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to think parents have a favourite child?

(147 Posts)
Carrierpenguin Tue 02-Dec-14 06:29:25

I was having this discussion with a friend. Most parents would claim to treat their children equally and not have favourites. However, I think most parents have a favourite child, it may be different for mum and dad. In daily life you have to make decisions over which child to attend to first, you may subconsciously nurture or cuddle one more than another etc.

Most of my friends have said that either they or one of their siblings was/is preferred by a parent, in my own experience I would say it was clear who my mum's favourite was and who my dad's was, but maybe this is clouding my judgement grin

Aibu to think parents have favourites and though they shouldn't show it, you can usually tell who it is?

FamiliesShareGerms Tue 02-Dec-14 06:33:45

YABU - attending to needs isn't based on favouritism hmm

pinkorange Tue 02-Dec-14 06:36:16

No only unless you are an awful parent. I really can't get my head around how anyone can have a favourite

MillionToOneChances Tue 02-Dec-14 06:36:36

I don't have favourites. I love my two children equally but in very different ways. They're very different people, with different needs. In some circumstances I would go to one first, in others the other. For some activities I'd rather be one to one with DD, for others with DS.

loudarts Tue 02-Dec-14 06:37:26

Yabu. I don't have a favourite

DarceyBustle Tue 02-Dec-14 06:40:59

Nope, and it is shocking that you have normalized truly awful parenting. Having discernible favorites is a terrible indictment on parents- including yours and the fact you are so glib about it is shocking.


Pelicangiraffe Tue 02-Dec-14 06:43:11

No I don't have a favourite. My kids have different needs and qualities and ages and so yes I might attend the small one first if crying, and yes the other boy is enjoyably laid back and I can take him anywhere but my third child makes me laugh so much despite being hard work, while my eldest is like a good adult friend. How could I decide?

elspethmcgillicuddy Tue 02-Dec-14 06:43:27

I always have a favourite. It changes almost minute by minute depending on whose behaviour is better.

This is a joke btw. Of course I don't have a favourite or love one more than the other. I do genuinely like one's behaviour more than the other's though and that does change frequently.

Contraryish Tue 02-Dec-14 06:44:04

No favourites here either. There are days when I'd happily murder one or the other, but it all evens out in the end!

ARightOldPickle Tue 02-Dec-14 06:45:12

YABU. I don't have a favourite out of my 3 (grown up) DDs. I might have treated them differently at times but because of their personalities not because I preferred one over the others.
And asking adults if their parents had a favourite - I've had this discussion with my sister and she felt it was me, while I was sure it was hergrin

Bulbasaur Tue 02-Dec-14 06:47:03

I don't think parents have a favorite, but they might have a child who they get along with better or have more compatible personalities. That's not the same as playing favorites though.

Growing up, I got along better with my dad, my brother with my mom. They both loved us equally and didn't treat us any different.

dorasee Tue 02-Dec-14 06:48:23

I think what you need to understand is that there are days and periods of time when the needs of one child may require more focus from parents. I have 3 kids and I am fully committed to them at all times, but my attention to all 3 isn't always equal simply because one of them is usually dealing with something which requires more of me. It's not always easy to distribute attention equally. My baby is constantly in my arms and 'needs' me a whole lot more than my 12 year old. But this doesn't mean I love my youngest more. Parental love, in my opinion, is immeasurable and unconditional. However I see your point and there are parents who favour the 'easier' child, the more confident child, the child who reflects all that the parent wished. But this is very shallow and unhealthy of course. Our children are not us. They are their own people and this must be respected at all times.

flavourflave Tue 02-Dec-14 06:50:08,9171,2094371,00.html

This is interesting!

I'm not going to demonize you. I am an only but have two children.

I am only joking.

I really do try to treat them equally. And i do love both the same. Baby is cuter (well babies are cuter) but eldest is so interesting to talk to.

However did we ever have to choose? My dgm had 7 kids but only one could be educated. In her case it was the youngest boy.

My DM often speaks that her siblings were the favourite of her dad or aunt or her mum. Each sibling appeared to be someone's favourite.

People often say daddy's girl or mummy's boy.

