Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Science confirms the truth: parents really do have a favourite child

GettyImages-457185732.jpg

No matter where you land in the family pecking order: oldest, middle or youngest child, it’s likely you've always had a sneaking suspicion that your parents have a favourite.

Did a sibling always get let off easier than you, growing up? Were there always more chips on their plate? More sprinkles on their ice cream?

Well, it turns out that the rumours are true; your parents did, and probably still do, have a favourite child.

Science has confirmed it.

In a study carried out by sociologist Katherine Conger, researchers asked 384 groups of adolescent siblings whether or not they felt their parents preferred one child over another, and how that has affected their self-esteem.

The primary findings of the study revealed that the eldest child most commonly feels that they are they favourite, due to a combination of factors including first-born status, and the increased power that comes with age and a lifetime spent paving the way.

Sound of Music

The youngest siblings reported that they often felt the least appreciated, and were regularly on the receiving end of stricter rules as a result of mistakes made by their older brothers or sisters.

But while that’s all very interesting, here’s the part that’s really grabbing headlines.

After talking to the siblings, researchers also asked the respective parents for their perspective on the feedback.

Although all parents agreed that they would never reveal the information to their children, they did confirm to the researchers that they may have treated one child a little better than the rest.

An incredible 74 per cent of mothers and 70 per cent of fathers admitted to giving preferential treatment to one child over the others. Which as we can all deduce, equates to having a favourite.

So, there you go.

 

Related

LillyWachowski.jpg

Matrix director Wachowski on coming out as a transgender woman

the sound of music von trapp family children.jpg

What your ranking in the family pecking order says about you

ridget jones thong.jpg

Why we should all wear men's underwear

cara delevingne model.jpg

Cara Delevingne opens up about her battle with “self-hatred”

single-mum.jpg

Single mums by choice; meet the women who started families alone

rexfeatures_5073872ce.jpg

Oldest children are 'cleverer than their siblings'

rexfeatures_3384573a.jpg

It's official: eldest siblings are smarter, nicer and more outgoing

Samantha Jones Sex And The City 2.jpg

Meet three women happy to be child-free by choice

Red Riding Hood.jpg

What happened when our favourite children's characters grew up?

More

The best possible gifts for when flowers aren’t going to cut it

17 unusual and thoughtful gifts for when the s**t hits the fan

by Amy Swales
22 Sep 2017

This Battle of the Sexes legend wants you to STOP asking about McEnroe

“I would like to see John McEnroe win a Grand Slam tournament while pregnant”

by Susan Devaney
22 Sep 2017

“The real reason we should all be upset about Uber”

Grow up: your bank balance really isn’t what’s at stake here

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Sep 2017

There's a huge sherbet fountain coming to London - and it's free

Bompas & Parr are planning a weird, wonderful and nostalgia-filled event

by Helen Brown
22 Sep 2017

Rick and Morty creator responds to sexist trolling of female writers

The show hired four women. Cue cries of “Worst. Episodes. Evah.”

by Amy Swales
22 Sep 2017

Everything you need to know about Uber being banned in London

The taxi firm has had its license revoked by TfL

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017

The new Baileys flavour you’ll want to drink well beyond Halloween

Perfect autumn cocktails ahead

by Amy Swales
22 Sep 2017

This unexpected town has been voted the best place to work in the UK

We didn’t see this one coming

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017

Harry Potter fans, this epic Hogwarts goblet is actually magical

It's perfect for Butterbeer (or prosecco)

by Megan Murray
22 Sep 2017

The hidden meanings behind the nation’s most popular baby names

Prepare for lots of girls’ names ending in ‘a’

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017