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Is it wrong to have a favourite?

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“Is it wrong to have a favourite child?” I have two children aged 4 and 8 and have had this conversation countless times with friends and family since becoming a mother, all with varying responses.

I totally understand the expected professional analysis of this, in that it could be detrimental to both parties. Of course, if you share with your family who you prefer and considerably oust the other children out, that would be shameful and disgraceful behaviour. But we are all human and cannot help bonding and relating more with people who share

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similar interests and have the same thought processes.  Similarly, if we recognise ourselves in one of our children it can make the initial bonding process much more natural.

My own view is that children go through so many different phases and along with outside stress, we often favour one child without even meaning to!  Bearing this in mind; the following month it could switch again as that child’s changing needs bear us down.  It is not wicked to admit this and neither does it make you a cruel or bad parent.  We also need to recognise that

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children frequently do the same to us, and favour a parent more one week to the next depending on who gives in to them most! The only difference with children is that they are more likely to be verbal about this favouritism without fear of hurting anyone’s feelings.

It’s an age-old question but, whether we like to admit it or not, at some point within navigating our way through this tricky parenting road, we will favour a child more without even meaning to. It is important not to feel guilty about this as it will inevitably switch again next week!

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- 13 Jan 20

“Is it wrong to have a favourite child?” I have two children aged 4 and 8 and have had this conversation countless times with friends and family since becoming a mother, all with varying responses.

I totally understand the expected professional analysis of this, in that it could be detrimental to both parties. Of course, if you share with your family who you prefer and considerably oust the other children out, that would be shameful and disgraceful behaviour. But we are all human and cannot help bonding and relating more with people who share similar interests and have the same thought processes.  Similarly, if we recognise ourselves in one of our children it can make the initial bonding process much more natural.

My own view is that children go through so many different phases and along with outside stress, we often favour one child without even meaning to!  Bearing this in mind; the following month it could switch again as that child’s changing needs bear us down.  It is not wicked to admit this and neither does it make you a cruel or bad parent.  We also need to recognise that children frequently do the same to us, and favour a parent more one week to the next depending on who gives in to them most! The only difference with children is that they are more likely to be verbal about this favouritism without fear of hurting anyone’s feelings.

It’s an age-old question but, whether we like to admit it or not, at some point within navigating our way through this tricky parenting road, we will favour a child more without even meaning to. It is important not to feel guilty about this as it will inevitably switch again next week!

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30-something, mother of two girls living and working in Surrey.

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