According to Jillion Harris, MD, from ABC News, new research shows that playing favorites with your children may have a detrimental impact on them, as well as the entire family. She also points out that the more extreme the 'differential parenting' (a term used to describe different parenting tactics with different children) the worse the outcome.
Professor in the department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at the University of Toronto, Jenny Jenkins, says she is surprised,"We expected differential parenting to operate stronger within the parent-child dynamic. However, differential parenting had a stronger effect on the entire family."
Those most at risk for differential parenting might be mothers who suffer financial and emotional stress, which can make it difficult to concentrate on fairness.
Some people may be playing favorites and not even notice. It's imperative for parents to be conscientious of how they treat their children. Giving consistent positive feedback to one, and negative feedback to another, can set up a lifetimes of family issues.
Bottom line: Be fair.