So which one's your favourite child, then?
Seriously, is anyone else bored of this so-called story? I feel like we've already posted about this several times before but still the 'Parents have favourites' headline gets rolled out relentlessly.
Its latest incantation comes in the form of a new study which 'reveals' that 70% of mums and 74% of dads who have more than one child, prefer one over the other.
The Independent reports:
The parents did not specify which child was their favourite, but results from the study suggest it is the older child who is normally preferred. All children in the study were asked if they felt their parents treated them differently, and whether this affected their self-esteem.
Unsurprisingly, the poor kiddos in question reported an impact on their self-esteem from feeling that an older sibling was the favourite child.
Is it just me who thinks this, or does it seem as though we've forgotten that one of the first rules of good parenting is NOT to favour one child over an another? When did it become considered ok to do so, never mind alright to freely admit to something which has the potentially to be so damaging for a child?
I'm going to stick my neck out and say that if you have a 'favourite' child, it might be time to get some support with family life.
Yes, it's perfectly natural to have a child whose temperament most closely matches yours and whom you thus have a particularly easy relationship with.
It's even ok, I think, to acknowledge that one child's age or stage of development can make that child particularly easy or enjoyable to be with compared to his or her siblings.
My youngest is still in that delightful toddler stage where all she really wants to do is please and impress the ones she loves, so she's obedient, obliging and beautifully well-behaved 99.9% of the time. But that's not ground for singling out as my favourite or for treating her differently from her siblings.
To do would obviously be unfair and potentially very damaging to her siblings but I don't think it would do her any favours in the long run, either. Being the 'favourite' child in the family can theoretically be as difficult and pressured as being the non-favourite.
But we'd love to hear your views on this. What do you think of studies that continually suggest that most parents have a favourite child? Do you agree, or do you think the data just keeps getting wheeled out because it makes for a good headline? And DO you have a favourite child? We'd love to hear your views either in the comments or over on our Facebook page.