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Did your parents have a favourite child?

(206 Posts)
songstress60 Sun 17-Jan-21 15:27:18

I am interested in knowing if any of the people on this forum had parents who had a favourite child, and it if affected their life. Were you the favourite child? Were you the unfavourite child?

I come from a family of 3 daughters and the middle daughter was definitely my mum's favourite. In fact my mother told me that after her birth which happened when I was 2 years of age I became a "jealous little bitch". She said that I spoiled everyone's childhood, but I feel that she made a real favourite out of my sister right from the start. My dad actually told her off about it because when my sister was a baby she would put her to bed and nobody was to disturb her while she bonded with her daughter. He said I did not get a look in at all. She was resentful of my youngest sister who was an accident, and always favoured my middle sister who could do no wrong in her eyes. When my sister bought her first home my mother's housewarming present was a vanity unit, a fitted wardrobe, and a dressing table. My housewarming present was a set of cat ornaments from a charity shop which I got rid of after her death. After she had been married 3 years my dad bought her some new rings:- a new eternity ring, wedding ring, and engagement ring. You would think she would divide the 3 old rings between the 3 of us. No! She gave my middle sister her ALL 3 of her old rings. I know I am not the only unfavourite child. A friend and work colleague of mine deliberately only had one child because of all the favouritism her mother bestowed on her sister. My other friend was also the unfavourite child who decided to have no children after having a miserable childhood where she felt second best. I would love to hear of other gransnet readers eperience of this, and if any of them as parents actually have a favourite child themselves?

Sara1954 Sun 17-Jan-21 15:32:29

Yes, and it most definitely wasn’t me!
To be fair I don’t think she was overly keen on either of us, but if she could have only plucked one of us out of the path of a speeding train, it wouldn’t have been me!
Yes, I’m sure it affected me, but I’m long over it, and haven’t spoken to her in years.

Witzend Sun 17-Jan-21 15:35:10

She’d have sworn to her dying day that she didn’t, but my mother definitely did - the one boy out of four.
I don’t think my father ever did.

Mollygo Sun 17-Jan-21 15:35:25

Not exactly favourite the way you describe it*songstress*. I feel for you.
For us it was more ‘Boys are best’. My sister and I tackled that different ways. I went the “anything he can do, I can do better” and she did the “think that if you like, I don’t care’ way. The problem was that my brother thought he was better too and when he was older, he didn’t understand why we didn’t include him in our gatherings.
Now we communicate quite amicably-possibly helped by the distance between us.

Humbertbear Sun 17-Jan-21 15:36:35

I am amazed that the middle daughter became the favourite. My husband and I are both the middle of three and we always knew we would never, ever, have three children. In my family the youngest was definitely the favourite and still is. My mother is very elderly but her first thoughts in any situation are concerned with how my younger sister will be affected and she always makes excuses for her. We don’t have a favourite. It’s easier perhaps because we have a boy and a girl. I have a friend who has 4 grown up sons but I know which is her favourite from the way she talks about her sons and him in particular. My father’s mother also had favourite grand children - needless to say it wasn’t me and my sisters!

Blossoming Sun 17-Jan-21 15:39:07

Yes, I’m the youngest of a big family and was everybody’s favourite child. It does get a bit irksome being referred to as “our baby” in your 20s though grin

kittylester Sun 17-Jan-21 15:46:43

Yep and it definitely wasn't me either.

Baby brother was right up till mum died! We are over it now but it caused an awful lot of trouble at one stage.

We have 5 children and don't have favourites. They all have their different attributes and drawbacks.

Grannybags Sun 17-Jan-21 15:47:51

Yes me!

Not in the way you describe songstress60 but I was the youngest of 5 with 5 years between me and the next youngest and 12 years younger than my eldest brother.

I think I was my siblings favourite too just because I was so much younger than them and a curly headed cutie!! I was spoilt by them all

ninathenana Sun 17-Jan-21 15:49:59

I had an older brother who was very much a loner. Spent most of his time in his room with his nose in a book and didn't interact with the family.
Mum and dad didn't understand him
I was the favourite, I find that sad.

GagaJo Sun 17-Jan-21 15:52:01

My brother was and still is the favourite. I had a brief spell in the sun while I had cancer, but I am back to being the black sheep now.

My mother always favours boys. Bro was the favourite, ridiculously, of my 2 cats, the boy cat was favourite. Unfortunately for my mother, due to the issues between me and her and my brothers family, she has only seen my darling grandson a couple of times. She would have adored him, he is ALL boy.

downtoearth Sun 17-Jan-21 15:56:17

Yes, and it was not me.
With a gap of 5 years before I was born, and a gap of 5 years before my brother was born, I do not think either of us where eagerly awaited,growing up we had no reason to think differently.
My brother still quite bitter about it,I have let it go, when my two daughters died, that paled into insignificance .

Grandma70s Sun 17-Jan-21 15:57:31

I am fairly sure I was the favourite. There were just the two of us, me and my elder brother, and I was much more amenable and generally easy than he was. My father always said that they could take me anywhere, whereas my brother might easily embarrass them. I was also better at my school work, something that was very important to my parents.

