Is it OK for parents to have a favourite child?

A mum has admitted she favours one of her children over the other, but is that normal? [Photo: Getty]
A mum has admitted she favours one of her children over the other, but is that normal? [Photo: Getty]

A mum-of-two has sparked a heated debate after admitting to having a favourite child.

Taking to parenting site Mumsnet, the unnamed woman revealed she has two sons, one aged three and the other only 18 months.

But while she likes parenting her younger boy, she admits to having no bond with her older child.

“I am ashamed to say this… but I really do have a favourite child.

“The oldest is a real struggle for me and has been from day one,” she continues. “He is so intense and determined and he really overwhelms me.”

The woman went on to say that she really enjoys her second son.

“I feel like I understand him perfectly and I am 100% the most qualified to care for him in any situation,” she wrote.

Though she tries “really hard” to disguise her feelings towards her older son, attempting to make an effort by taking him shopping just the two of them and organising lots of play dates for him, she still feels like she is “forcing a bond.”

“My own mother was cruelly unfair to my older sister and I really thought I could be a bigger person,” she added before asking the forum if anyone else had felt like this.

And other users were quick to step in and offer their opinions on the tricky topic.

Many responded to say they had found themselves in a similar situation with their own children.

“Sad to say yes I do,” one woman admitted. “My son is very hard work but we have an incredible bond. I really did fall instantly in love with him.”

The user went on to say that she had a scary pregnancy and birth with her daughter and “although we have bonded I find I have to make more of an effort with her.”

“I do feel so sad and guilty but am hoping this is just a phase?” she added.

“Yes I do. It’s human nature,” another user shared. “I don’t love them any differently I just prefer parenting one of my girls over the other. She is a joy to be around whilst my other daughter is very difficult and always has been.”

“I wouldn’t say I have a favourite and love them both the same, unconditionally. But my second is so much easier to be around, I enjoy her company more and I understand her more. We have wonderful days together and I adore her,” another user shared.

“My son is hard work, he tests me constantly, he irritates me easily and I find him very complex. We just rub each other up the wrong way if we spend too much time together.”

Should parents have favourite children? [Photo: Getty]
Should parents have favourite children? [Photo: Getty]

However, other parents were surprised about the fact the woman has a favourite and suggested she seek help to overcome it.

“Some of the most ‘damaged’ people I know have parents who had or still have a favourite,” one user wrote. “And not all of them are the least favourite child, it affects the favourite as well.

“It’s not just their relationship with their parents but their relationship with their siblings and wider family and friends as well. Seek help, all the children involved will be aware when they’re old enough no matter how much you think you hide it.”

“I will say that no matter how hard you try to hide it your children will know as they get older,” another user commented. “I certainly did with my parents and it left me with massive resentment towards them. Seeking help now would benefit both your children.”

“Oh god this thread is scary. Those poor babies. ‘Oh but I don’t show it’ – yes you do!” another user wrote.

It isn’t the first time a parenting debate has got the Internet worked up recently. Earlier this year a dad blogger sparked a parenting debate after admitting he finds it difficult to tell his twin daughters apart.

Simon Hooper, 35, aka Father of Daughters, took to Instagram to confess he struggles to tell his three-year-old daughters, Ottie and Delilah, apart when his wife, Clemmie (Mother of Daughters) dresses them in the same outfits.

Also this year parents were divided after a PE teacher told a mum her nine-year-old daughter needed to wear a bra.

Turning to the Internet for advice, the mum revealed her child had asked her to buy the bra following a request from the teacher.

Meanwhile a pregnant woman sparked a discussion about gender disappointment after being left devastated by the news she’s having a boy instead of the baby girl she hoped for.

And earlier this year a woman divided the Internet amid claims she was “revolted” after witnessing her husband swearing at their nine-week-old baby.

Back in January a mum caused uproar after revealing her unusual hack for cleaning her toilet brush by putting it in the dishwasher.