‘Mom Always Liked You Best’

The Smothers Brothers were right.” (Note to younger readers: On their hit comedy show in the 1960s, Tom Smothers used to complain to brother Dick that … well, read the headline above.)

The notion that parents cherish all their children equally — or at least say they do — is entrenched in our culture. So much for that claims a new study by Cornell University gerontologist, Karl Pillemer. His team interviewed mothers ages 65 to 75 in the Boston area about their adult offspring, found that most were perfectly willing to name favorites.

“Most mothers have very distinct preferences,” Dr. Pillemer said. “There’s one to whom they feel most emotionally close, one with whom they have the most conflict. Parental favoritism is a fundamental part of the family landscape throughout life.”

For more: newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com

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