Picking Favorites

6:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 28 Comments

Did you hear about the lady who admitted she had a favorite among her four kids on British morning TV? If you haven't, you can read about it here

Basically, when asked if she had a favorite, she said yes, she definitely had a child she liked better than her others.  

Wow. That seems harsh, buuuut....

I don't know this lady and I certainly don't know how she's raising her kids, so I won't be quick to judge. Unless she's actually treating one child better than the others, shoving the less-loved kids in rooms under the stairs like little Harry Potters, then  I will judge. Shame on her. 

But maybe she's just talking off the cuff. My own parents would jokingly pick a favorite on a daily basis. Looking back, I'm surprised they didn't keep score cards-- you did dishes, extra point for you. You wrecked the car, shuffle your status to the bottom of the favorite deck. 

But in reality, my parents didn't have any favorites. Sure, my siblings tease me that I was the baby and the most spoiled of the brats (which is true!) but I was ALWAYS at my parent's house. I was there so often, they never rolled out the red carpet when I showed up. But if one of my siblings called and said they were coming, my parents would kick into action running to the store so they could make favorite foods and dinners. 

And don't even get me started on what my parents let my siblings get away with. I won't name names, but my older sisters and brother #1 were rotten. Because of them, brother #2 and I were raised by the parental Gestapo. If we had a nickel for every time we were told--we know that trick; we already raised the other three-- let's put it this way, with those nickels we'd have enough money to cover what brother #1 stole from our piggy banks to buy beer and pot. 

My parents would worry over what they could do to fix their kids when they were broken, but I don't ever recall my parents seeing their kids as the problem. Even when we (mostly they, I was the good kid, remember) did wrong, the devil made us (them) do it. My parent's kids were never to blame. 

But still...there were the jokes about earning favorite status. The bottom line is, it wasn't what my parents said that mattered; it was what they did. No child was treated better than any other. If we needed something, my parents tried their best to supply it. If one was given something, the rest of us got something too. And if we screwed up, we knew we were still loved. 

I always teased my mother that if any of us went to prison, she'd brag that we practically ran our cell block. She said she would expect us to step up and take charge. 

When my father was dying, he told me his biggest source of pride was his kids. He said that almost every family had their share of nasty fights and rivalries, but somehow, we were spared. There were five of us kids and not once was there ever a feud that barred us from speaking or visiting each other. 

I told my dad that he was lucky enough to never have any major assets for us to fight over. He laughed until tears sparkled in his eyes and he said he'd only had one regret in life until then-- he never got to prove that money wouldn't ruin him, but looking at it from my perspective, he was dying the most blessed of men.  

Hopefully, this mom is all chatter too because honestly, I don't know how you look at your kids and pick a favorite. 


 Celebrate the Small ThingsTo be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is visit the Celebrate page on Lexa's Blog for the rules, and then post every Friday about something you're grateful  for that week.  It can be about writing or family or school or general life.  This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! (Originated by VikLit)

I got half of my kitchen scrubbed down. Maybe by the end of the weekend, the whole thing will sparkle. I have a little house, how is it so hard to get it all done at once? 
Boy #1 turned 24 this week. Wow, he's getting old. :D 
And boy #4 will be 18 on Sunday. I'm not so sure how this is happening. I don't recall giving them permission to grow up so fast.
I'm closing in on finishing this round of edits on the next book. Like boy #2 told me, write fast, edit slow...there's no shame in that!

28 comments:

  1. In a good family, there are no favorites and the kids all turn out great. Sounds like your parents did it right.
    Out of my kids, I'll always pick the latest iPad as my favorite...

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  2. I have a favorite son...I only have one son...hahaaa... I never, ever, ever, would have a favorite!!! Out of 5 children each one is spectacular!!! I also know a mother who has 2 daughters and she came right out and told me which one was her favorite. I was appalled!!!

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    1. I've had parents tell me they have a favorite too, though honestly, after talking to them, you realize they don't really have a favorite child, but they do recognize that some of their children are easier to deal with and some are more difficult.

