Opinion Brief

Is it okay to admit you have a favorite child?

A mommy blogger concedes that she prefers her son to her daughter, sparking both outrage and understanding

Earlier this week, in a controversial Babble post called "Mom confession: I think I love my son a little bit more," Kate Tietje admitted to having a favorite child, and ignited an internet controversy. "I find it easier to gravitate towards my son," Tietje writes. "There are moments — in my Sophie's Choice type musings — when I wonder which child it would really be worse to lose." Many commenters have praised Tietje's candor, but others have called the piece "disgusting" and "depressing." Does her revelation make her a bad parent?

It's better to be honest: It's laudable that Tietje has been frank about such a taboo issue, says Dave McGinn in The Globe and Mail. Psychologists have said that denying you have a favorite child is more damaging to family relationships that just owning up to it. And, "to her credit, Kate admits in her blog that favoring her son over her daughter is wrong."
"Is family favouritism a taboo meant to be broken?"

There's no clear right and wrong here: In a way, you've got to admire Tietje's "unblinking honesty," says Monica Bielanko at Babble. Many moms, myself included, will "completely understand" where Tietje is coming from. But "I wonder if, in the long run, such a public forum is more damaging than healing to the mother-daughter relationship she's trying so hard to forge." Personally, "I would rather claw my eyes out than admit to loving one child over the other."
"Do you love one child more? You aren't alone, but would you openly admit it?"

This could really hurt her daughter: I don't judge Tietje's feelings, "but it's hard not to question making some of them public," says Sadie Stein at Jezebel. The thought that her little girl might someday read this "gratuitous" piece is "truly painful." I just just hope this is one instance where a blog post "won't live forever in cyberspace."
"Mother admits to loving son more than daughter; shitstorm ensues"

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