Birth order has a great influence on child development, specifically because parents tend to raise each sibling differently – which can be both good and bad. But before you go blaming your parents, read on to see if it stands true for you, as there are mitigating factors.
Eldest children tend to be ambitious, driven leaders. “The firstborn gets a lot of focus and attention as there are no other children for distraction,” says child and family therapist Dr Meri Wallace, author of Birth Order Blues. “The child can get lots of teaching, and so can grow up to feel very self-confident and strong enough to be a leader.” This leadership role was noted by Alan Stewart, psychologist at University of Georgia, in his 2012 definitive analysis of birth order studies. Plus, parents often task firstborns with helping with younger siblings and chores, which develops their leadership role. “Mum will say, ‘I have to take a shower, go watch the baby for a while,’ so the firstborn knows how to be responsible and nurturing,” Wallace says. “The firstborn gets lots of education in being a leader.” Leadership also requires good manners. Here are some forgotten manners that parents should teach their children.