It is said all children should be treated equally, but a new survey reveals mothers are more critical of their daughters than their sons.
A poll of more than 2,500 mothers reveals that while half (50.6%) think it is wrong to treat boys and girls differently, nearly nine in 10 (89.2%) believe parents do so.
More than half (54.9%) said they found it easiest to bond with their sons, the poll, conducted by parenting website Netmums, found.
The findings show that mothers are twice as likely to be critical of their daughters than their sons (21% compared to 11.5%).
And over a fifth (21.5%) said they let their sons get away with more, compared to 17.8% who said the same about their daughters.
More than one in four (26.9%) said they loved their sons in a different way to their daughters.
Crissy Duff, psychotherapeutic counsellor and a Netmums parent supporter, warned that differences in parenting can have a long-lasting effect on girls.
The poll found mothers were more likely to attribute positive personality traits to their sons than their daughters.
Boys were more likely to be described as funny, cheeky, playful and loving, while girls were more likely to be described as stroppy, eager to please, serious and argumentative.
Almost half of those questioned (47.8%) said their sons were a mummy's boy, while just over a third (35.2%) said their daughters were a daddy's girl.