I have a friend whose youngest can do no wrong while her eldest is 'naughty.' In truth her eldest is just like her!

I have a favourite... ME grin

Iggly Tue 02-Dec-14 06:50:50


I do agree that each child is parented differently - impossible to parent the same when you gain experience with each one plus every day experiences will vary.

However I have two DCs and don't have a favourite. They are only 5&3 so early days but they're different and I have to react to each depending on what they need.

flavourflave Tue 02-Dec-14 06:51:46

My joke got lost! I was joking about me being my own favourite blush^^

KERALA1 Tue 02-Dec-14 06:54:19

No. Not a concept I have ever seen. Genuinely no favourite. Am one of 3 and my parents definitely did not favour any of us they were and are scrupulously even handed.

Mehitabel6 Tue 02-Dec-14 06:54:23

If you have unconditional love it isn't possible. It becomes conditional when you love one child more because...............
I do not have a favourite. My parents didn't have a favourite.

tigermoll Tue 02-Dec-14 06:57:03

Weird isn't it - lots of people (myself included) perceive that their parents did have a favourite child, yet ALL parents insist that it is impossible to have such a thing. so where does the mismatch arrise?
I personally think that parents who do favour one child rationalise it as either that child 'needing ' more support and the other one/s simply being 'more independent '/'more laid back ' /quieter etc, or that they see every instance of favoritism as a one off, caused by outside circumstances rather than their own feelings. For example, my parents sent one of us to private school and the other to the (pretty rough) state school two bus rides away. When pressed, my mother insists that that was simply because the schools 'suited ' each child and cannot understand why it might cause bad feeling.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 02-Dec-14 06:57:12

When me and my sister were growing up I was favoured by our mom and my sister was favoured by our dad. It was really horrible and it caused both of us a lot of upset sad

Charitybelle Tue 02-Dec-14 06:58:43

It's very sad but you're right, unfortunately some parents do have a favourite. My parents didn't, and I don't with mine, but I have friends whose parents have v clear favourites.
In one case, a friend's dad has made it so clear she's the favourite over her sister, that her mum has always gone very far the other way in obviously favouring her sister in. a weird attempt to redress the balance. It all makes for a really fucked up family dynamic.
I optimistically hope, as previous posters have said, that it doesn't reflect how much children are loved but maybe how much they are similar to a particular parent or have things in common.
I also hope neither of my children ever feel I favour one over the other because it just isn't true, and would mean I've done something v wrong with my parenting.

DixieNormas Tue 02-Dec-14 07:00:38

My favourate is which ever one is causing me less grief, at the moment its ds1 as he is away working in Africa grin

But honestly no, I dont have a favourite. With the little ones I decide who is dealt with first based on what their needs are ar the time

Bowlersarm Tue 02-Dec-14 07:00:40

I don't think most parents have a favourite child. Those that do obviously exist though and it must be soul destroying for the other children if it's made clear.

I'm certain I don't have a favourite. As posters are saying you may favour one child at a particular time because of behaviour or need but the child in question changes and isnt always the same one.

I don't know how you test the theory. If, for example, I could only save one of my children in a disaster (God forbid) not one of my three immediately springs to mind as the one to save. I'd just grab the nearest one to me.

It's an interesting topic.

Minesril Tue 02-Dec-14 07:01:26

My parents definitely had/have favourites. This is one of the reasons why I'm determined that my son will be an only!

Bowlersarm Tue 02-Dec-14 07:06:29

I think there was some research done that showed a large percentage of parents admitted to having a favourite child, but when their children were questioned a much lesser percentage thought their parents had a favourite, the conclusion being that parents actually do have favourites but are very good at hiding the fact to their children. Or something like that....!

bananapickle84 Tue 02-Dec-14 07:07:19

I'm not sure favourite is the right word. I think as others have said parents naturally get on with one or more of their children. This comes out more as they get older and personalities play a part.
My Dad openly told me the other day that he has a particular soft spot for one of my brothers. I know both my parents do and everyone else in our family seems to gravitate toward this brother. It pisses me off as he's the laziest, can't be arsed to do anything for you kind of person!

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