Nothing quite compares to sibling rivalry. As soon as a second child enters the foray, parents can likely expect a sibling rivalry to develop between brothers and sisters, with everyone vying for attention, looking to get the one-up on each other, and just being generally competitive.
There’s been many studies that aim to better understand the various aspects of sibling dynamics and a recent one conducted by the London School of Economies (LSE) alludes to the fact that firstborn children often succeed more in school than their younger siblings.
Researchers believes this is linked to the amount of attention parents give their firstborn children. Being the first child, most parents put in that extra attention, and this can help them perform better in school when compared to any younger sibling.
They can achieve this extra edge over their siblings from as young as one year old, although it’s worth noting that succeeding in school doesn’t necessarily make them ‘smarter’, just that they are better prepared for education due to the extra attention they tend to receive.
“Advantages started from just after birth to three years old. The differences were highlighted in language, reading, maths and comprehension abilities. As subsequent children were born mums and dads changed their behaviour – taking part in fewer activities such as such as reading, crafts and playing musical instruments.”
This makes a fair amount of sense when you consider it. Parents understandably alter their parenting methods the more accustomed with it they become, meaning they don’t need to focus as much as they may have with their firstborn. Having learned the ropes so to speak, they can offer quality parenting just with a little less effort come their subsequent children.
Funnily enough, this correlates with other studies the highlight how youngest children tend to have more confidence but often don’t over-achieve as much as their older siblings.