They tried desperately hard not to show their preference, but brother was certainly very jealous of me when we were children. It all evened out as we grew up, and I think by the time we were adults we were fairly equal in our parents’ eyes.

I have two sons, and I don’t think I really have a favourite. They have different good points. I’m afraid I definitely have a favourite grandchild! I don’t think anyone knows, though. I hope not.

cornishpatsy Sun 17-Jan-21 16:00:34

My brother is the favourite, I dont mind now as he is the one that is always asked to do things for my mother as she assumes being a man is more capable than the girls in the family.

Lucretzia Sun 17-Jan-21 16:01:19

My sister was the favourite. Four years older than me.

I don't think my father ever forgave me for not being a boy! My mother refused to have any more children so that was that.

It didn't really bother me very much.

I was just thrilled when many years later an uncle, ( not related) asked me how it had been growing up with my sister being the favourite.

I didn't think anyone else had noticed!

Grandmabatty Sun 17-Jan-21 16:08:23

My brother was my mum's favourite growing up and he still is, despite making a mess of his life. She still tells everyone how good he is. The family know different. He was the darling of my gran too. I was petted and loved until he was born when I was four, then I was ignored. My dad and grandpa did what they could and I suppose I became a daddy's girl. I hope I don't favour either of my children over the other but it would be hard to know.

Greyduster Sun 17-Jan-21 16:39:02

I was born to my parents straight after the war, when my siblings - two sisters and a brother - were adults; working, in fact. It’s true to say I was the apple of my father’s eye (though not my mother’s). Until, that is, my nephew, the first grandson, was born and then I had my nose pushed seriously out of joint, as I watched my father make a tremendous fuss of him and ignore me (he absolutely didn’t, but that’s the way my jealous, fevered child’s imagination had it!). He’s not much younger than me, but as we grew I set out to prove to my father that I was a better ‘boy’ than Michael was, which put my mother’s nose seriously out of joint as she was desperate for me to show some vestige of femininity, and had my grandmother on her case to that effect! It all came out right in the end😁!

Knittynatter Sun 17-Jan-21 16:46:00

I don’t think my mum had a favourite but she did have a better relationship with my younger sister than she did with me. I was the ‘test’ child being the first - they learned how to do things with me and were well practised by the time my sister came along!
I don’t resent it but I do understand it.
I have three children and do my very best not to have a favourite. They are all amazing in different ways.

shysal Sun 17-Jan-21 16:54:44

It was definitely my brother who was the favourite with my mother. Even when she needed care in her final years, most of which I provided, he could do no wrong and I could do no right!

crazyH Sun 17-Jan-21 16:57:22

I think we love all our children equally, but when it comes to “liking” it’s different .....that depends on the child’s personality.

Witzend Sun 17-Jan-21 17:01:27

It’s funny how I never thought to resent it at the time, but although money was tight, my mother was desperate for my brother to go to boarding school (it was really a snob thing with her) and he did. Her earnings, once she eventually returned to work, went towards the fees. They were relatively a lot cheaper then, but even so...

Whereas I, who had a free grammar school place, could never be spared the 7/6d an hour for the riding lessons I wanted so badly for a few years.

Not that it bothers me at all now (and I get on fine with my brother) but one reason dh and I only had 2 children was because we had both come from families with 4 children where money was always tight, so we couldn’t have things that many other kids did - and in fact never even bothered asking for, because we knew the answer would be no.

NfkDumpling Sun 17-Jan-21 17:03:36

I'm the only child and my DM was an only child too. No problems about favouritism except that my maternal GP's spoilt me rotten - when they had been really strict with her. I was the favourite even though a generation apart!

Lucca Sun 17-Jan-21 17:10:01


Yes, and it was not me.
With a gap of 5 years before I was born, and a gap of 5 years before my brother was born, I do not think either of us where eagerly awaited,growing up we had no reason to think differently.
My brother still quite bitter about it,I have let it go, when my two daughters died, that paled into insignificance .

What a terrible loss for you, I’m so sorry.

Juliet27 Sun 17-Jan-21 17:10:06

My brother was definitely favourite. He could do no wrong in her eyes ...'oh poor ......, everything goes wrong for him' she'd say. No, he did some very foolish things and to this day he still does. Mum definitely drove a wedge between us.

LadyGracie Sun 17-Jan-21 17:11:57

Yes and it was me. I was the 5th out of 6 children. To the others I was goody two shoes.
I stayed at home the longest, my father always said I was my mother’s best friend as well as her daughter.

Ashcombe Sun 17-Jan-21 17:16:01

I was probably the favourite, rather than my late older sister, four years my senior. She was a very reserved child but more compliant than me. Due to surgery for an umbilical hernia repair, I was rather indulged when young, I think. It appeared that my father liked the fact that I was more like his side of the family, especially his spirited sister, whom I admired for her glamour, but whom my mother regarded as being "no better than she should be"!!