Science Says Your Parents Do Actually Have A Favorite Child
by Trisha Leigh
If you’re one of two or more kiddos, this news is probably not surprising to you. No matter what our parents said about not having a favorite kid, everyone knows who the preferred sibling is, right?
(Sorry middle kids, it’s probably not you).
Surveys on this topic can be a little confusing, with more than 50% of people responding that it’s “awful” to have a favorite child, but nearly 25% of responders admitted they have one themselves.
In one survey of Mumsnet users, more than half of the parents who said they did have a favorite said they preferred their youngest. 61% of those people said they found their older children “tricky and demanding.”
26% of those people said they preferred their eldest.
Take heart, though – Mumsnet didn’t design the best survey, and also results could be skewed by the fact that these parents could have been on the site in the first place because they have “tricky and demanding” kids.
That said, data from YouGov supports the idea that many parents do have a favorite child. That survey utilized responses from over 6,200 people, finding once again that those who admitted to having a favorite preferred the youngest.
“While 10 percent of parents admit to it, the real figure could be higher, with 34% of people claiming it characterized their childhood.”
Parents with two children favored the youngest 62% of the time, and parents with more than two kids favored the eldest just 19% of the time.
It’s unclear whether or not people favor kids based on gender, though 46% of women surveyed who believe their parents had a favorite thought it was a brother.
“Men are also more prone to think they were the favorite at 23% compared to 17% of women.”
Do with that last stat what you will.
I think the truth of the matter is that our parents’ favorite kid probably depends on the day (or week or year), and also, just because a parent might get along better with one personality or another doesn’t mean they love a child more or less.
At least, that’s what we can tell ourselves.