Friday, July 5, 2013

Repost: Do you have a favorite child?

I've contributed to the Orlando Sentinel's Moms at Work blog since 2010. The blog is changing content management systems and my old posts will no longer be available to the public, so I'm reposting them here, in the order that they were originally posted.

Sept. 26, 2012

In my experience, one of the benefits of being an only child is knowing that you're absolutely, without a doubt, your parents' favorite offspring.

So I'm at a bit of a loss in trying to really understand two recent stories about parents choosing favorites.

A Canadian dad named Buzz Bishop, who has two children, recently admitted in a blog post that his older son is his favorite. His older son, he said, is more fun, while his toddler is a bit of a handful.

In a related matter, it seems that being the favorite kid can have an effect on how a parent feels about the care an adult child provides for an elderly mother in her golden years. A study from Purdue University indicates that elderly women actually experience more stress if the child who provides care is not the one the mother wants than if the mother remains on her own.


To make matters worse, according to the study, if older parents and adult children don't discuss this issue, the children are only able to predict their moms' caregiver preferences about half the time.

Although it seems like a strange thing to discuss publicly, it makes perfect sense that parents would enjoy certain things about one child while enjoying completely different things about another.

Are you able to admit whether you have a favorite child? Why is that child your favorite?

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