Do you favor/like one of your children more than the other?
by Lisa Fogarty
If you grew up in my household or one of millions just like it, you may feel duped after reading this. It seems that, despite how my mom and your mom swore up and down that it wasn't true -- gasp! -- they do in fact have a favorite child. If you just happen to be the golden one, well, good for you. In all likelihood, you share the same values and beliefs as your mom, according to a recent study. There's also a good chance you're a daughter and not a son. Oh, and in case you feel guilty for even a split second, don't. It turns out you may be making your mom's life a whole lot easier.
By studying more than 400 moms in their late 60s and early 70s, researchers found that mom favored the same child year after year and that it made no difference whether that child was married, divorced, had committed a crime, earned an impressive salary, or made little to no money. So as long as your child is in your good graces, practices the same religion, and votes the same way as you, she or he basically has free rein to mess up the rest of their lives -- not a bad deal, huh?!
Favoritism is said to be helpful as a parent grows older because it gives moms and practitioners confidence that at least one member of the family will care for her.
As a daughter, this news is disturbing. But boy, does it explain a lot! My mom always told me she loved my brother and me equally, and I believe her. But love and like are very different and she definitely likes my brother more. It's okay, I'm over it. Really.
As a mom, this info also makes me a bit sad because I'm going to give birth to my second child in a few months and I've often wondered how I will like this strange new baby as much as I adore my amazing daughter. Now I feel like maybe I'm off the hook? As long as I provide them both with the same amount of love and treat them fairly, perhaps it's okay if I like one more than the other because we happen to connect -- similar to how friends with shared interests form close bonds. With that said, I'm going to try my hardest not to play favorites because, research be damned, no child wants to be the one whose just eh, okay in mom's eyes.
What do you think? Do you favor/like one of your children more than the other?