Can you have a favorite child? According to research, yes ...

A recent Purdue University study, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, would have shed light on one of the major taboos widespread in the family: the existence of a favorite child.
But, apparently, mom and dad aren't the only ones with preferences ... look how this little girl reacts to the news of a little brother coming!

Discovering your favorite son. The results of science

No one would ever confess it, but to reveal it is a study according to which as many as 80% of parents have a favorite child.
The research looked at over 400 mothers, whose family behavior was monitored over a 7-year period. A previous analysis of 137 families had already investigated the preferences of fathers.
Two main trends emerged from the data collected through these studies:

- in the event that the children are a boy and a girl, the mother tends to bond more with the child. The reasons aren't all that surprising; the bond between the women of the family would be increased by common interests (starting from the typically female ones), as well as by "tackling strictly female physical and emotional problems together.

- in families with two children of the same sex, most fathers seem more fond of the firstborn, but the reasons are not very clear. The first child is certainly the one who awakens their protective instinct, the one to whom they reserve extreme care and continuous attention, and it is likely that their special bond has to do with this imprinting.

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How much does favoritism affect family life and the raising of children

Regardless of the gender and age of the family members, the most complicated preference to manage in the family seems to be that of the father.
The reasons that support it can in fact be perceived by the children as more worrying than the "natural" causes that challenge the mother-daughter bond.
At the base there is already a more difficult relationship than the one that tends to be established with the mother, who is generally more open to dialogue and more affectionate.
The child who realizes that the father, or the most reserved and critical figure in the family, who often limits himself to observing from a distance, analyzing and perhaps judging his behavior, tends to have more understanding attitudes towards his brother or sister , will inevitably end up compromising the relationship with the brothers.

A related study has highlighted the connection between the existence of a favorite child and juvenile delinquency. Teens who are suspicious (or aware) of not being the favorites in the family would be those most likely to smoke, drink and use substances.
In the first years of life, realizing that you are not the favorite could also favor the development of psycho-physical disorders and aggressive attitudes.

But favoritism has consequences not only on numbers 2 - and on their self-esteem - but also on "mother's chariots".
The latter, in fact, are charged with expectations, which do not necessarily correspond entirely to their inclinations and their deepest ambitions.
Many parents do not understand that their children were born in a different age and society from theirs and many others make the dangerous mistake of projecting onto the children the aspirations they abandoned in their youth.
There is nothing to be ashamed of, but it is necessary to acknowledge it and act accordingly, letting the children, even if monitored and guided by the precious advice of mum and dad, take their own path.

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How to fix it for the good of the whole family

Consciously or unconsciously, do you have a favorite child but you love everyone and want them to be peaceful in the family? Just follow some simple advice ...
As far as possible and according to their inclinations, try to give both of them the same opportunities; avoid making comparisons, they are completely useless - because everyone is made in his own way and lives different experiences - and can create tensions in the family; listen to them - maybe you don't do it enough or you don't do it right - and you will probably find a channel of dialogue with even the most "complicated" child.

Bonus: get them to get a tattoo, but only if they ask you to!

Tags:  Actuality Old-Couple Love-E-Psychology