Some edits were recently introduced to several questions by 200_Success to create a tag, . They're in the review queue now.

I wanted to ask whether this is an appropriate tag or not. Favoritism is certainly something that is relevant to parenting, but the question is whether it is appropriate as a tag, and if so, what it should mean.

As a tag:

  • Is Favoritism something that will be searched for, and is it something that will connect like questions together?
  • Is it something that is descriptive of the question?

What it should mean:

Favoritism has two possible meanings, and we should use it for one and not both (or, for neither and have more specific tags for both).

  1. A child has a favorite parent
  2. A parent has a favorite child

These two concepts are very different and not something that should be in one tag.


  • In the last couple of years favortism has been increasingly talked about in the open by parents, which is a big change.
    – user11394
    Apr 8, 2015 at 16:00
  • There seems to be a vague consensus on the use here in the meta, but the user @200_success doesn't seem to have gotten the message and is still actively trying to apply the [favoritism] tag when not applicable.
    – user11394
    Apr 16, 2015 at 3:23

2 Answers 2


The dictionary definition of "favoritism" is the practice of giving unfair preferential treatment to one person or group at the expense of another, which feels more like an intentional and therefore adult perspective (e.g. parents favoring one child). The implication would be that adults should the maturity and fairness to treat all children fairly, and would describe situations where that's not happening.

In contrast, children don't really have a sense of "fairly" sharing their affection or interest between parents. I also think they don't have as much obligation to equitably divide attention between all the adults in their life. This is especially true for toddlers or preschoolers, who might (e.g.) display excessive to Fun Uncle and leave Serious Aunt feeling left out -- I would argue that this is something the adults need to work out amongst themselves, not something the child needs to actively address.

I therefore see it as a useful tag for the Parents Preferring One Child definition, but not necessarily the other way around.

  • 1
    I think it's important to remember that in one situation, person being excluded is an adult capable of handling those emotions, while the other is a child who probably isn't. A parent expects to get shunned by their children at multiple stages in their development.
    – corsiKa
    Apr 16, 2015 at 17:34

I'm ambivalent about whether it should be a tag or not - it's something that has some relevance and is specific, as long as we keep it that way, but it also seems like almost all of the questions have something else more specific.

I think, however, that it should be used for the second meaning above - ie, issues with children feeling their parents have a favorite child, or possibly the same with teachers, or parents feeling they have a favorite child - not children having a favorite parent. That meaning should be in a different tag, if it needs to be in a tag at all.

  • 1
    I think it's a valid tag, and it's something parents should be able to talk about here (and tags might increase that?). But, I think it should specifically deal with: Discussing parents who have or feel they have a favorite child, and how that affects their family. For issues regarding children having a preference for one parent over the other, see [attachment]. I know we've had plenty of attachment-related questions, but I'm not sure how many favoritism-related questions.
    – user11394
    Apr 8, 2015 at 16:05
  • One of the edits specifically deleted attachment and replaced it with favoritism. I think I agree that attachment is the logical one for that.
    – Joe
    Apr 8, 2015 at 16:17
  • I only saw two in the review queue. One seemed okay with favoritism, the other was clearly attachment. I don't think 200_success has applied favoritism correctly in most places. The only tagged favoritism (currently) is actually attachment. Looking at the attachment tag list, though, shows me attachment is overused. Another issue!
    – user11394
    Apr 8, 2015 at 16:24
  • Yeah, 200_success suggested this tag on my post too. I'm not a native speaker of English, so I asked an American, and was told favoritism is not correct in my case. So, I took no action. However, I saw it was approved by 200_Success. How could this happen? Apr 9, 2015 at 5:27
  • 1
    The edit was suggested by one user, but approval is done by others. You can see who approved it be clicking on the "edit approved" link (in this case, link takes you to this detail page), or as the OP you can always take it back out. The approval process isn't foolproof :)
    – Acire
    Apr 9, 2015 at 12:44

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