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Understanding Favoritism: Why Does My Mom Favor My Older Brother?

Feeling overlooked in favor of a sibling can be a difficult experience, particularly when it involves parental favoritism. This post aims to explore the question: “Why does my mom favor my older brother?” and provide some insights into potential reasons, impacts, and coping strategies.

Identifying Parental Favoritism

Signs That My Mom Favors My Older Brother

Recognizing favoritism involves noticing consistent patterns of unequal treatment, such as:

  • Your mother consistently praising your brother more than you
  • Your mother offering more support or resources to your brother
  • Feeling generally less appreciated or valued than your brother

Understanding Favoritism

Why Does My Mom Favor My Older Brother?

The reasons behind parental favoritism can vary, and often they are complex and unconscious. Possible factors could include:

  • Birth order: Sometimes, the firstborn child may receive more attention or favor.
  • Similarities: If your mom and brother share more interests or personality traits, she might unconsciously favor him.
  • Gender stereotypes: Certain cultural or personal beliefs might influence your mom’s behavior towards her son.

Impact of Favoritism

How Can Favoritism Affect Me?

The impacts of favoritism can be significant, potentially leading to:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • Strained sibling relationships

Dealing with Favoritism

How to Cope If My Mom Favors My Older Brother?

If you’re dealing with favoritism, here are a few strategies:

  • Open communication: Talk about your feelings with your mom or another trusted individual.
  • Self-care: Nurture your self-esteem and mental health.
  • Professional help: Seek counseling or therapy if the situation is significantly affecting your wellbeing.

Examining Favoritism

Why Do Parents Sometimes Treat One Sibling Better Than the Other?

Parental favoritism can stem from several complex factors, such as personal biases, birth order, and shared interests or personalities.

Are Parents More Likely to Favor the Oldest Child?

Birth order can sometimes play a role in parental favoritism, and in some cases, the first-born might be perceived as the favorite. However, this is not a universal rule and can differ based on individual family dynamics.

Favoritism and Its Effects

What Are the Dangers of Favoritism?

Favoritism can lead to emotional distress, strained sibling relationships, and even mental health issues such as depression or low self-esteem.

Does Favoritism Affect the Oldest or Youngest Child Differently?

Favoritism impacts all children differently. Older siblings might feel an undue burden of expectations, while younger ones could feel ignored or overshadowed.

Older Sibling Dynamics

What is Older Sibling Syndrome?

Older Sibling Syndrome refers to specific behavioral traits or feelings that can develop in first-born children, such as heightened responsibility, leadership traits, or feelings of pressure to succeed. When coupled with perceived favoritism, this can lead to heightened stress or feelings of resentment.

Do Older Siblings Often Experience More Depression?

Depression in siblings is influenced by many factors and cannot solely be attributed to birth order or favoritism. However, if an older sibling perceives a significant level of favoritism towards a younger sibling, it could contribute to feelings of depression.

Confronting and Coping with Favoritism

What Can I Do If I Feel My Mother Favors My Older Brother?

If you’re dealing with perceived favoritism, consider open communication about your feelings, either with your family or a trusted outsider. Professional counseling could also be a beneficial avenue to explore.

How Can I Manage Feelings of Jealousy or Resentment Towards My Older Brother?

It’s crucial to remember that favoritism is typically about the parent’s actions, not the favored sibling’s. Seeking to understand and empathize with your sibling’s position, fostering direct and open communication with them, and focusing on your unique strengths can help manage these feelings.

Overcoming the Impact of Favoritism

How Can I Recover from the Effects of Parental Favoritism?

Seeking professional guidance, nurturing self-care, fostering resilience, and developing strong relationships outside the family unit can all contribute to healing from the impacts of favoritism.

Recognition and Reflection

How Can I Tell If I’m the Favored or Unfavored Child?

Patterns of consistent unequal treatment, such as disproportionate praise, attention, or support, can indicate parental favoritism. However, it’s important to remember that occasional inequalities don’t necessarily signify favoritism.

Implications for Sibling Relations

Are Older Siblings Always Mean to Younger Ones?

Not necessarily. While sibling rivalry can be common, it doesn’t automatically translate to mean behavior. Favoritism can exacerbate sibling conflicts, but each sibling relationship is unique.

How Can Help

At, we understand how familial dynamics, such as favoritism, can impact a child’s emotional well-being and sleep patterns. If you’re a parent dealing with favoritism issues, whether it’s your own or within your family, it can also affect your sleep and stress levels, which can then impact how you care for your baby’s sleep needs. provides resources and advice to help you maintain a peaceful and positive environment for your child, promoting healthier sleep routines. Our tips and strategies can aid in managing stress, maintaining effective communication within the family, and establishing reliable sleep patterns for your baby.


Understanding and navigating parental favoritism is challenging. While the question, “Why does my mom favor my older brother?” might not have a straightforward answer, recognizing the signs, understanding possible reasons, and implementing coping strategies can help. Connecting with resources like can also provide additional support for maintaining a harmonious and stress-free environment for your baby’s sleep routines.