Ever feel like your firstborn child was an absolute angel and left you with false hopes, especially when your second born child came along and you realised they were the devil child?
According to scientists, you could be right.
One study looked at thousands of families in Denmark and America, and found that the child born second in the family is likely to be more challenging. Even more so if he’s a boy.
Researcher Joseph Doyle, who led the study, also found the second born child is likely to have more behavioural issues than the first born.
The study found second born boys are 20% to 40% more likely to be disciplined in school and enter the criminal justice system compared to first-born boys, even when we compare [them with] siblings.’
“Second born children, compared to their older siblings, are much more likely to end up in prison, much more likely to get suspended in school, enter juvenile delinquency. Across all these outcomes, we’re getting 25 to 40 percent increases in the likelihood of these outcomes just by comparing a second born sibling compared to a first-born.”
It’s all your fault!
Researchers claim it might be due to the level of attention parents give their second born child.
Gee thanks, parent guilt much!?
The researchers said, “We consider differences in parental attention as a potential contributing factor to the gaps in delinquency across the birth order. Second born children tend to have less maternal attention than do their older siblings because first-born children experience their mother’s maternity leaves and temporarily reduced labor market participation both following their own births as well as following the birth of the second born.”
According to Joseph Doyle, it also comes down to who the second born looks up to. “The firstborn has role models, who are adults. And the second, later-born children have role models who are slightly irrational 2-year-olds, you know, their older siblings,” said Doyle.
Birth order matters
TikTok creator Tristan Collazo posted a series of videos explaining how birth order can impact your personality and relationship with your siblings. He explains that children who are the oldest are usually more responsible and helpful, however, they are also often perfectionists.
“[Adler’s theory] states that a person’s birth order plays a major role in how an individual’s personality is shaped.”
“Families place unrealistic expectations on the eldest child and because they are no longer the only child, they must adapt and change, in turn, they become perfectionists, people-pleasers and authoritative, yet extremely helpful.”
The second born child knows from when they are born they have to share the attention of their parents.
“Their older siblings serve as a role model but also spark a competitive fire as they strive to catch up and surpass their older sibling,” he says.
“In turn, they may be more likely to be better adjusted in life, they are more competitive, peacemakers, people-pleasers, rebellious and always gaining new abilities.”
Don’t compare your kids!
A 2015 Brigham Young University study found that how you treat your kids and compare them to each other has a significant impact on how they’ll act, especially in terms of sibling rivalry. If you constantly compare your second child to the first, you’ll breed resentment. Resentment leads to anger, which in turn leads to acting out.
6 Curses of the Second Born Child
1. The second born child shows a craving for mischief.
2. The oldest sibling wants nothing to do with the second born child.
3. Pets run like hell when they see the second born coming.
4. Bedtime for the second born takes 10 – 120 minutes longer than it does for everyone else.
5. Stubborn takes on a whole new level.
6. Dare devil plus. You better get yourself some good health insurance!
What do you think? Do you agree?
There’s no denying that being the second born child comes with its own unique set of challenges. For one, you’re constantly being compared to your older sibling, who is often seen as the standard-bearer for the family. As a result, you often feel like you have something to prove.
In addition, you’re also dealing with the fact that your parents are likely to be more lenient with your older sibling, which can create a sense of unfairness. And let’s not forget the jealousy that can come from seeing your sibling receive all of the attention. With all of that said, however, there are also some distinct advantages to being the second born child.
For one, you learn from your sibling’s mistakes and are often able to avoid them yourself. In addition, you’re often more independent and resourceful than your older sibling, as you’ve had to find ways to stand out on your own. So while being the second born child certainly has its challenges, it also comes with its own set of benefits.