of the purpose for which it is processed. 

    3.2.3. Personal information will only be processed for a purpose compatible with that for which it was collected, unless you have agreed to an alternative purpose in writing or KAYA 959 is permitted in terms of national legislation of general application dealing primarily with the protection of personal information. 

    3.2.4. KAYA 959 will keep records of all personal Information collected and the specific purpose for which it was collected for a period of 1 (one) year from the date on which it was last used. 

    3.2.5. KAYA 959 will not disclose any personal information relating to you to any third party unless your prior written agreement is obtained or KAYA 959 is required to do so by law. 

    3.2.6. If personal information is released with your consent KAYA 959 will retain a record of the information released, the third party to which it was released, the reason for the release and the date of release, for a period of 1 (one) year from the date on which it was last used. 

    3.2.7. KAYA 959 will destroy or delete any personal information that is no longer needed by KAYA 959 for the purpose it was initially collected, or subsequently processed. 

    3.3. Note that, as permitted by the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002, KAYA 959 may use personal information collected to compile profiles for statistical purposes. No information contained in the profiles or statistics will be able to be linked to any specific user.    

    1. Collection of anonymous data

    4.1. KAYA 959 may use standard technology to collect information about the use of this website. This technology is not able to identify individual users but simply allows KAYA 959 to collect statistics. 

    4.2. KAYA 959 may utilise temporary or session cookies to keep track of users’ browsing habits. A cookie is a small file that is placed on your hard drive in order to keep a record of your interaction with this website and facilitate user convenience. 

    4.2.1. Cookies by themselves will not be used to identify users personally but may be used to compile identified statistics relating to use of services offered or to provide KAYA 959 with feedback on the performance of this website. 

    4.2.2. The following classes of information may be collected in respect of users who have enabled cookies: The browser software used; IP address; Date and time of activities while visiting the website; URLs of internal pages visited; and referrers. 

    4.3. If you do not wish cookies to be employed to customize your interaction with this website it is possible to alter the manner in which your browser handles cookies. Please note that, if this is done, certain services on this website may not be available. 

    1. Security

    5.1. KAYA 959 takes reasonable measures to ensure the security and integrity of information submitted to or collected by this website, but cannot under any circumstances be held liable for any loss or other damage sustained by you as a result of unlawful access to or dissemination of any personal information by a third party. 

    1. Links to other websites

    6.1. KAYA 959 has no control over and accepts no responsibility for the privacy practices of any third party websites to which hyperlinks may have been provided and KAYA 959 strongly recommends that you review the privacy policy of any website you visit before using it further. 

    1. Queries

    7.1. If you have any queries about this privacy policy please contact us by emailing [email protected]