"There are several additional factors that predict favoritism, one of which is birth order: parents favor first- and last-born children over middle children. This occurs in part because middle children will never be the only child living at home - at some point first-borns and last-borns will have their parents all to themselves. Overall, first-borns get the most privileges and last-borns receive the most parental affection."
by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/23/2012 4:23:01 PM
You are my favorite. Just don't tell your brother/sister or their feelings will be hurt." It's what I said to all three of them. I meant it, and now that they are having children, I am hearing them say it
by John10/24/2012 11:50:37 AM
All of my children have been my favorites at one time or another. I think it must be a need of them or me or both.
by spr10/24/2012 11:50:48 AM
I knew my sister was my mom's favorite.
After my sister died at 29, that was really biting as I worried my parents would be disappointed to be stuck with just me. After my mom died, dad said right out what I'd always known, but shocked me by adding I was his favorite.
He said mom and my sister connected better, and he knew I felt more affinity with him. I realized it had never been that they favored us, but that they thought we favored them.
by J**** edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 3:34:06 PM
I dislike both of my children equally.
by Onan10/24/2012 3:34:09 PM
No question, my brother.
My half brother and I represent to my parents a period of marriage troubles & instability.
My brother that was born after me was in a more "legit" circumstances. Also being male helps for him.
He said once that he'd rather not have been alive then be treated the way I was in the family, but has no desire to stop it so that negative attention doesn't get turned on him.
by annon. edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 3:54:19 PM
by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:18:45 PM
There is scientific proof of favoritism. From Time:
"In one oft cited study, Katherine Conger, a professor of human and community development at the University of California at Davis, assembled a group of 384 sibling pairs and their parents and visited them three times over three years. She questioned them about their relationships and videotaped them as they worked through conflicts. Overall, she concluded that 65% of mothers and 70% of fathers exhibited a preference for one child, usually the older one. And those numbers are almost certainly lowballs, since parents try especially hard to mask their preferences when a researcher is watching."
by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:20:04 PM
In my experience being the youngest child of 5 (Oldest being a sister, then three older brothers, then me (male)), there is definitely a 'favorite child.'
by Anonymous10/24/2012 4:23:49 PM
I have two children and I can say that I honestly don't have a favorite, but it's true that one of my children is much easier to parent.
by EPC10/24/2012 4:23:55 PM
@kerrimpr Of my siblings I was never the favorite, it rotated between my brothers. It's okay though, I never had to suck up to mom & dad!
by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:27:55 PM
In my experience being the youngest of 5 (oldest being a sister, three older brothers, then me[male]), there is a favorite child.
All of my older siblings would pick on my for being the youngest, and most favorited child. I was brought on more trips and had more gifts from my parents while receiving the hand-me-downs from my older siblings. Because of this, I was split off from my older siblings because I felt they did not like me for being 'spoilt' by my parents.
I believe that part of the reason why I got more gifts and such is because I am the youngest and thus am the last to receive attention from parents. By the time I was born, my siblings were grown enough to take care of themselves, and if not take care of each other. They didn't need much more attention from my parents, so all the attention fell to me.
by Anonymous edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:27:58 PM
@KerriMPR -- I am the last of 8... no favorites... too many flavors! We're all very different.
My next older brother was clearly my mother's favorite.
At one point she told me that she just preferred boys to girls - but that I shouldn't take it personally. I was the fifth child of five and the ONLY girl. Hard not to take it personally.....
by Susan edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:30:18 PM
A child who keeps a parent at ease is often a more cherished member of the family. - Ellen Weber Libby.
by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:31:11 PM
My adopted daughter and I do not get along AT ALL.
My son is my biological mini-me who toes-the-line, and avoids antagonizing me.
Both, even the adopted one, share similar traits with me (and even listen to MPR with me) but he chooses to use those traits to his advantage.
by AES edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:31:39 PM
My mom favored my older brother, my dad favored my sister (she was smart and did everything outstanding - stanford univ., honors at grad) and I think I was favored by both...knew I could never measure up to my older siblings, but was more social than either.
Of course, my sister told me more than once that it didn't matter because I was JUST adopted. We have some good laughs about it all now.
by mary edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:32:07 PM
My brother was the squeaky wheel.
I never thought he was a favorite, but felt like he got his way a lot. That always bothered me, but I was not assertive.
My own kids are similar. One is squeaky and one is passive. My passive child feels he gets the short end of the stick. (sounds like me) Is there a gene that makes us feel like everything is unfair???
by happy mom edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:32:22 PM
I was my Dad's favorite and my brother has always been my Mom's. As we've gotten older, she has made it clear more than once to me that my brother is her favorite. My Dad passed away 18 years ago and it has really caused dissension with me in the family. I am always the third wheel.
by Melanie10/24/2012 4:32:51 PM
I have only one child and he is definitely my favorite!!!! I feel this is one benefit of having only one child...he knows that he is my favorite:)
by Annie10/24/2012 4:33:54 PM
As an adult adoptee with a younger "biological" brother, my parents were very mindful of not playing "favorites" at all. I never felt that either one of us were the "favorite."
