Do Parents Really Have Favourites?

Do Parents Really Have Favourites?

Which kid is your favourite?

Ridiculous question, I know, but nearly a quarter of parents – and HALF of grandparents – apparently have a favourite child or grandchild according to new research.

iNews reports:

A survey by Mumsnet and Gransnet revealed 23 per cent of parents had a favourite child, while 42 per cent of grandparents had a favourite grandchild. Among parents who admitted it, 56 per cent said they preferred their youngest child. Among grandparents, 39 per cent favoured their eldest grandchild.

Give me strength.

Apparently some of this absurdity is based on one child being less tricky or demanding than their siblings. But we're talking about human beings here – since when did it become acceptable for parents to openly admit to preferring one child over another?

Thankfully, around half Mumsnet and Gransnet users agreed that having a favourite was “awful” with most saying favouritism is damaging for other siblings or for the favoured child.

Worse still, of those parents who admitted to having a favourite child, 13 per cent said they thought that child's siblings knew which one was the favourite kid.

Of course, it's one thing to acknowledge that you have more in common with one child than other – and such things go in cycles depending on the age and stage of development of each child, in my view.

But I strongly feel it's unthinkable to knowingly favour one child over another. Unless you do it like my friend's parents did. Her parents used to tell her she was their favourite on a regular basis and it wasn't until she was in her 20s that she discovered that they did exactly the same with her two younger siblings.

Well played, that mum and dad.

We'd love to hear your views on this story. Do you admit to having a favourite child? Or do you have experience of either being the favourite or knowing you weren't the favourite when you were a child?

Leave us a comment here or come and join the conversation over on our Facebook page. And don't forget to take part in our poll.



64 comments

  • Kerrie S.

    Which ever one is behaving is my favourite!! :joy:

    • Claire B.

      With three kids I say amen to this!

    • Siobhán M.

      My favourite can change from day to day, even hour by hour depends on who is behaving and who isn't

    • Sam B.

      I agree.... 6 kids here :joy::see_no_evil:

    • Karla C.

      I agree depends which one annoying me the less that day :joy::joy:

  • Louise S.

    I always knew it was true !!!!

  • Christina H.

    What a horrible thing I have 3 children and would never see one better or have favouritism for one more then another

  • Becky B.

    Which ever one is being least annoying :joy:

  • Emmi L.

    My girls are cool with being faves :wink:

  • Carol B.

    No favourites I love all my kids the same :heart::heart::heart::heart:

  • Natalie J.

    Yes i have a favourite but it changes many times a each day. It's which ever one is being good.

  • Katy M.

    Yep...but I only have one :grinning:

  • Shaza N.

    This is awful. I could never have a favourite. I love them both the same and always will regardless of how they turn out to be. My love for them is unconditional . :two_hearts:

  • Stacey S.

    obviously im the favourite child ....

  • Lucy S.

    My favourite changes hourly :joy::joy:

  • Louise B.

    I think its disgusting to have a favourite child, i have 5 soon to be 6 kids and i love all my kids exactly the same, they are all different, all can be naughty, all can be good. But they are all amazing and would never have a favourite, imagine the other kids if they felt like their parent or even grandparent had faves n how they would feel and be thinking wondering why it wasnt them and what they had done wrong and they will realise 1 day just as i did with my grandparent!

  • Tessa F.

    I definitely have a favourite... but then again, I have only one child, so that's easily done... :joy:

  • Jamie-leigh C.

    I do it changed tho ... which ever one is being the least pain in the arse

  • Jill A.

    I’m in the three quarters who don’t haha xx

  • Suzanne B.

    I think it's horrible to say you have a favourite child, you should love all your children the same

  • Emma C.

    When I got pregnant with my second child last year I really worried myself so much because I was scared that I couldn't love him as much as my daughter. But when he was born and I had him and I held him - there was a whole other piece of my heart that was just as full and big on reserve just for him! There is def no difference between my girl and boy.

    • Emily R.

      I felt the same being pregnant with my second. That fear soon went :)

    • Caroline M.

      Exactly the same here. Almost like your heart doubles in size x

  • Cheryl G.

    I’ve got 4 children and not one is My favourite I love them all with all my heart they are all different in there ways,I’m so very lucky to be there mother I’m so proud of them all and of the different things they do best things that ever happened to me x

    • Janine S.

      I’ve got 4 children and not one is My favourite. I love them all with all my heart, they are all different in their own ways. I’m so very lucky to be their mother! I’m so proud of them all and of the different things they do. Best things that ever happened to me x

  • Steph C.

    Nop never lol xx just some are more needy xx

  • Helen P.

    I have 2 adult children and they have both wound me up to distraction in their different ways and have both been amazing in equal measure. But through it all I continue to love them both unconditionally! I have 3 granddaughters whom I love unconditionally and I certainly do not have a favourite. I have witnessed the emotional devastation that a grandparent openly showing favouritism has on a child, and the adverse affects on mental health continue into adulthood.

  • Jodie A.

