There tends to be a well-meaning sweetness in the lies parents tell their kids, which is a very good thing, since we seem to tell a lot of them. Yes, that indecipherable crayon scribble looks exactly like Grandma. No, I didn’t put that tooth-fairy money under your pillow. Santa Clause ate the cookies and countless others. Now whether or not these lies are harmless or not may differ depending on who you ask but according to a recent Time magazine article, there’s one lie that nearly all parents tell, and they tell it repeatedly: “I do not have a favorite child.”
And yes, the article says – that it is indeed a lie. In fact, it insists that all parents really do have a favorite, even if it’s a subconscious one.
Not sure how you argue with the “subconscious lie” theory, but I have always said and maintain to this day that I do not have a favorite child. But it may be easier for me to say than some. First, I only have two children so the oldest feels special because he is the first-born and other feels special because he is the baby. Second – I have two boys, so there are no differentiations based on sex. Third, my sons’ personalities are like night and day and neither one of them want to be like the other. So one activity I might enjoy with my older son – like watching baseball, and my younger son wants no parts of it. And vice versa.
But apparently I’m delusional because according to several experts, having a favorite child is just the natural order of things, just like in the animal kingdom.
Research done by Jeffrey Kluger, author of The Sibling Effect, shows that 65 percent of moms and 70 percent of dads have a favorite kid and that it seems the oldest child tends to be the favored one by a majority of parents. And because of this, older children often grow up to be the tallest and/or strongest of the kids, with higher IQs.
By default then, it would seem that favoritism does a disservice to the other kids in the family.
And that would be correct.
Experts say that it can – especially during childhood but may diminish somewhat in adulthood as each sibling finds his or her own place in the world.
But as children, favoritism can cause a certain amount of sibling rivalry, anger at the favorite, and guilt of the favorite for having that status. Non-favored children wonder what they did or didn’t do that caused them to not garner as much love or attention from their parents.
Non-favored children can feel lonely and unwanted as they watch the favorite bask in all the glory. And these old feelings can resurface during troublesome times in adulthood — sometimes when it comes to the care of aging parents, when a parent dies or during adult sibling arguments.
I warn my children’s father about this all the time. While I languish lavishly in the mansion my boys have already promised to buy me, his rocking chair may be rocking on the porch of the old folks home. Just kidding. Kinda. I really don’t think he has a favorite either, but then we both just may be delusional.
I do feel bad for the children who are obviously not the favorite. I think you can easily spot them as adults. They are the ones that always seem to be vying for attention or crave the spotlight – in relationships and the workplace.
And although the damage may dimish as you get older, I don’t think it ever really goes away.
Sooooo … anyone want to ‘fess up to having a favorite kid?
Log onto the latest edition of Mamas Gone Wild to check out the live discussion with Nikki and Mary surrounding favorite children.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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