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tranquilsea's avatar

Do you have a favourite child? If so, how has it affected the way you parent and do your children know who your favourite is?

Asked by tranquilsea (17226 points ) October 18th, 2011

I am one of six children. Frequently growing up my older sister would fling in my face that she was mom’s favourite. I believed her and I remember feeling horrible about it. It made me work really hard on my relationship with my mother. Ironically, I think the favourite ended up being my oldest sister as my mother followed her all over the province.

As a mother I have found that each of my kids have been favourites at various times. When they fling that accusation in my face I calmly tell them that I love each one of them and that they are each different people and that I like different thing about each of them.

In addition to the questions in the title: how has having a favourite affected your parenting? Were you the favourite growing up and how did this affect you growing up. If you weren’t a favourite how did that affect you?

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12 Answers

smilingheart1's avatar

Irma Bombeck always said her favorite child was the one who needed her most at that moment. I think there should be a cut off at age 20 though!

LezboPirate's avatar

I used to be the favorite. That has recently changed though. My youngest brother is now the favorite.. That little hoodlum gets away with everything.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well…I can only say this…I have 3 kids, two daughters and a son. My son was a thousand times easier to get along with than the girls! He’s just a good kid. I think he’s everyone’s “favorite,” including his sisters! Just the way it is. There are no hard feelings.

LezboPirate's avatar

I can assure you that is not the reason my brother is the favorite. All he does is sit at home and do nothing or steal everyone’s things and sell them. I think he’s just the favorite because he’s the one everyone else is against. And he’s the baby.

Jeruba's avatar

Interesting cover article on this very subject in a recent issue of Time magazine. I would have said “No, I don’t” and been perfectly confident of my answer, but the article has raised my doubts. I’d still say no, but with less confidence.

What I will say is that I prize certain qualities in one more than the other, but each has prized qualities. I have also had more trouble of this sort with one and that sort with the other. But preference? I truly don’t think so.

I was the eldest of four, and I never had a sense of favoritism from my parents. The article said there’s always a favorite and everyone always knows who it is, but I didn’t, and I’d be surprised if my siblings said they did.

By contrast, my husband was one of two, and his brother was clearly and unabashedly the favorite. His father never bothered to conceal the fact. It has hurt my husband all his life, but I think he did a wonderful job of not passing it on.

abysmalbeauty's avatar

I do have a favorite but he is my only child so there are no hard feelings. He is a teeeny bit spoiled because I like to spoil him.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I have wondered if I have a “favorite” sometimes, but the only thing I can confidently say is that both my girls are my favorites for different reasons.

My oldest was a horrible pregnancy, a horrible delivery, and she’s my stubborn, difficult child. BUT she’s also my firstborn, and the first baby I’d ever handled, and I’m proud of her strong will, her desire to stand up to injustice, her fierce loyalty and her shockingly insightful comments. She’s my favorite because of how witty and strong she is; she’s a fighter.

My youngest was an easy pregnancy, an easy delivery and is pretty much an “easy” child. She’s a drama queen and she wears her heart on her sleeve (wonder who she got that from… cough cough), which can be a nuisance at times, but she’s just so damned adorable. She’s my favorite because she’s so tiny and gentle and cute.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that they’re both favorites at different times and for different reasons, but I don’t have an ultimate favorite.

keobooks's avatar

I think being the favorite can damage you as much as being the unfavored. My husband was very obviously the favorite growing up. His two brothers resented him for it. They are very close. My husband is isolated from his brothers and has never felt comfortable with them. One brother never initiates conversation and only speaks to him with 1 – 2 word replies.

I have only one child so it’s OK that she’s my favorite. I was an only child so I never experienced this.

zensky's avatar

^ Is correct.

I have been blessed with a boy and a girl, so each is my favourite. I guess if I had had two or more of each sex, there might be a favourites game going on – it’s inevitable and natural.

Judi's avatar

My oldest daughter and I were always closer and had a different relationship than the others. I was single when I had her and it was just her and I against the world.
Now that they’re adults, she is putting a distance between us. My middle kid and I have been bonding a lot. Our relationship has become more of a friendship than a mother daughter relationship. She was the one that caused me the most grief as an adolescent.
Up until recently, I tended to baby my son to much. He moved 1200 miles away and we are both working at letting him man up and me not jump in to rescue him every time he makes a bad choice.
I guess they have all taken their turns being ” favorite.”

ucme's avatar

I think simply the word favourite doesn’t particularly sit well. I worship both my kids & would never “favour” either in any way shape or form. Here’s the thing though, there’s always going to be the inescapable fact that my first born holds that special place, all be it by default.
Doesn’t impact on either relationship, just a quiet memory kept inside.

BeccaBoo's avatar

Hmmm quite a hard question for me to answer…..When I was growing up I was 1 of 5, 2 brothers one older and one younger, and 2 step-sisters. I was my mother’s favorite because I was the only girl (although I tried to be like the boys and fit in, my mother would insist on me wearing a huge pink bow in my hair and pretty shoes, then complain mercifully to god because I had the audacity as a child to climb a tree or ride my bike in them) however, from the age of 16 and me getting a BF, her attentions turned to my little brother (a blessing really) and now she is all about him and his new wife.

I have 4 boys of my own now, they are all my favorite for different reasons, my 17 yrs old because we get on so well, we laugh a lot, I trust him and he wants to make his mum smile, he won’t leave the house unless he gets one! My 10yrs old because he is just so funny without realising how he sounds (he is autistic) and is very matter of fact about things, but needs and wants to be independent so badly, he will say anything in his little world to get what he wants, something only I can find funny because he is mine, my 8 yrs old because he questions everything, he is so bright, and wants to learn about everything all at the same time usually. And my 2yrs old because he still needs his mummy, loves his cuddles and is of course my baby (for now, he has grown up so fast).

So how can I choose one to love and profess to prefer when they are all equally special in their own right?

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