Here’s what you can snap up in Søstrene Grene stores right now
Here’s what you can snap up in Søstrene Grene stores right now

Megan Burns

Check out every shade of Glossier Ultralip, the new balm and lip tint hybrid
Check out every shade of Glossier Ultralip, the new balm and lip tint hybrid

Holly O'Neill

Hungry? This colourful sweet potato salad can be whipped up in a flash
Hungry? This colourful sweet potato salad can be whipped up in a flash

Meg Walker

‘She didn’t murder anybody’: Linda Martin weighs in on Nadine Coyle’s infamous Passportgate 20 years on
‘She didn’t murder anybody’: Linda Martin weighs in on Nadine Coyle’s infamous Passportgate 20 years...

Sarah Finnan

“When I used to dream of transitioning, I thought I’d wear short skirts and high heels”
“When I used to dream of transitioning, I thought I’d wear short skirts and high...

Sophie White

I scream, you scream: Global shortage of Cadbury flakes spells trouble for 99 ice creams
I scream, you scream: Global shortage of Cadbury flakes spells trouble for 99 ice creams

Sarah Finnan

Increased lawlessness among teens needs compassion, not admonishment
Increased lawlessness among teens needs compassion, not admonishment

Amanda Cassidy

Image / Editorial

Playing favourites: Do mothers really prefer one particular child?


by Amanda Cassidy
22nd Nov 2019
blank

Almost every statement surrounding the Duke of York’s disastrous TV interview and subsequent withdrawal of public duties this week mentioned that he was the Queen’s ‘favourite son’. But is this just added media drama or is it possible to love one child a little more than another? 


Historians described this week’s royal mess as unprecedented. The most dramatic statement from a member of the royal family since Edward VIII’s explosive announcement that he was renouncing the throne to marry Mrs Simpson.

There have been scandals involving Windsor house in the past, divorce, adultery and nude images paraded on the internet but never has a member of the Royal family been forced to withdraw from public life because of their unpopularity.

Throughout this debacle, Prince Andrew has been described as his mother’s favourite son. Is it true, and should it even matter?

Golden child

Psychologists are pretty united on this front.

Research has shown that overwhelmingly yes, most parents do have a favourite child. From birth order to gender and how much a parent relates to their child in terms of personality means that one sibling will have pride of place in their parent’s psyche.

Despite the research, parents struggle to accept the guilt that comes with preferring one of their children over another. And even if they battle to make sure it is kept under wraps, often children will perceive preferential treatment of a sibling by their parents.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip have four children. They are parents to Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. And while most view the Queen as a dedicated monarch, she is also just a mother.

Interestingly, psychologists believe that knowing you are the favoured one can lead to dark results. Unbridled confidence comes with feelings of entitlement and little grasp of the understanding that there are consequences for actions.

Preferences

“She’s my favourite,” a friend of mine mouths to me behind her four-year-old’s back. Her other children are playing happily in the room oblivious to their mother’s focused adoration. So far.

In this case, the apple of her eye is her youngest, her only girl, and while I’ve noticed her giving more affection to this particular child, I’d put it down to being the baby of the family, the only daughter.

“She reminds me of my sister,” my friend admits to me later, when the children are tucked up in bed. Her sister died from complications with a surgery when my friend was just 30.

There are reasons we connect with our children in different ways. Some stem from past experiences. Our relationships with others throughout our childhood have a significant impact on our current relationships.

We are all fallible and human. Our relationships ebb and flow. Connections change and evolve.

Consequences

Tiger Woods, an only child, has spoken about how he grew up with the psychological advantage of having known he was the favourite. “I played my own set of rules,” he famously admitted.

Bill Clinton, John Edwards and Mark Stanford are other examples of children who grew up being told they were the golden one in their families.

They, arguably, developed personalities that fed their success and ultimately their failures.

But if Andrew is the Queen’s favourite child, then surely her heart must have broken even harder after the allegations surrounding his relationship with convicted pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein emerged.

Royal or not, to love is to hurt. And that’s one very big pedestal to fall off of, especially in the eyes of your beloved mother.

Image via TIME

Read more: Royal baby hysteria

Read more: Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will never win

Read more: The Jeffrey Epstein conspiracy theories risk overshadowing what really went on

Also Read

Keith-_-Tara_130_Web Shantanu Starick painting kitchen cabinets
EDITORIAL
How to limit drips and brush strokes while painting kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets can be transformative and can be achieved relatively low-cost,...

By Amanda Kavanagh

BRITs
EDITORIAL
Best BRITs – The standout moments everyone is talking about from last night’s BRIT Awards

The BRIT Awards took place over in London last night,...

By Sarah Finnan

blank
EDITORIAL
Is marketplace feminism stealing the limelight from real female-driven issues?

‘Femertising’ is big business. Brands are increasingly taking advantage of...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
“You’re weird Mammy… other mothers iron”: Author Elske Rahill on writing and motherhood

“Every baby costs you a book” – that’s something women...

By IMAGE

blank
EDITORIAL
There is something uncomfortable about Kate Garraway sharing her husband’s desperate Covid texts

We are used to celebrities oversharing their lives. But sharing...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
‘We went to the zoo today – and life felt deliciously normal’

What’s seldom is truly wonderful, writes Amanda Cassidy Dublin Zoo...

By Amanda Cassidy

Rosanna Davidson and her twin boys
premium REAL-LIFE STORIES, PARENTHOOD
Rosanna Davidson: ‘I had sort of accepted that I was a girl who couldn’t have a baby herself’

For Mother's Day Lia Hynes sits down with Rosanna Davidson, whose exceptional journey into motherhood has given many hope.

By Lia Hynes