Connecting moms in Polk County, Fla.
One of the biggest problems that lead to a split in my own marriage, a favorite child that could get a way with anything and the spouse (was me) and the other children were left with crumbs and bad consequences. That child going through puberty with no limitations was my own personal hell and was a horrible example to my other children.
So, yes, it can hurt an entire family for sure.
Although my experience was extreme, I do believe favoritism is hurtful in a family. Do you think so, too? Do you have lasting effects to feeling like you were or were not a favorite when growing up?
With the above link there is video included that left me a bit surprised with a father candidly discussing his preference for one son versus the other. Also there is a study that found some interesting (but not surprising to me) results.
I just read a book called Siblings Without Rivalry and it touched on this subject. It went into detail on how you shouldn't label kids either "the baby of the family, my athlete, my artist", etc. It talks about conflict resolution, etc. I highly recommend the book. I learned a lot.