Older children enjoy a lot of freedom and basically are the apple of everyone’s eyes until the second sibling is born. This is the key factor ruling their bittersweet relationship – who is better?
A study has shown that second-born children are prone to problems at school or have a tough time with the Law later in their lives. It is the moment of joy for the older ones!
Researchers from MIT and the University of Florida conducted a study of brothers in Denmark and the state of Florida. Two very distinct cultures. They concluded that the second-born boys were unable to abide by authoritarian laws or figures.
“Despite large differences in environments across the two areas, we find remarkably consistent results. In families with two or more children, second-born boys are on the order of 20 to 40 percent more likely to be disciplined in school and enter the criminal justice system compared to first-born boys even when we compare siblings,” the researchers opined.
The Crime Connection
The second-born children do not enjoy undivided attention like the older ones and do things that will draw attention towards them quickly. The parents are likely to focus a little more on work as the second baby comes into the picture. The researchers also say that the second-borns idolize the older ones as their role models, whereas first-borns look up to adults. This creates the divide between the impulsive and egotistical attitude of the younger ones as compared to the older siblings. Oldest siblings are smarter as the parents spend more time with them.
Does Parenting Seem Dull After A Point?
The intelligence study proved that parents were less enthusiastic about indulging in activities with younger children. Bedtime stories, crafts, and playing instruments often take a backseat. These activities are very crucial in the development of children into balanced adults. Often the parents tend to smoke and drink during their pregnancy the second time and feel it won’t affect them.
NPR Social Science Correspondent Shankar Vedantam believes that even though the studies show a 25 to 40 percent increase in the possibility of delinquency, the overall numbers are not that big. 1 in 10 or 1 in 20, show serious problematic signs.
So this can serve as a valid point for the older siblings to start a fight which will mellow down, as they do love their little sibling. All those “our parents picked you up from the dustbin” stories shall get a new twist. The parents should not worry much but find some time for the young ones, as they are impressionable.