Research or no research, I’m not buying this claim that parents have a favourite child. My five year old, on the other hand, would beg to differ. Somewhere along the way he has become convinced that he is my favourite child and if he’s annoyed at me threatens to withdraw this honour. “I won’t be your favourite child anymore” can be said to me for all number of reasons from insisting he eats his carrots to telling him Superman is cooler than Batman.
It has become quite the standing joke with the older kids in our house at this stage, while the younger ones remain oblivious to his claims. I’ve no idea where he got the idea from but he’s happy enough to argue the point with his Gran, who in her loyalty to my other children tries regularly to convince him that I don’t in fact have a favourite. He won’t entertain the notion, however, and remains confident that he holds the most privileged position in my affections.
Most definitely there are certain aspects of my children’s personalities that I find easier to live with (and certain aspects that drive me to the brink of insanity) but that’s human nature. I’m aware of my different children’s strengths and difficulties. I’m aware of the fact that even though the same ingredients went into making each of them, the end results couldn’t be more different. They might look alike but their personalities and temperaments are as individual as they are. We have a couple of them we call the “charm offensive”, the kids we send to meet and greet when we want to make a good impression. We have another couple we hang back on introducing to a scenario until that same impression is made! There are some in which I see a lot of me, both in mannerisms and interests and some so much like their father it’s uncanny. Having more in common with one or more children does not change how I feel about the others.
I try my best to be fair to them all (though I’m sure they might disagree) but I don’t treat them all the same because they need different things from me. I don’t parent them all the same because they need different parenting from me. I do however love them all completely and utterly equally with all my heart….except for the ones who do their homework with least complaining….I probably love them a bit more…and my five year old of course!