It seems a new controversial parenting book is released every few months or so. The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us by Jeffrey Kluger says parents definitely choose favorites, and he has the science to back it up.
While I know from talking to some of my friends that parents do have favorites, I don’t think all parents have them. I also suspect that parents want to treat all of their children the same. It’s just they run out of money and can’t buy every kid a new car, or a child has a need the others don’t require. Or, fill-in-the-blank.
I have a younger brother. He was mama’s boy, and I was daddy’s little girl. Did either of us get more attention than the other? I don’t think so. We liked different activities and excelled in different ways. I don’t think I ever complained to my parents that he got something I did not. My brother and I were pretty tight back then. We were punished together, since we usually got in trouble together. We are three years apart and remain close. I’d like to think part of the reason is we were raised together, not differently.
We have made an effort not to pick favorites. (Ken jokes that he favors the child who is not having a meltdown or a fit or whatever their stubborn times are called.) What we do for one we do for the other. If we don’t, we will surely hear about it. That means Nadia has gotten some gifts before the box said it was age appropriate. On the flip side, Simone has had to wait a while for a gift until we knew it was safe for Nadia. Nadia does wear some of her sister’s previously loved and worn clothes, but she gets plenty of new items.
Perhaps Ken and I are still in the “crack-up” phase and don’t have time to pick favorites. We laugh a lot around here because Simone and Nadia are hilarious. The laughter helps us keep our parenting sanity.
After we’ve gone through the I’m-embarrassed-by you phase and the teen-age boy phase and whatever phase I can’t even imagine, then maybe we will have a favorite. I doubt it. I love my girls for who they are, no matter what the research says.
Weigh in. Do parents choose favorites?