It’s the topic that’s been hotly debated around family dinner tables for decades: ‘who is the favourite child?’ Finally, a new study has provided us with a definitive answer, but it’s probably not what you expected.
Research from Brigham Young University's School of Family Life has revealed that favouritism is in the eye of the beholder.
However, younger siblings are much more sensitive to their standing with their parents than their older counterparts. And in turn, this strengthens the parent-child bond.
In short? The last-born is probably the favourite because they think they are.
The study looked at more than 300 families, each with two teenage children. To measure the levels of favouritism, researchers asked both the children and their parents about their relationships with each other.
“When parents are more loving and they’re more supportive and consistent with all of the kids, the favouritism tends not to matter as much,” associate professor and the study’s co-author Alex Jensen says.
“Some parents feel like ‘I need to treat them the same.’ What I would say is ‘No you need to treat them fairly, but not equally.’ If you focus on it being okay to treat them differently because they’re different people and different needs, that’s OK.”