Mom Confessions: I Favor My Older Child


hushIt's time for a Mom Confession -- because, let's face it, we're real mothers and sometimes it doesn't work the way the parenting books say it should.

This Week's Confession:

"I favor my 8 year old over my 6 year old. My 8 year old is much easier to deal with. My 6 year old throws constant tantrums. Even though I feel that way, they get treated equally. I think a lot of mothers secretly favor one child over the other, either because one is easier to deal with, sweeter, smarter, cuter, whatever the reason. You can't help what you feel inside." --anonymous

"But it should never be shown to the kids," the mom continues. "I know that I love them both the same. I just feel that one is easier to deal with and I'd rather be around (shopping, movies outings) that one. I don't pay my "favorite" more attention. If anything, the other one gets more attention because I feel guilty for favoring one."


Do you think it's perfectly natural for a mother to favor one child over another, either due to personality or a medical issue the child is going through?

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Total Votes: 391

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Does favoring a child translate into loving them more than another -- even though you might not think so on a conscious level?

We all have secrets -- so thanks to this brave mom for sharing her honest thoughts, and thank you for keeping this conversation non-judgemental!

activities, discipline, siblings, tantrums


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Willy... Willywonka06

I can see one day being anoyed with one child and not the other, so that would make it easier to enjoy them but they are both so amazing to me they each have thier own personalitys sometimes good sometimes bad but I don't compare are favor one. I get anoyed with both sometimes, it's part of being a parent but I have never once thought hey I like you better or you like the same color as me so I'm going to spoil you more lol. Sorry I'm just crazy for all my children.

abayh... abayhaymom

my oldest is super smart, giving, selfless, adorable, energetic, stubborn and tempermental my only boy is whiney, loving, snuggly, helpful, cranky, adorable and caring my second dd is stubborn, sweet, bouncy, loving, selfish, tempermental, mean, funny and adorable.  my youngest dd is sweet, cuddly, rotten, onery and adorable!  (yes they are ALL adorable!)  they each have their own very different personality, they each have their own special talents and their own 'downfalls' if you want to call them that... but that's what makes them, them!  As for the difficulties I have with each of them those are ever changing, some are more prominent (ds crankiness), some will change with time (hopefully :), some are brought on by differnt activies, environments or times of the day (like after missing a nap), some come with age (what 3 year old isn't selfish?) and some I'm sure I'll miss later (even if i don't realize it now!)  But they are all my kids and I love them all to death!  That said, I've probably felt that I've "favored" on over the others one several occasions, but I've felt that about all of them!  There are some points in time I wish one, or two, or three, or heck even all four of my kids were sleeping or at school or something so I didn't have to deal with them (who honestly hasn't?)  Ou kids have the greatest power over us... they can bring us the most joy and yet the most pain, but isn't that what being a mother is all about? 

RanaA... RanaAurora

MamaCatCat, I totally agree with what you're saying.  However, I don't think it'd be unreasonable for a mom to enjoy her time with the "calm" child secretly a little more than she does with the "hyper" one, but still being putting her all into BOTH of them.

Favoring one doesn't mean it shows on the outside, or that it's even intentional.

YaYaM... YaYaMomof2

I favor my older child as well.  But-he is the more difficult one.  Believe it.  Its only natural.  After All.  I know I wasn't the favorite of 6 siblings.  I'm not  upset about it.  I respect your honesty. 

mommy... mommy22babies

I find that I favor my oldest. My kids have two different fathers and I think that is my main problem. I am married to my youngest daughters father and although he is the only father my oldest has ever know it still makes me feel like she is an outcast in the family. His family accepts my oldest but I know that they will never feel the same way about her that they do about my youngest. and even as much as I would not like to admit it, I can see it in my husbands eyes when he looks at both of them. I feel like I need to shelter my oldest. My girls are 4 and 2 so my oldest dosent know that he is not her biological father yet becuase weve have been together since she was 3 months old and her biological father is not in the picture at all. I just dread when she is older and i have to explain things to her.

babys... babysyoungmom1

i think i might always favor my first child.i dont have any others and wont try very hard for any.I think shes number one and wont take the chance that i wont feel the same about the rest of them.

momof... momofsaee

For anyone with more than one child, this is common. Its especially common for someone with more than 2 or 3 kids. I have 4 and I find myself having an especially close bond with my 3rd child, my first son. I am not sure if its because hes my first boy or because of his birth order. Hes extremely easy going and laid back. Hes easy to parent. I love all my kids the same but sometimes I don't always like them the same because of behavior. I find that personality wise, we click as well. My second child is my squeaky wheel. I think birth order is also coming into play as well. I parent them all the same but they come out acting so very different. What we have to do as mothers when this arises is to never compare them and make sure we spend time with each of them building relationship. Yes, I clash with my second daughter more, but I work harder at it as well. I think this is a common part of parenting.

Barbi... Barbiewithabeef

I definitely feel that way, especially since my oldest who is 18 is more gentle and sweeter than the younger one who is 16.  The younger one is always fighting with her older sister and wishing that she was the oldest.  Plus she curses me and fights with me too. The only time she doesn't is when I am spending money on her at the mall!!  The older one knows that, too.  When they were littleler, the younger one got all my attention and the oldest hardly at all because she threw temper tantrums and did stuff to test my patience.  She still does to this day, but now I know better and give my older daughter the attention.  Even though I love both my daughters, I cannot treat them both the same because they do have separate personalities and I have to adjust my own before dealing with each one!


Midni... MidnightMama911

I have the same issue. I haven't had a super close bond with my first child from birth, whereas my son has been a Mama's boy since day one. I love my daughter and couldn't imagine my world without her, but I enjoy my son more...and he enjoys me more. I usually sum it up with 'I LOVE them the same, but I LIKE my son better.'  It's perfectly natural and there's nothing wrong with it. Unless you start treating them differently, then it's a problem and needs to be addressed.

bayou... bayoumimi

I guess I don't understand completely, probably because my parents (both of them) favored my oldest younger brother over me and my younger brother.  He had many many problems which caused them to give him more special attention, but unfortunately, my younger brother and I both suffered from the lack of attention and what we deemed as their love.  It has carried over into our adult lives in many ways, and I sought counseling in later years to deal with it.  My parents carried it over to all of our children, without realizing of course, and my son is treated like an outcast while my brothers son is treated like a king.  When he needed help in school, my parents paid for a tutor, however when my son needed help years ago for his learning disability, they told me to take time off of work and deal with it.  There are many more instances but I think you get my point.  You can favor a child and not realize that the other children are picking up on the signals even when you are unaware that you are sending them.  My advice would be to find something special to connect with your other child and you might just be surprised at the bond you might end up forming and will then have a stronger family unit.

I hope I didn't sound like I was judging, because it is not even close to that, just wanted to show the other side of the pendulum.

Blessings to all.good

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