SURVEY CONFIRMS: The youngest child is the parents' favourite - fact!
You may have assumed it, but now it's been proved...
Editor / March 20 2019
The youngest sibling in a family is more likely to be the parents’ favourite - according to a top study.
Researchers from Brigham Young University's School of Family Life interviewed more than 300 families and discovered that the baby of the family is seen by everyone else to be the absolute favourite - and as a result the parents and that child have a very strong relationship.
During the research study, the children (mainly teenagers) and parents were asked various questions to assess levels of favouritism within the family.
The parents were asked how much warmth and conflict they have with their children, while the teenagers were asked to describe their relationship with their parents.
Parents and children both identified that the youngest one had the best relationships within the family unit - and was deemed to be the favourite by everyone else.
Assistant Professor Alex Jensen, who conducted the study, says that while this information might alarm parents who are worried they are playing favourites with their children, it's not important to treat all children equally.
“When parents are more loving and they’re more supportive and consistent with all of the kids, the favouritism tends to not matter as much,” 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 have different needs, that’s OK.”
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE...
Frances Sheen has been a magazine and website journalist & editor for the last 20 years - both in Australia and the UK. She's appeared on countless TV and radio shows to discuss parenting and launched her own social media parenting brand. She's the mum of two little girls and juggles that with a busy working life.