    I have twins. I have so much love for them. Couldn't say either was my favourite.

  • Paula C.

    I don't but my brother is my mother's favourite

  • Abigail A.

    Out of me and Nathan it’s deffo me :wave_tone1::sweat_smile: xx

  • April-lee W.

    Come on we all have favourites... Mine are normally someone else's kids :joy::joy:

  • Karen C.

    No they each annoy me equally.

  • Allan M.

    Ha ha, just a well recognised author proving my theory lol

  • Louise C.

    My mother says she doesn't have favourites. I have 3 sisters. All of them were invited to a pamper session for her 70th....except me. No explanation, no apology. And I feel guilty that I don't make the effort!!! I have many issues because of the way i am treated. I have four grown up kids and they all have partners and they are all treated the same. I've even said to them if you ever feel I'm treating you differently then please tell me because it wouldn't be deliberate

  • Laura E.

    I know I'm most definitely not the favourite child. I have only one and he's awesome, so he's obvs my favourite.

  • Sam S.

    The one that sleeps! Obviously?! :raised_hands_tone2:

  • Nicola F.

    I have a favourite child n that's my one & only son. I however love my stepdaughter very much also. They both get treated the same. N bought age appropriate gifts. For instance my son had an Xbox n she had a laptop. They both test my patience. N bicker n each in different ways press my buttons but as I say, I love them both. Xx

  • Lynne A.

    Good on the parents for accepting and admitting this. I don’t think their should be a stigma. The author says we are talking about humans in reference to the child but doesn’t acknowledge that the parents are also human, with their own preferences, and flaws. As long as all the children are treated equally, and not told they are favoured or not, it’s perfectly ok to prefer one to another. Still say if put on the stop and demanded to list all the good and attributes of each child, one child’s list will be more favourable, and therefore that is the favourite child, and that’s ok. :slight_smile:

  • Bev C.

    I don't have favourites, i have better behaved ones and downright little sh*ts but i love them all the same and while i wouldn't swap them for the world, i wouldn't choose 1 over the other 3 either (they're not that bad really)

  • Claire W.

    I love all 3 of my children exactly the same. They all have different qualities that I adore about them but I treat them all the same. Having a favourite is awful. X

  • Hannah C.

    My mum always says her eldest is her favourite as he was chosen (adopted), her second is her favourite as her first born and the third (me) is her favourite as the baby. I think it is a lovely way to put it

  • Ashley R.

    I was definitely the least favourite, I know that much. I have my best big boy, my best girl and my best little boy. They are all the best :sparkling_heart:

  • Sarah S.

    I have a favourite. Luckily she's my only child

  • Jenny D.

    I dont have a favourite xx

  • Rubena B.

    Think some people may be confusing having a favourite with loving one more than the other. You can have a favourite yet still love them the same and treat them equally. I’m sure most parents do have favourites but it’s more a personal feeling than something they would act on.

  • Rachel S.

    Nope nope never! They are all individual amazing little people and I could never favour one over another!

    • Emma M.

      I love both my girls equally. I could never favour one over the other. They are both beautiful, funny, caring inside and out x

  • Sam B.

    I dislike all my children equally :joy::joy::joy: on a serious note I love each of my 6 children more than i thought it was possible to love anyone x

  • Molly M.

    I prefer which ever one is sleeping at the time x

  • Dawn W.

    I love all my children the same but one seems to get me more than the others (similar personalities).

  • Nicola C.

    My favourite child changes on a daily basis :joy:

  • Lindsey N.

    Favourite one ? I dislike both the same :laughing::joy::joy:

  • Anne J.

    Yes I have a favourite child, my husband when he brings me chocolate home!

  • Claire P.

    Which ever one sleeps is my favourite :joy:

  • Melanie T.

    Loving them and liking them are 2 different things! You love your children unconditionally but personality traits can mean you like them differently

  • Kelly A.

    That is awful, I dislike mine all as equals

  • Lizzie M.

    Yes I have three favourite children: the eldest, the middle child and the youngest! Love you all more than you’ll ever know xxxx

  • Suzie O.

    I don’t do favourites! They all need me differently and different situations calls for different treatments but I love all mine :100: and they each complete me in different ways and I hope I do treat them as equally as I can.... each one will always be my baby and special in my heart:heart::heart::heart::heart:

  • Vicky B.

    I only have 1 child so she's definitely my favourite. Bugs me though with favourite grandchildren. Have 1 who they go and see every day, spend days out with them, buy them things and generally talk about them all the time and another they just don't bother about

  • Katy K.

    First one go sleep at night is mine :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::joy::blush:

  • Julie F.

    Each of my children is an individual and I am so proud of them everyday for each of their traits and love them all so much . My kind and funny eldest, my second who is full of fire and eager to learn, my super smart third with a gentle heart, my 4th who at just 11 weeks is already showing signs and a calm and easy going personality.

  • Ross E.

    I deffo ain’t! Black sheep

  • Forida A.

    I love both my babies equally!

  • Wendy L.

    Disgusting to have a fave.

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