Do You Have A Favorite Child?
DAD PICKS A FAVORITE
A father who admitted he favors one of his children on a parenting blog has spurred an onslaught of dismay and anger from commenters.
Buzz Bishop, a Canadian radio host and 'daddy blogger' wrote a post titled Admit It,You Have A Favorite Kid. I Do, sparking an online backlash from worried parents.
The 42-year-old father wrote on the parenting website Babble: 'Yes, I have a favorite son and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’m guessing you could look deep in the mirror and admit you have a favorite too.'
'I admit it, my oldest son is my favorite because he can do more things. To me, he’s more fun,' he continued. 'I don’t love either of my sons any more than the other, but I do like them differently. I’d be willing to bet you’re the same.'
While some parents were quick to praise Mr Bishop for his honesty, many have angrily come to the younger child's defense, arguing that it may be common for parents to have a 'favorite,' but the unspoken parental law is that it should never be admitted.
Laurie Boyle McGeary, a mother from New York, wrote: 'It's one thing for you to think it, it's another for you to say it out loud.
'Their abilities will change with time and so will your 'likes,' but what won't change is you posting that you like one son over the other. Words you put in print can not be taken back.'
However Sherry Telle of Alberta, Canada took Mr Bishop's view with a grain of salt, commenting: 'Everyone likes one child better at any given time, a 5 year old is easier for most men to relate to than a 2 year old simple as that, I don't think you can comment on who 'sucks' without knowing circumstances!'
The stigma of favoritism, and the effect it can cause, has led many parents to vehemently deny they have a favorite child, regardless of the truth.
Victoria Pattison Denault of Toronto wrote on Mr Bishop's post: 'The key is not admitting it so none of the kids feel hurt and start resenting their other siblings. Announcing it in national articles and on facebook isn't going to do your youngest any good.'
Mr Bishop, who says he uses his writing to share what he worries about and struggles with in his parenting, explained to MailOnline over email: 'If everyone admits to thinking it, why is it so taboo to actually say it out loud? Is having a favorite the 'Voldemort' of parenting?'
When asked what he had hoped for in his readers' reactions to his post, he said: 'I was more hoping for people to admit they have the feelings, and start a more sympathetic conversation. Instead, anonymous avatars admitted they share my perspective (to some degree) and then proceeded to vilify me for daring to say it publicly.
'Parents should be allowed to openly discuss their struggles with parenting without being labeled the worst person in the world.'
Mr Bishop's wife, Jennifer, supports her husband's blog post.
She told MailOnline: 'I know where he's coming from, and I know he loves them both the same.
'It's just the age of the two, his favorite is the older one because he can relate more to him. It doesn't necessarily mean Zacharie is a favorite overall, it's just a favorite right now.'
She added: 'I have a favorite to go shopping with, I have a favorite at night time, I have a favorite in the morning wake up. I have more favorite activities with each kid, as opposed to saying I have a favorite kid.'
Jeffrey Kluger, author of The Sibling Effect: What Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us, claimed that ‘95 per cent of parents in the world have a favorite child - and the other 5 per cent are lying.’
However in his book he adds: ‘But when it comes to family favorites there’s definitely something to be said for the parental code of silence.'
Carolyn Egerszegi, a friend of Mr Bishop, wrote on his Facebook page: 'I know you are a wonderful father to both your boys.. but the internet does not expire and I would hate to think C would ever find this discussion one day. It would crush him.
Mr Bishop told MailOnline: 'Perhaps I'm too naive to think that my words will not be one day read by my children, but if they do read them, I trust I will have a strong relationship with my kids that they will understand the context with which I write.'
The father of two also noted on his original blog post that, 'When it comes to weekends when my wife and I divide the boys up to have an easier time running errands, I usually pick Z.'
This is something Mr Bishop, who says he struggled with the younger years of child rearing, preferring 'the older kids who can get out and run around,' has since re-evaluated after his blog post's backlash.
'I will concede that the open discussion and criticism I have received has caused me to re-evaluate the balance of time I spend with my kids. I am now consciously planning to have more one-on-one time with my younger son,' he said.
'[But] I do not regret posting it. I will continue to write about my children, I will continue to write about the ups and downs in my parenting.'