I would, however, point out to my brother that as an adoptee, our parents chose me but they were stuck with him.
/Yes, we are very close.
by Onan edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:34:14 PM
I am youngest and only girl of three kids.
I was my dad's favorite but my mom always tried to treat us the same.
But the middle child still lives with her, does the most for her and I think she now prefers him over my brother and me.
by Julie edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:34:28 PM
I was the oldest of two when growing up.
The pregnancy that produced me was not planned, forced a marriage, and took my mother out of college, therefore changing her available opportunities.
My younger sibling was planned and very much cherished.
There were no secrets about who was the favorite child.
As a parent, my husband and I are parenting only one and I am so happy that I don't even have to ponder the possibility that I have a favorite.
by one of two parenting an only edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:34:55 PM
When my kids ask me who is the favorite, I always tell them "The quietest one."
by Ann from Eden Prairie edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:35:11 PM
As a child it was very obvious to me that my mom favored my younger brother.
I don't think that is true any more. However, that experience has made me very aware of how I treat my two daughters.
I know that my older daughter (9) feels, at times, that I favor her little sis (5).
My younger daughter is very attached to me.
But I do try to keep things very fair and I talked to my older daughter frequently about how I and very proud of her and I love her as much as I love her sister, etc. So, I hope she doesn't feel that same way that I did when I was her age.
by Chris J edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:35:38 PM
I'm sure my 5 year old son thinks my 7 year old daughter is the favorite because he is in the phase of still learning how to follow rules. He gets more time-outs and doesn't get to do what the older sister does. He sees it as unfair.
by ET10/24/2012 4:35:48 PM
When my kids ask me who i love more, i tell them i love them both, but for different reasons
by happy mom10/24/2012 4:37:05 PM
I hate to get all Definitional about it, but "favorite" makes me uncomfortable.
I always knew my parents were much more like my brother and appreciated his interests and activities more than mine. But I don't think they loved him more or that he was, overall, THE favorite.
by Kris edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:37:19 PM
I am the youngest and everybody assumes I am the favorite but my parents had grandchildren when I was very young and so I was never really the favorite.
by AB edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:40:04 PM
My brother was always obviously the favorite, but the real resentment wasn't there for me and my sister until he got married and my sister-in-law moved into the number 2 slot.
Now we speak openly to each other about how this has caused us to dislike her.
by Sarmogen edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:40:16 PM
The oldest boy was the groomed one, but the third of four is our mom's favorite.
It doesn't make sense because he is the least capable of us. The rest of us are intelligent, successful and independent. He is fine, has a family, earns a stable living, but is clearly not at the same level as the rest of us. Why did she favor him?
by Kel edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:40:30 PM
My husband and I don't have a favorite among our three children (boy, girl, boy), but we do engage more with our daughter because she is more open with us.
She'll let us know what's going on in her life and is willing to make suggestions as to family outings and such. Our boys play things a lot closer to the vest and don't open up as much with us about anything.
by Mary edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:40:44 PM
I'm the oldest of three, and at 10 my second youngest brother died at age six. Afterward, my mom was always hardest on me--I always need to get good grades, be the best. My remaining brother (age five) was the "fair-haired child" in her eyes. As an adult, Mom admitted that after our brother's death, she didn't worry about me and that she was worried my youngest brother would die.
by Tammy10/24/2012 4:41:20 PM
My eldest brother has/had special needs growing up, and many thought he was the favorite because the most time was spent on him.
However, my parents were pretty careful about giving all three of us equal attention, I think. But, I think my brothers would say that I am the favorite as the youngest and only girl!
by Crystal edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:41:28 PM
My sister and brother would readily acknowledge that I am my dads favorite and my sister is my moms favorite.
My dad even calls me "The pick of the liter" - though not to my siblings. As a parent of 5 girls (three being my step daughters & two are my own twins) I can't say I have a favorite with my own children, I think it may have to do with them being twins.
Of my step daughters, the oldest is definitely the favorite of the their mother.
by Steph edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:41:45 PM
I am openly referred to by my older sister as the "PC" (preferred child). I was just easier to like...not my fault! I now tell MY kids...you're my favorite girl and your brother is my favorite boy...so far so good!
by Brian10/24/2012 4:41:53 PM
As a parent, I have trouble relating to the child who I suspect is actually the most like me: in her I see my faults and my own personality traits that I am unhappy with. In contrast, I am more drawn to the daughter who is the most like my husband.
by Elizabeth10/24/2012 4:42:21 PM
I often felt like my brother would bully my parents to get his way. He has a temper.
My parents would give in to avoid his temper. It is like this to this day. It has been hard for me, but I guess I've realized my parents have their own fears that give them reason to avoid his temper. I don't feel like either of us are favorites. I just think my brother understood how to get his way and my parents are trying to keep the peace.
by A edited by Stephanie Curtis, MPR News10/24/2012 4:44:23 PM