Why is the second child always the Favourite?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

The idea that the second child is always the favorite is a common belief, but it is not necessarily true in every family or situation. The perception of favoritism can vary greatly depending on a multitude of factors such as the dynamics within the family, individual personalities, and parental preferences.

One reason why the second child may be perceived as the favorite is the concept of the “baby of the family.” When a new baby arrives, they naturally demand a lot of attention and care. Parents often find themselves spending a significant amount of time and energy on the youngest child’s needs, such as feeding, changing diapers, and comforting them. This level of dependence can create a strong bond between the second child and the parents, leading to the perception that they are the favorite.

Additionally, the eldest child in the family tends to grow up and become more independent as time goes on. They may take on more responsibilities, have their own interests and hobbies, and even start developing a social life outside of the family. This newfound independence can sometimes make it seem like the parents are paying less attention to the eldest child compared to the youngest, reinforcing the notion that the second child is the favorite.

Furthermore, the youngest child often benefits from the experience and lessons learned by their older sibling(s). Parents may become more relaxed and confident in their parenting abilities, as they have already gone through the challenges of raising a child. This can result in a more laid-back approach towards parenting the second child, which may be perceived as favoritism.

However, it is important to note that favoritism is not a healthy or fair dynamic within a family. Parents should strive to treat all their children equally and provide them with the love and support they need. Siblings can have different needs and personalities, and it is crucial for parents to recognize and appreciate these differences without showing favoritism.

In my own experience, I come from a family with two siblings. Growing up, I often felt that my younger sister was the favorite, as my parents seemed to devote more time and attention to her. She was the baby of the family, and naturally, her needs took precedence. As the eldest, I had more responsibilities and was expected to be more independent. However, as we all grew older, I realized that my parents loved and cared for each of us in their own unique ways. They recognized our individual strengths and weaknesses and supported us accordingly. It was not about favoritism, but rather about understanding and meeting our individual needs.

To sum up, while the second child may be perceived as the favorite in some families, it is not a universal truth. The dynamics within each family are complex and can vary greatly. It is essential for parents to be aware of any potential favoritism and ensure that all their children feel equally loved and valued.