Are there consequences when parents have a favourite child?

Parents will argue to the death that they don't have a favorite child and that the favoritism is only perceived. However, in most cases, perception appears to hold a greater weight than reality
when parents have a favourite child
No matter how it is concealed, when parents have a favourite child, it still shows – especially amongst the siblings. This isn’t to say they don’t love their other kids, it just means that they love one a little more than the others.

There are different reasons why parents favour one child over the other(s). It could be because of the circumstances surrounding the birth of that child, proximity to the child, similarity in lifestyle, or similar personalities. Most parents play favorites with their youngest child.

Parents will argue to the death that they don’t have a favourite child and that the favoritism is only perceived. However, in most cases, perception appears to hold a greater weight than reality. While favouritism might not be harmful, in some extreme cases, the other sibling(s) feel like they need to compete for their parents’ love.

Growing up, I wasn’t my parents’ favourite but I didn’t feel like they hated me because they gave me the best life possible. I just knew that when it came to pressing their buttons, my other siblings were in control. The same was the case for Reni.

My parents did and still do have a favorite child (our last born). Initially, we didn’t get along because we thought they loved him more (they actually do), we just started using him to get things from them. It’s a win-win for all of us.

As is the case of some people, Jyoti understood why her sibling needed more attention. “Yes! I have a younger brother whose health wasn’t good in his early years so, he needed care and he himself was also quite introverted but I never hated him or my parents because I love him too – even more than them. In fact, I am valued more as I came to realize when I grew up.

For my friend, however, the opposite was her case. Her elder sis hates her till date as she (elder sister) felt like their parents didn’t look out for her and they loved my friend more. However, my friend suffered afterward because of that sister’s attitude. She has a younger brother whom she loves and who loves her as well. Their parents still insist they loved all 3 children equally.

Depending on how parents handle the situation, the long-term effects of parental favouritism run deeper than we think. The sibling who isn’t favoured may feel hurt and resentful towards their parents and the favoured sibling. This week on Begging Questions, I’d like to know.

Do your parents have a favourite? How did this affect you growing up? Did you think they hated you or were you just okay knowing they love you but they love your sibling more? Did it affect your relationship with a said sibling?

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See also: Begging Question: How would you react if you or your loved one were a victim of medical negligence?



  1. Brendan

    It’s tricky. The consequences are always seen in the children’s lives.

  2. Lucifer

    Look it’s not a secret parents all have a favorite child. It’s normal we are humans. I see no reason why siblings get worked up over this when eventually you grow up to do the same thing with your kids. Just deal with it. Your parents love you no matter if you aren’t the favourite.

  3. Omolola Saliu

    Not sure I can relate but my mom at every point had a favorite I think, or she just faced who needed her more at different times there was a point I felt I was her favorite. However, not finding a way to balance how you show care and attention to your children does have consequences and sometimes serious. Nobody wants to feel lesser than others.

  4. Damilola Ogundare

    Growing up as the middle child in the family, I wasn’t my parents favourite, they did their best in training me, I wasn’t their center of attention, probably because I was the peaceful child.😂

  5. Ifunanya Mbakogu

    There are consequences.
    Growing up, my dad was very strict to us and we would always beg my sister to write letters to him for our fees and some other needs. My dad tried to hide it but we knew .

  6. Tiwatade

    My parents tried their best possible to make sure that they didn’t play favorites while we grew up. But my sister always says I’m my mum’s favorite. I don’t see how that is because we don’t see eye to eye on some things. I wouldn’t say that this is a thing in a family and if it is, it not pronounced enough to cause any consequences.

  7. Blessing

    Definitely! Parents have favourites and it shows no matter how they try to downplay it. Personally, I’m neutral for the love I have for my parents even when I perceive that I’m the favourite. This way, I’m not bias when one parent is not treating my siblings right or something. To me, Everyone in my family holds the number 1 position (including parents), no other number exists in my dictionary 😂

  8. Daisy

    Absolutely, there’re consequences to having a favourite child. Some parents may not see how that bad it affects the self esteem children but it’s a real thing. It’s unfair to give one child favouritism over another whilst neglecting the needs or barely giving attention to the other. All children regardless of if one is doing better than should be treated equally in love and respect.

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