As one of the greatest parent’s in the world, or one that is totally unaware of his real parenting skills, I always try to advise my children from the perspective of how I wish someone would have advised me at their age and what I wish my parents had told me.
Being the middle child and in retrospect, I wish my parents had told me I was their favorite. If my siblings are reading this, then absolutely Mom and Dad told me every day that I was their favorite. I think you owe it to any younger child to tell them this, but if there’s more than two kids, then you don’t owe it to the youngest, they’re likely spoiled anyway, so don’t give the spoiled brat one more reason to think they are the favorite, they already know it.
However, a middle child should definitely be told they are the favorite just as a consolation prize. The middle child will have to suffer many indignities. For the first 15 or so years they will likely be physically and mentally inferior to their older sibling. Statistically speaking the older sibling will take full advantage of both their physical and mental superiority for as long as they can. There will be noogies executed on the younger sibling plus stories about how they were not really a real sibling but instead found on the side of a mountain road wearing only a diaper full of sh*t. It was due to pure pity that they were taken in by Mom and Dad. Sadly the middle child will believe this because he will think that his older brother would make up something so cruel?
Now if you’re a parent of multiple children, but were a single child, I assure you that this is absolutely happening. So how to handle it? You can’t stop it. First children are typically a bit evil, this is not your fault, but you can make it up to your younger child by telling them that they are your favorite. If they don’t believe it, then tell them, “Why else would we have had you? It was only because we were dissatisfied with your brother. We wanted a child we could love” Of course, if there’s three children then the middle child might think you had the next one for the same reason. Here’s how to handle that, “No sweetie, remember you told us you wanted a little brother or sister. We just love you so much that we could not say no toy you.”
Look, this is a small consolation prize, but it will at least serve as a mental happy place to retreat to when you’re getting an atomic wedgie from your own flesh and blood. Of course often nature is kind and the younger kid eventually gets larger than the eldest child, but by then the psychological damage is done. It’s unlikely the younger kid will take advantage of this and the older evil sibling knows better than to create a situation where the younger sibling might have to defend himself and discover that they could now easily topple the big goon.
So Daughter, for the record, you’re my favorite, sorry I should have told you this earlier like my parents told me very single day. You listening Frank? I was their favorite!