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  • Writer's pictureRaveena Kay

I stopped trying to be my parents' favorite, and it was freeing

Updated: Jan 15, 2019

"What is critical is that all children trust they are loved and appreciated for what makes them special. Love is unconditional whereas favoritism is not. Favoritism depends upon children behaving in ways that gratifies parents".

Apparently, being the favorite child can actually hold you back. According to, Jay Thomas, in his book The Favorite Child, children who try to be their parents' favorite make decisions based on the parent rather than themselves. "When children are not grounded in their own decisions, or do not take responsibility for their goals, true excellence is difficult to achieve". So, the unfavored child is freer to pursue his/her dreams.

He then goes on to specify that children who are their mother's favorite "grow up well-trained to take care of people as they did their mother, rather than to care for themselves". These favored children, by either parent, then lack the necessary skills to function outside their homes; whereas, the unfavored child are able to learn the important life skills when leaving home.

Unfavored children also are better able to take care of themselves because they've learned this throughout their childhood. They don't think the world owes them anything and has to treat them with love and admiration because that’s unrealistic and was not always given to them by their parents.

The unfavored are able to handle criticisms better and develop a "thick skin". They have not been coddled, they're a fighter, an innovator-- unfavored.

So there it is! If you don't feel like the favorite, it's ok! You can use that to your advantage and be better equipped to take on the real world. Think about Michelle Obama, who explicitly states in an interview that her brother will always be her mother's favorite (he agreed too!)

Watch the interview here:


Raveena Kay

About the author: Raveena Kay was born and raised in a Chicago-land suburb and currently resides in Chicago. Dog-lover, occupational therapist, entrepreneur, and now novice blogger, she hopes through humor, insight, and research her blogs will foster better relationships between people, improve one’s self, and increase one’s mental strength.

Through her background in psychology, sociology, and occupational therapy she hopes to inspire others to think critically about social issues and create more social activists.

She will also use her own Punjabi-American upbringing as well as her experiences throughout her child/adulthood to hopefully reach a wide array of people who are dealing with mental health issues, family issues, identity crises, or personality hindrances in order to create a more introspective community.

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