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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kalle... kallen0503

I thought being a mother meant unconditional love for all the children they have, but I guess I didn't know.  It is happening to me right now, and I am 31 y/o!  My brother went to prison, and ever since then my mother has tended to his every need.

LadyJag LadyJag

I would just caution moms that even though you don't think the kids see your favortism, they definitely pick up on it! My own mom swore up and down that she loved me and my brother equally, but I knew early on that she favored my brother more than me. I didn't feel unloved, of course, I just felt loved less.

As I got older, the favortism towards my brother grew stronger with my mom. I remember when I was in my 20s, it got so bad that OTHER people - friends, cousins, aunts, etc. - even pointed it out to her. Of course, their observations upset my mom, because she didn't want me to feel slighted, and she did her best to reign it in, but it's still there.

We are human, and you can't help the way you feel. I just wanted to let you know, though, that you're only fooling yourself if you think no one else...your children included... can tell that you favor one a little more than the other.

lovec... lovechange

I am a bit late on this topic because i just found the site but i have to comment. I wanted to find literature to back up my feelings or just to understand them. I am overcome with guilt and at times i just want to run away and be by myself.

 I have twin boys; they are both 10 mths old now and i must admit that i find all my younger son's mannerism to be very annoying and frustrating. Every morning he wakes i would pray that he doesn't scream on the top of his lungs; when i give him a bottle he would take forever to drink and would roll over and start making these screeching noise that causes me to get so angry some times i would just cry.

My older son is very laid back and for some reason, i feel he is just the kind of baby i prayed would be mine. They are both adorable but i feel so much joy when i play with my older son and i feel strong sense of guilt when i play with my youngest.

I really hope i can adjust to his mannerisms and learn to accept them as apart of his growing and exploring phase. As of this date i am overwhelmed with so many emotions and i am trying my best to embrace him as apart of me even though sometimes my feelings get in the way.

Kimberly Virga

I honestly, 100% do NOT understand how anybody could favor one child over another. I think that's horrible. They are completely different people! Ugh.

olivi... olivia3579

Just bcuz u secretly favor a child doesnt mean u dont equally love ur children. I dont favor any of my children but i can c how some mothers do. I dont think its wrong. We r human and we all have human instincts. This is not as big of a deal as some ppl make it out 2 b.

Mistura Olaoye

no. i might me being judgemental but i think even "loving a child differently" is wrong. it's all supposed to be equal. because you might think the non-favored kid doesn't know it, but they do. and as another poster said; it hurts. its a shame all of you are tolerable of it.

Grinn... GrinningCheese

The 6 year old probably acts out because that's the only time her mom pays her any attention. If she can't behave in public who's fault is that?  She won't learn by being left behind and/or ignored. Not saying mom is bad for that cause a lot of parents don't want to be the one to take the kids in public to teach them to behave. I was and still am the Aunt who doesn't mind taking small children places because they won't learn otherwise and I can't say I've ever had a problem in public.

nonmember avatar anna

My brother puts it perfectly when talking about his four kids. He said, " I love you all equally all of the time....but on certain days I like you more than others."

nonmember avatar Kirsten

as a child i was the not favorite one i would cry when no one could hear me. my dad was not around he rather party then be in my life and my mom alawys ingored me. i never hear that i was doing a good job in school or that she loved me. she favored my little sister. and she still dose i dont know why? what did i do wrong? why couldnt she love me too? i am starting to hate her and my sister now .i have 3 children and they both act like they dont exist. i have a hard time showing emotins and cry alot and i have a hard time saying i love you even children. i think my mom relly runied my life or my sister being born did. so dont favor one child more then the other. the other one needs love too, just look at your not favorite one's face when hes sitting there or playing alone ,go sit next to him or her and get to know them, your never going to get this time back they grow up so fast dont have any regrets there your children!!! who else is going to love them if you cant?

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