The Traits That Make You Mom's Favorite Child

May 8, 2020

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Whether we want to admit it, most parents have a favorite. Although all families are different, there are qualities that are more likely to make you the chosen one. Research with hundreds of families over 20 years was conducted to understand what made mothers prefer certain kids, and how favoritism affects the mental health of both parents and children. What they found was that the most favored children often had the same traits. The favored child was most likely to be a girl and was usually the last born.  The study is broken down into three phases. Phase one, done between 2001 and 2003, interviewed 566 mothers and 773 of their adult children. They asked the mother questions about her relationships with her children, including to whom she felt the most emotionally close, with whom she had the most disagreements, in whom she had the most pride, and in whom she was the most disappointed. The researchers also asked the kids how they thought their mother would answer.  Phase two was conducted between 2008 and 2011 where 420 of the mothers who participated in the first phase and 826 of their children and asked the same questions as in phase one to find any differences. Phase three began in February of this year when researchers began speaking with the children and the grandchildren of the mothers to learn even more about the perceptions of favoritism over time. Researchers hope the information they find will help relationships between parents and children and among siblings.

SOURCE: Better Homes & Gardens

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