A new study now shows that a large proportion of parents really do have a favourite son or daughter.
According to the study, nearly a quarter of mothers and fathers admitted to preferring one of their children over the other.
However, this increased to 42 per cent when grandparents were asked about their grandchildren.
The anonymous survey saw 1,185 Mumsnet users and 1,111 Gransnet users being asked to share their honest opinions towards their children and the results revealed that 23 per cent of parents with more than one children had a favourite.
More than half of these respondents admitted to liking their youngest the most, while 26 per cent favoured the oldest.
Some 13 per cent said they believed their children knew about their preference.
However, 39 per cent of grandparents said they preferred their first grandchild over the other.
When asked what qualities endeared the 'favourite' to them, parents said it was because the child was 'easy', 'funny' and 'affectionate'.
While around half of the parents surveyed admitted having a favourite is 'awful', a third claimed they did not feel ashamed.
Speaking about it, Mumsnet and Gransnet founder Justine Roberts said that favouritism is one of the last taboos and can provoke a lot of guilt, so it's important to say that feeling a greater affinity for a particular child - often, whichever one is willing to put their shoes on - is fairly common, and doesn't have to be disastrous.