When a Child Plays Favorites

Being someone’s mother is the greatest blessing there is. I’ve been a mother for almost six years now and can definitely say it’s a work in progress. And no two children are alike. What may have worked with child one probably doesn’t work with your second, third, fourth, or gosh even fifth child . . . if you’re so lucky, brave, and strong enough to carry that many children.

Parenting is a ton of work. I never knew children could have so many isms. Isms meaning quirks, pet peeves, things that annoy them. I mean for a child as young as age two, they already have a mind full of likes and dislikes. And in our house, one of those dislikes is often times daddy.


That’s right. With my littlest one, I am CLEARLY her favorite. I am the only one (in her eyes) capable of doing most things for her. And it’s tiring. And it annoys my husband because we didn’t experience this with my oldest. Sure, at times she did prefer me over him, but not to the extent my littlest does.

There are moments with my youngest when her dad cannot even look at her. Moments when he wants to give her a kiss and she cries. And it pains me that she does this to him because I know it hurts him. I am her number one. And obviously my ego is boosted but I want her to have a good relationship with her father.

Of course, she is only 2.5 years old and her likes will change over time. I should probably cut her some slack and surely there will be a time when in fact she’ll hate me. That will suck. I guess I will have to ask my husband how to deal when the time comes.

In the meantime, I suppose I should enjoy the bond and security she feels from me. Most days, I do enjoy it. But, not to the extent I could. She makes me feel like I walk on water for the simplest things I do for her. The love a child has for a parent is a blessing from God. It’s an unexplainable feeling to have someone so devoted to you and yet I get disturbed by it when daddy cannot do something as simple as pour her a cup of juice. “No, mama do it!” she’ll scream.

Is it a stage? Probably.

Will it pass? Probably.

I mean according to all the sites and books I’ve read it’s completely normal for a child to play favorites. And they aren’t doing it vindictively, it’s simply a desire for one parent over the other. And often times the parental favorite changes and goes back and forth like a pendulum.

I often remind myself I am lucky I’m HER favorite. My oldest swings back and forth between her father and me when it comes to certain things. And there will be a time when neither of us will be her person of choice. And that will suck the most.

So, for now, I’m just going to ride out this love train she has for me as long as I can. Hopefully, one day, daddy will be able to jump on. And if not, well then, I guess I’ll just need to accept my awesomeness.

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