Mad Life

Would you ever admit out loud that you have a favorite child?
May 22, 2014 at 1:37 PM

You have a favorite child? Fine, just don't admit it!

By Rebecca Dube, TODAY

A dad blogger wrote about how one of his two children is his favorite, and now he's surprised that people are criticizing him for it.

Dude, are you serious?

First of all, liking one child a little more is nothing remarkable. Plenty of parents have a favorite, even if the status rotates based on which child has not recently colored the dog with Sharpies or put pancakes in the DVD player.

But you don't say it out loud! And you certainly don't publish it on the Internet for everyone to see, and Google, in perpetuity. While the writer doesn't use his own name on the column, he does helpfully supply photos and name his children, both the favorite and the other one.

There's nothing subtle about what he writes:

Yes, I have a favorite son and I’m not ashamed to admit it....

My choosing Zacharie as my favorite is not about ‘playing favorites,’ or ‘preferential treatment’ when I’m parenting. I don’t let Zacharie get away with anything because he’s my first pick, I just .. yknow .. like him better. ...

When it comes to weekends when my wife and I divide the boys up to have an easier time running errands, I usually pick Z.

If there was a parenting boot camp, and maybe there should be, this would be one of the first lessons screamed at you by the cranky drill sergeant. When your children ask who's the favorite -- and they will, and they will be persistent and sneaky about it -- SAY NOTHING. Oh sure, they may suspect that you have a favorite. They may wonder, and they may accuse. But they must never know. Sibling rivalry is tough enough, and naming a favorite is just throwing parental kindling on the fire.

If you feel up to more advanced parental Jedi mind tricks, you can take each child aside and tell them that they are secretly your favorite child, but not to tell the others. If you're lucky they won't compare notes until after you're dead. If not, at least you'll discover which of your kids can keep a secret.

Don’t drive yourself too crazy trying to always make things always fair. The real trick is to minimize conditions that break down sibling relationships and cause long-lasting resentment. ... Never compare or praise one kid’s behavior in contrast to a sibling: it can create long-lasting strains.

So, for example, writing a blog post that says "my older son is my favorite of the two. He and I are adventurous partners in crime, and I can’t imagine life without him," as this dad does, is the kind of thing that can really mess a kid up.

Here's the thing, dad blogger: Not every thought you have as a parent needs to be published. There's a thin line between refreshing honesty and just being mean, and going on and on about your favorite (and least favorite) child crosses the line. At least in my book. What do you think? Do you have a favorite, and would you admit it?


  • cabrandy03
    May 22, 2014 at 1:39 PM
    Sure, I only have one so it's easy to have a favorite :-)
  • marchantmom06
    May 22, 2014 at 1:39 PM
    My 5 year old son is my favorite out of my 8.
  • alexsmomaubrys2
    May 22, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    I don't have a favorite child but in our house it is a running joke. "DD you are now my favorite, DS you better work harder!" 

    Total joke and they know it. 

  • conweis
    by conweis
    May 22, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    I don't think what the dad wrote was wrong. You can love your children equally but like one more. You can have a child with a similar personality and interest as you so you would naturally be more drawn to be around that child more. Usually parents each have their favorite. Kids even have their favorite their parent and grandparents.
    He didn't sit his kids down and tell them that to their face he didn't on a blog he kids won;t even read and if they do it will be years from now and his "favorite" might have changed by then. 

  • polkaspots
    May 22, 2014 at 1:53 PM
    My middle child is currently my favorite, the oldest is a smart ass and the youngest spits up a hundred times a day on me.
  • arpazia
    by arpazia
    May 22, 2014 at 2:18 PM
    I only have one, so I have a fave
  • .Angelica.
    May 22, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    sure, one kid is usually easier to deal with. but I wouldn't say I have a favorite. the bond is definitely different between the two though.

  • brittany208
    May 22, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    I really dont have a favorite right now. they both make me very happy and they both make me crazy.

  • Jukebox_Jenny
    May 22, 2014 at 3:27 PM
    Meh. I have favorites for different things. But not a favorite in general. If I did I certainly wouldn't tell them that. What good would it so? It would just hurt feelings.
  • virginiamama71
    May 22, 2014 at 3:43 PM

     Yes cause I only have one....

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