12/20/2011 01:53 pm ET Updated Feb 19, 2012

Loving One Kid More Than Another During the Holidays?

In 2009, David Lawson and Ruth Maco, two professors from the UK, published a study of 14,000 families. And yep, it appears that parents have favorites despite their protests to the contrary.

The results found that older siblings received better care and were even better fed than their younger brothers and sisters. And get this...They even had higher IQs perhaps due to the undivided attention that they got from their parents during the early years of their lives.

As if this wasn't enough, this study also found that each successive sibling received less care and attention from mom and dad than their older brothers and sisters.

So, during this holiday season -- I have a few suggestions:

1. Make sure that you are not gifting your oldest kids more than the younger ones. You may unconsciously be protecting the child in which you have already invested the most.

2. Ask yourself if you are clearly playing favorites. As we all know, your kids will always accuse you of doing so.


3. Remember that each child is deserving in their own unique way.

Despite the results of the Lawson and Mace study, I have seen parents' favorites change frequently depending on phases and stages that the child is going through. Nonetheless, during this holiday season, you may want to keep an eye on the height of each kid's pile of gifts and on your own behavior.

Happy Holidays!