Are You the Favorite Child?

I was recently with a group of real grown ups (i.e. married people with kids) when one mentioned their favorite child.

In a moment, I took it as a joke. I tell Archie he is my favorite child all the time and I tell my sister she is my favorite sister almost every time I see her. The key is, they are both my only. But in this case, after a moment I realized she wasn’t joking. She has three kids and had just fessed up to having a favorite child.

Oh no! She thought. With a brother on the way, I won’t be the favorite anymore!

p.s. Again Mom, you say these are bangs, I say it’s a mullet.

This isn’t the first I’ve heard of this. Every time we visit N’s parents his Dad calls him his favorite son (he has two). I’m fairly certain he says this to whichever son he is with at the time but every once and a while, I get the feeling that N really is his favorite.

The concept isn’t new to me, though without having my own children, it’s hard to gauge if this is something that’s even possible. Do most parents have a favorite? Is this the biggest secret of parenting?

Whenever someone says something like this, I think of my own family. I think of each of my four parents and consider, who is their favorite? I am the oldest of four kids in my family, two from my Mom and Dad and two from my Dad and Step-Mom. You could say I have two-half siblings and one full sibling but that’s just not how we roll. They’re my brothers and sister.

I once had this talk with my step-mom, who insisted that she doesn’t have a favorite, but said cheekily that if anything, I’m every ones favorite. I’m definitely the kid who did everything her parents asked her to. I didn’t cause many problems. I never got called to the Principal’s office. Always got good grades. Went to a good college. Got a job. Fell for a guy they all love.

And yet, I have the sneaking suspicion that I’m no one’s favorite. Maybe every kid feels like this?

Maybe I won’t know until I have kids of my own. Even then, I probably won’t admit it. But I can definitely tell you which kid I think is the favorite of each of my parents. Though if I told you and blasted them here on the interwebs, I’d definitely be no ones favorite in a hurry.

So tell me, do your parents have a favorite? Are you a parent who has a favorite child? 



Today I am excited to introduce you to Anna from A Dash of Quirky. Anna originally started her blog to bravely share her battle with trichotillomania. Anna is a fellow dog lover and adopted a sweet and crazy pug named Ernie. Now Anna and her fella have two dogs and a cat (and I’m jealous!).

Anna spent a bit of time in San Francisco a while back and decided it wasn’t for her. I don’t blame you, Anna! It wasn’t for me either. If you need a little boost today, her 10 life lessons post is a must read. You can check out her progress with her Trichotillomania and read more about Anna or follow her on Bloglovin to stay updated regularly.

  • My parents split us, I think to keep it fair. I am my dads favorite and my sister is my moms. Sometimes, though, you move 800 miles away and you feel like no ones favorite.

  • I think parents have an unspoken favorite child, sort of the way we may have an unspoken favorite parent. You can love everyone the same…but like someone more. Usually the person that is more like you, the one you are closer to and do more things with.

  • I’m the baby of the family, so growing up, I think I automatically qualified as the favorite. As an adult, I’m not so sure. I’m my mother’s only daughter, so we got to do that fun girly stuff she couldn’t do with my two brothers. She still does! So heck, maybe I am still the favorite lol. Great post, Nadine! Xo

  • I’m absolutely certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that my sister is my mom’s favorite and I’m cool with that. As a matter of fact I’m pretty sure she’s everyone’s favorite which is fine too. As the mother of one child a small part of the reason I don’t want another one is because I’m afraid I’ll end up with a favorite and I don’t want to be that mom. I don’t want to love my baby girl any less than I do now, she’s the best, my favorite, and I want it to stay that way forever.

  • Well out of my own babies [hedgies] I have a favorite, but that’s because he behaves well and the other one is a little shit. I wonder if my children will be this way…

  • I joke with my mom and younger sister that I’m the favorite daughter, I’m even the favorite daughter in her phone, but then my sister went and put REAL favorite daughter as her contact name so there’s that. My mom says that each one of us is her favorite for a different reason. I also have “step” and “half” siblings, but like you, that’s just not how we roll!

  • I think my step sister was the favorite growing up. I was the trouble maker!

