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Thread: Birth order of kids?

  1. #1
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Birth order of kids?

    I'm not especially concerned about this topic, but since Pocket recommended this article to me I figured I'd start a discussion somewhat less controversial than anything to do with current events just because.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...t-personality/

    So what does everyone think? Does your family's experience line up with the studies? In my family I definitely perceive my 4 year older sister to be slightly smarter than I am and also more confident, driven, and focused on achievement and success. However, as we've gotten older and more mature and more willing to share our deeper thoughts about life, the universe, and everything, I question whether she's actually more smart and confident or whether I just took it for granted that she was because she was older than me and had a lot of confidence.

    One of the other things that rang true to me from the article was the difference in the way parents treat their kids growing up because each kid is different. My sister was the pushy one who insisted that her way was the right way. If she wanted to do rebellious things that my parents didn't approve of she made sure they knew she was doing them and got punished accordingly. If I wanted to do the same things I tended to hide my actions from my parents and either they never knew or they were happy to look the other way because I wasn't throwing it in their face. (minor amateur hour drinking in high school (a couple of beers, which was actually legal at the time for 18 year olds in our state, but which our parents had forbidden) as an example. Or missing curfew. I'd lie and say I had to work at my restaurant job if I was going to hang out with friends and didn't want to be constrained by the curfew. My sister would just come home past curfew.) Because I didn't stir the pot, and was still getting good grades, I slid through teenagehood without a lot of parental drama even though I was doing exactly the same things my sister had done before me.

  2. #2
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    ELdest children are superior.Both DH and I agree with that.

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    Simpleton Alan's Avatar
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    I agree with Iris, both my wife and I were eldest children with me being the eldest of 5 and she the eldest of 3. My personal theory is that parents of multiple children often start out with high expectations for their children but then get worn down over time. My younger brothers got away with things I never could, and as they grew into adulthood it showed.
    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I came from a family with four children and I had four children myself, so I can compare the two.

    I have a unique birth order situation because I'm technically the first born, but I'm not the oldest because when I was 1 years old, my first cousin became an orphan and my parents adopted him--he was 6 at the time. So, he's the oldest but I'm the first-born. I do have traits of the first-born, and so does he--but he was a far more rebellious child than I was (the goody-two-shoes).

    In my own family, my eldest acted like my brother--high achiever with a bold dash of rebellion. He wasn't a quiet achiever by a long shot. He was a golfer, a singer, a soccer goalie. He went off on his own at 18 after dropping out of HS at 16. We have more stories of his "luck" (really meaning "pluck") that are outlandish and funny. There's no one like him. He's been arrested for minor mischievous acts and he was the valedictorian of his college. He is a wind-up toy. I get exhausted just hearing what he does each day.

    As a parent, yes, I've always said each of my children had different sets of parents: Our first had anxious, clueless parents; our 2nd had more relaxed parents, our 3rd had parents who adored and revelled in the baby stage, and our 4th had surprised parents. She's the one who had to make it in life with 3 older brothers and distracted parents. I'm sure that where we were in our lives during the time they were born definitely shaped who they are.
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    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    I’m the eldest, but only by 20 months. I was definitely the more responsible one. My brother was often on the edge of getting in trouble with the law. He was lazy and really something was missing upstairs. I definitely got the smarts in the family. I graduated from college. He didn’t even go to trade school when that option was offered. Brother was irresponsible.

  6. #6
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    My brother and I are nine years apart so he definitely had different parents and a different family experience. Our parents were already mature —our mother was 30 —when they had me so they were 40s when they had him. Yeah they were more tired that’s for sure.

    I’m sure I am forever looming in his mind as the smart accomplished older sister merely because I was light years ahead of him for so long.

    But my brother is perfectly smart and is a solid citizen. We are remarkably alike in many ways. He was politically conservative long before I saw the light.

    He is a cat man. The current picture of him on his Facebook page has him standing holding an armfull of cats, three of them, all squirming and unhappy.

    I am also the eldest of my cousin-group, our clique of 7.

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    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    There certainly are a lot of first-borns here (me, too). I wonder if that holds up beyond us initial posters?

    My experience across my own family, our daughter's family, and others reflects Alan's experience. DW and I often joke that, with the differences in the way granddaughters #1 and #2 have been raised, if our daughter has a third child, it will be given a lean-to outside the back door and expected to fend for itself. No wipe-warmers and "Swoosh" baby shoes for that one!

    Probably should mention that my sister is much like me but was treated differently because girl; our younger brother is a totally different personality type and got the most hands-off treatment of us all.
    Last edited by SteveinMN; 5-27-20 at 10:46am. Reason: added last paragraph
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    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    I am the youngest of 3. My sister the oldest has a 165 IQ so definitely the smartest. She openly rebelled. My brother and I learned what not to do and got away with things while also doing well in school. Being the youngest I had it the easiest. My oldest is from my first marriage and was smart and easy kid. The next 2 from my second marriage were horrible teens. My youngest is smart and turned out fine.

  9. #9
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    My mother gave birth to me at 30, and her next child came ten years later. I grew up feeling like I was living in the wrong end of a microscope; to this day, I hate feeling watched.

  10. #10
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneV2.0 View Post
    My mother gave birth to me at 30, and her next child came ten years later. I grew up feeling like I was living in the wrong end of a microscope; to this day, I hate feeling watched.
    hunh. Well that is weird, our birth order stories so similar.

    When I was 10 Years old I very much resented my brother being born. But as I headed towards adulthood, I appreciated how great it was to have someone else taking our parents’ laser focus off me and directing it someplace else.

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