      Mo own mother admitted that she spent the most time and energy on my brother because he seemed to struggle the most growing up. She didn't love him more, but she worried about him more.

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    2. I forgot to add that I was also blessed with 4 spectacular children. They are my magnum opus.

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  3. Wow - that's crazy! What kind of parent would pick a favorite. All kids are special in their own way.

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    1. One of the consolations I've had in watching my babies grow up is enjoying the uniquely wonderful young men they're becoming.

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  4. Maybe she was just screwing with them. But yeah, not sure how one picks a favorite. All are great in their own way. The whole being nice doesn't extend to inlaws, right? If so, we were good too lol

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    1. You're fine. Different sets of rules apply to in laws, for sure.

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  5. Never had a problem, there was only me. However, I mentioned in my blog that the Queen carries a picture of Andrew in her purse, he is, apparently her favourite. That surprised me.

    Amazing how kids grow up isn't it? They do it so fast.

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    1. Not being a Prince Charles fan, I can kind of understand that one. Just kidding. It's an odd behavior for a mom to openly cherish one over the others. I mean how do you explain to your kids that you aren't carrying their picture around? No wonder Charles seems like such a cold fish.

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  6. I agree, all children should be treated equally. I try my best to do so, allowing each of them to have one sport at a time. Their time when mom is there focused and watching just them. I try to alternate food choices and really making sure they know I love them both equally for exactly the special person they are. I think you are truly blessed to have so many caring siblings. Your story of your father made me tear up too. Our children should be our first priorities and our greatest sources of joy. And i need to clean my kitchen :) Have a great weekend Elizabeth :)

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    1. I hope you're kitchen is sparkling!

      I raised a house full of kids, so one on one time was hardly ever an option, but we did use a system of taking turns picking restaurants, games, movies, etc. to make sure each boy got to have a say.

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  7. Ah, my favorite is my only daughter!

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    1. You guys with only kids have the sibling rivalry thing so easy.

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  8. Oh no, that's pretty standard in Britain - we number them and make the rubbish ones sit at a separate table in restaurants :-D (Only joking! hahahaha)

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    1. You sound like my parents! Mine would joke that their favorite would make favorite jokes all the time- especially my dad. I don't know that either one of my parents ever read a parenting advice book. LOL

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  9. Hahaha...I have five sisters. Guess who was my parents' favorite.

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    1. I'm going to guess you because you seem so well adjusted and content. :)

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  10. I only have one, so I get to tell him he's the best boy in the world! :) I know parents that have picked favorites, though. I don't understand how anyone can do that.

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    1. I have four and they're each so different, yet amazing in their own way. But maybe I was just blessed with good ones. Maybe I'd like one better than another if one was a pain in the butt.

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  11. I have two and they are my favorites. :) They both claim that the other is the favorite, but that just isn't true. But, I admit they do get treated a little differently - one is very social and needs to talk through things several times, the other is more quiet and after a very small chat, she prefers sitting with someone and not saying anything. I think knowing our kids means knowing what works with each of them, but it isn't a "favorite" kind of thing.

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    1. Meaning ... they (and my hubs) are my favorite people. :)

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    2. I know what you're saying. Each of my boys are different, but that's a good thing. It makes for a lot of good entertainment when they're all together. And being all boys and being so close in age, my kids are very close. They share these group chats with each other and leave me out and often conspire against me-- that's pretty awesome!

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  12. Nope, no favorites among my kids. If I tried (which seems like a waste of time) I'd soon remember the wonderful quirks of the others and throw up my hands. Impossible!

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    1. Maybe we're all just lucky enough to have been blessed with all the amazing kids!

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  13. Families are precious. Your boys are all growed up. Wow. I found the best way to live is to be grateful for what I have instead of wishing for what I don't. We have so much we often take for granted.

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  14. Boy #2 sounds wise. And your parents sound like they did a good job. My kids always ask who's my favorite. Lol! Depending on the day, I give a different answer to tease them. But favorites are impossible, as you know.

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