  • I don’t have kids, but I am super close with my nieces. I don’t know if it’s so much as a “favourite” exactly but I definitely think that it’s possible to be closer/have a better connection with one child more and it can come off as having a favourite. My oldest niece and I are super close – it’s even obvious to every one in my family – so I try to make a point to make sure my other niece doesn’t ever feel left out or hurt.

    Also, my sister likes to claim that I’m the favourite.. But I think that’s just when she doesn’t get her way since she’s the baby of the family!

  • When my mom was growing up it was just her and her younger sister, my aunt, who was and is so clearly the favourite it’s actually disheartening. When my mom had two daughters of her own (me being the eldest), she made a conscious effort to treat my sister and I the same so history wouldn’t repeat itself. As my sister was growing up, there was a 7yr age gap between us, and I always thought she was the favourite being the baby of the family, but as I’ve gotten older I am definitely noticing that I get preferential treatment now, from my parents and grandparents especially. Weird how it’s shifted over the years. Even when I’ve been “the fave”, it still sucks to see my sister getting treated differently. Maybe it’s an issue of loving the same but liking one more ie just having a stronger connection? Who knows, but if ever I’m a parent myself, I hope this isn’t something I struggle with!

  • omg you’re never supposed to SAY you have a favorite, you’re only supposed to think it. although, i don’t have kids either so maybe i’m wrong.

    i love anna!!!

  • As an only child, I was definitely the default favourite in my house. Out of 10 grandchildren though, I was always my Poppa’s favourite. He never really verbalized it, but my parents and I always knew. Growing up, I obviously love it. What kid doesn’t love to feel like the favourite? It wasn’t until I was older that I noticed a mother favouring two of her daughters over her third that I really began to understand that while being the favoured is pretty awesome, being on the other end isn’t so great. I mean, the kids don’t choose to be the favourite (or least favourite), so it’s really not their fault, and I don’t think favouring some children at different times is that bad, but making it blatant and obvious isn’t so great. I think that a parent (though I am not one) should favour different parts of their children, but not the child as a whole. If you get what I mean.

  • I’m my mum’s only child, but my dad had 2 others from his first marriage. They were 14 and 16 when I came along though, so their childhoods were pretty much over. I don’t think my dad had a favourite out of all of us, but I was definitely the one treated like his little girl. I think it’s fair to say my husband is his parents’ favourite, but his sister is just Trouble (with a capital T!)

  • This is so interesting to me. I most certainly do NOT have a favorite between my kids I think I would feel offended if I heard another parent talking that way. Even if you DO…how damaging to a child to hear your parents express that! My husband and I work very hard to make sure neither of our kids even had the slightest IMPRESSION that one was the favorite.

  • I am definitely NOT the favorite child, although I think the differentiation is lessening as we all get older. My older sister was the favorite the whole time I was growing up, even though my parents have always denied it. Then I had a brother who went to Georgetown Law (SMART!), my older sister got so many scholarships that she literally got paid to go to college, my other older brother joined the Marines…. and I’m just here, a college drop out, with like, nothing to show for my life even though I’m almost 30. So yep, I’m definitely not the apple of either parent’s eye. But I do know they still love me a lot, so I guess there is that.

  • I think we are all favorites in different ways. My sister says her favorite child is always who is being the quietest at any given moment 🙂

  • We always joke that my baby brother is the favorite child. It’s always in good fun and I think everyone only believes it a teeny bit haha.

  • My grandpa has always told me, and every single one of his 18 grandchildren, when he gets us alone, that we’re his favorite grandchild, and we always believe him. 😛
    There’s 7 kids in my family, and our youngest sister was born a long time after the rest of us, and I’m pretty sure she’s everyone’s little favorite. My Mom says, “She’s my own grandchild” because of my baby sister’s status of being a toddler when several of her older siblings were in college and getting married. I do think she is the “favorite” in my family and nobody minds at all! We all consider her our baby.

  • well I’m an only child … and on my mom’s side I am also the only grandchild and only great-grandchild … so I sincerely hope that I am the favorite.

