I recently read an article on NPR.org: “Kids’ Perception of Parents’ Favoritism Counts More Than Reality.” Researchers found that when children suspect that they are the least favorite there is a higher chance of risky behavior such as drug use in the later teen years. They also determined there to be a correlation between how close the family is in general to the severity of the drug use. A close family bond lessens the effect of the perceived sibling favoritism. This article made me think… like really, sit down and THINK! Am I guilty of sibling favoritism?!
Of course with four kids you are bound to always have one of your children mid-tantrum or someone acting less than delightful. Some days one child might push your buttons more than the others, or one is being more charming than his brothers – those things happen too (or so I hear from friends!)! But then I started to think, is there consistently one little boy that I am drawn to over the others? Is there someone with whom I am closer and have more sincere conversations?
I decided to take the test listed here to find out the answer to this nagging question. To take the test accurately, you should answer the questions on the list with only one child in mind at a time. Repeat as many times as the number of children you have.
This child is your favorite, if you have done most of these things:
1. Your heart skipped a beat when you saw two blue lines on your pregnancy test.
2. You watched in amazement as your belly grew during your pregnancy.
3. As soon as you became pregnant you imagined your child’s facial features and what it would feel like to hold him – or her.
4. You planned for his arrival with excitement.
5. You woke up in the middle of the night, wondering if you were ready for a(nother) baby.
6. You doubted your parenting skills, diaper application abilities and financial stability.
7. The thought of labor/ c-section scared you.
8. The last minutes before your baby’s arrival you cried.
9. The seconds before you heard your baby’s first cry you panicked.
10. The minutes before you held your baby in your arms you were anxious.
11. The moment your eyes first met the world stood still.
12. Your first hours as a mother were a whirlwind of emotions, physical pain/ discomfort, happiness and an overwhelming “wow – now what?!”
13. When you named your child, you made sure his initials wouldn’t spell anything offensive.
14. When your child was sick or hurt you prayed to a higher power offering to take your child’s pain.
15. You had to hold yourself back from giving your child a standing ovation during his first school performance.
16. You cried the first time your child gave you a hand-print mother’s day card – and it was on display well into the following year.
17. You went completely mama-bear-crazy the first time another child was mean to your baby.
18. You were sad and upset when your child brought a bad report home from school, because you knew him was a good boy.
19. You called him by his first AND middle name when he had been bad.
20. You looked at your baby and honestly felt your heart swell with love and pride.
21. You marveled at your baby’s photographs and you SWORE this was the most beautiful child ever born.
22. You looked back at your child’s baby pictures and you chuckled at how his head was big and bald – and that you never seemed to notice it then.
23. You saved your child’s firsts: crayon scribbles (before he started to chew on the crayon), pictures of dry pasta halfway glued to construction paper, paper plate octopus, helpless handwriting, progress reports and any story that mentioned his family.
24. You took full credit for his charming and polite personality.
25. You blamed his quirky personality on your husband’s family.
26. You had several of his baby outfits and blankets stored in a closet – in case he wanted them later in life.
27. You took pictures of every holiday, all his firsts and new experiences.
28. You kissed him goodnight and tucked his blankets in around his long and lanky body.
29. You secretly took a deep breath when you kissed his forehead, hoping to catch a hint of his sweet baby-smell… the one that had been replaced by the smell of sweaty shoes and cheetos.
30. You breathed a sigh of relief when you picked him up from school and he greeted you with a smile.
31. You got a sinking feeling in your stomach when your child greeted you with teary eyes.
32. You were smiling from ear to ear when your child opened the birthday present he had wanted for months.
33. You got upset when your child wouldn’t eat a balanced meal.
34. You worried about his back to back ear infections.
35. You would move mountains for your child’s health, happiness and welfare.
36. You compromised your own full night’s sleep so you could finish stuffing all 18 goodie bags for your son’s class party the next day.
37. You spent hours on Etsy looking for the right Batman decorations for his birthday party.
38. You fed his goldfish when he forgot.
39. You flushed his dead goldfish and bought a new one before he noticed that Flipper was a floater.
40. You cried the first time he crawled.
41. You cried the first time he said “mama.”
42. You ignored it when his first word was “dada.”
43. You cried at his first official haircut.
44. You cried the first time he walked.
45. You celebrated the first time he pooped on the toilet.
46. You cried when he lost his first tooth.
47. You cried when he fell and scraped his knee the first time.
48. You cried the first time he rode his bike without training wheels.
49. You cried on his first day of school.
50. You held on a little while longer when he hugged you out of the blue.
If you smiled, nodded in agreement, or otherwise affirmed that you have done several of these 50 things during your child’s first years then it is safe to say that HE is your favorite child!
IF you got the same result for all of your children, well then congratulations – you are officially a mother with a full heart!
I have FOUR favorite children! Four little boys have stolen my heart. I might get tired, worn down, exhausted, upset, mad, disappointed and sometimes even sad because of something they did or didn’t do. But the reality of motherhood is that I love them all equally and completely.
Growing up, did you feel that you were the favorite, or was one of your siblings?