Headline, May15, 2014



THERE'S for sure  -sweet sweet, sweetness in the lies parents tell their kids, which is a damn good thing, since they tell a lot of them.

''Yes, that  indecipherable crayon scribble looks exactly like Grandma. No, I didn't put that  tooth-fairy  money under your pillow. The fibs   -nearly all of them harmless -may differ depending on the family.

But from clan to clan,  culture to culture, there's one tell tale nearly all parents tell, and they tell it repeatedly :  '''' We do not have a favourite child. ''''

Mom and Dad will say it earnestly,  they'll repeat it endlessly,  and in an overwhelming share of cases,  they'll be lying through their teeth. It's one of the worst kept secrets of family life that all parents have a preferred son or daughter-

And the rules acknowledging it are the same everywhere: The favoured kids recognize their status and keep quiet about it  -the better to preserve the good thing they've got going and to keep their siblings off their back.

The unfavoured kids howl about it like wounded cats. And on pain of death, the parents deny it all.

The stonewalling is understandable. Most parents want to spare unfavoured kids the hurt that true candor could cause. Moreover, the court of public opinion can respond pitilessly   -even furiously-  to moms or dads who speak the forbidden truth.

Last year, a mother of two wrote a candid post on the website Babble.com under the headline  '' I Think I Love My Son Just A Little Bit More.''

The mom went on at length describing the greater warmth she feels for her baby boy compared with her toddler girl and even included a photo of herself and her unfavoured daughter.

She was, predictably, blowtorched.  ''Please work on your issues lady?'' said one typical response. ''I feel absolutely horrible for your daughter!'' read another. But then there was this : ''I completely understand. I too feel this way.''
The hard truth is, most parents do

Firstborns are often the family's favourite, and the reason is one that corporations understand well: the rule of sunk costs. The more effort you've made developing a product, the more committed you are to seeing it come to fruitation.

''There's a kind of resource capital parents pour into firstborns,'' says Ben Dattner, a business consultant and organizational psychologist at New York University, ''They build up a sort of equity in them.''

And that equity often pays off. The oldest in the families have historically been the tallest and strongest, thanks to the fact that at the beginning of their lives, they didn't have to share food stores with other kids.

One 2007 Norwegian study similarly showed that firstborns have a 3-point IQ advantage over later siblings, partly a result of being the exclusive focus of their parents' attention in the earliest part of life.

These benefits accrue like compounding interest. A small IQ advantage, for example, may yield a similar edge in SAT scores, which may tip a firstborn off the Harvard or Oxford waiting list into the entering class.

And this how one highly respected and author recalls : '''For my mother, none of this firstborn promises mattered. In her case, the favorite was Bruce, the youngest. That, in a way, was my father's doing too. 

Having had his fill with   babymaking,  our father wasn't enthusiastic about having a fourth child so soon after:

The third and expressed that antipathy towards Bruce in a number of ways  -not least with unpardonably free hand with corporal punishment, once administered with Bruce's only crime was crying in his crib or toddler bed before falling asleep.

My mother matched my father's negative bias with a fiercely protective positive one, and when Bruce later acquired last-born's signature gifts   -a bright wit, a natural charisma, and a perceptiveness that made him instantly empathetic  -the love match was set.

Last borns   like me, that being, yours truly-     develop such a suite of skills defensively : the ability to disarm and charm   -what sibling psychologists call a lower-power strategy-   is an essential survival skill in a playroom in which you're the smallest.

But favouring the most vulnerable child is a counterintuitive choice, at least in survival terms. Playing by black-eagle rules, my father's hostility towards my baby brother ought to have doomed him in my mother's too. 

A child who is already being ill treated by one parent has hurdles to overcome just getting out of childhood in one piece, much less making it to procreative adulthood.

Hey, hey..........Best for a mom with years of child rearing ahead to cut her losses now ''''........ Ha ha ha!  Dear, dear, me!

The Honour and the Serving of the Post continues: Don't miss the next one and share this forward as we tickle the parents for good : Ha ha ha!

With respectful dedication to all the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world.  See Ya  all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Leave It To !WOW! '''

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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