  • I agree with what Nadine said up above. Sometimes there is just one that you like more, which may make them a favorite. I’m like you, I am one of three kids, all girls. My sisters are my step-sisters and my dad is my “step”-dad, but like we say, the “step” doesn’t count. I’m the youngest, so I’ve been with the parents more. And I’m like my Dad in so many ways. I always joke with him that out of all his girls, I have caused him the least grief, so that easily makes me the favorite! haha

    My mom and (step) dad got married when I was three, so we have all been together for quite awhile. Both my parents have done a great job at including us all and never showing a favorite. When we are all together, it’s just great. My dad has cared for me like I’m his own and my mom has done the same for my sisters. It’s beautiful.

    They may not say they have a favorite, but I’d say, it’s me. 🙂

  • I am definitely not the favorite. And I am pretty sure I know who is in my family. My better half’s family makes up for this as we are definitely their favorites (and it’s wonderful!)

  • I LOVE how you say real grown-ups, I think the same way! My parents say they love us both the same but I know my grandparents have favorite grand children!

    Sparkles and Shoes

  • I like to pretend that I’m the favorite. 🙂 Though I really think my parents switch off depending upon who’s being nicer…

  • my parents don’t have favorites, but we have an on going joke in my family. I have two other sisters and if we know that one of the girls, or both, have angered my mom at all we will joke and ask her who her favorite daughter is in which she replies “the one who hasn’t pissed me off.” however, my grandparents have favorite grandchildren! Luckily I am the favorite on one side 😉

  • my mom equally split us, we each are favored in our “own” way.

    but I am totally my dads favorite, he tells me all the time!

  • I’m definitely the favorite… But I’m an only child, so that’s how it should be! I have two step-sisters and I have a favorite. It’s clear that their parents have favorites that change constantly, too, which creates problems and it’s annoying. Having worked as a camp counselor, obviously different but closest at this point in time I’ll come to parenting, I definitely had favorite campers, but I tried REALLY hard not to show it. Until after they were no longer my campers (like now, I text and snap chat and FB and tweet my faves all the time). I think it’s part of humanity to pick favorites, but good parents know how to balance it and not show it too obviously. That’s my opinion, anyway.

  • I sometimes wonder if the favourite changes at all based on the situation? I feel like my parents appreciated that I was easy to get along with but I always felt like I was never the favourite. But there are times when my sister and brother are being difficult and in those moments I think I’m the favourite.

  • I’m the favorite and I know it. I’ve been told this. I think it’s partially because I’m the oldest and therefore out on my own taking care of myself. I didn’t cause issues either. A coworked of mine has admitted to me more than once she favors one daughter over the other. I agree with her though. The stories she’s told me, her one daughter is a selfish bitty.

  • Hi Nadine! I don’t have real human kids myself, but I do have two fur babies that bring me so much happiness. I will admit, my first-born is my favorite. Just like you, she is the “good girl” that obeys me. My youngest one (who is a rescue) needs a lot of attention and can get pretty rowdy at times. I also always thought that my little brother is my parents favorite. I was the one who was always in trouble! lol!

  • Ha! I am the oldest of 3 and I know that my parents would never admit to having a favorite. But I do know it isn’t me. I have sneaking suspicion it’s my sister, Melissa, though.

  • i have one sister and we are pretty similar, so i wonder if my parents have a favorite too… as for my favorite pug, it depends on how they’re each behaving that day! oh and i love anna too – my fellow pug mom 🙂
    — jackie @ jade and oak

  • Dee

    My brother had issues with me being the favorite child. I didn’t even realize this until recently, when he told me: “I just wanted appreciation for what I have achieved. I have not felt it even once.” It really broke my heart because I have the opposite problem – I hated my parents’ attention. Like you, I was the goody two shoes child, got straight As, never got in trouble kind of kid, so I guess that was why it was easier to favor me. But still. Parents should not have favorites. Or if they do, they should at least try to hide it.

  • haha, I’m totally the favorite! I have two dogs & I call one my favorite over the other all the time… he’s just better with me… good thing the fiancé loves the other one more 😉


  • My parents joke that I’m the favorite. . .I know it’s not true in the sense that they treat us differently or love one of us “more.” But it is true in the sense that they don’t have to worry about me, and that I help them out more.

  • When I was younger my brother and I used to joke around and say that he was my mom’s favourite and I was my dad’s but I’m not sure that still applies.. and my parents NEVER admitted it and never will but I’ve made peace with it.

    x Nats ~

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