Firstborn Kids Are Smarter Because Parents Are Tired, Okay?!

Mom Moment 14

A test

Now, I don't put much stock in those studies that claim birth order dictates any/all defining personality traits -- probably because I'm an only child, and all those studies say only children are completely self-centered and difficult to get along with, and did I tell you what I had for lunch today? What do you mean, you don't want to know?? Well you can just go and ... ha. KIDDING! 

Anyway. Point is, I've always taken those birth order studies with a grain of salt, and that hasn't changed since I had kids. But one recent study gave me pause: Apparently firstborn kids perform better in school, and the reason is because parents aren't as hard on subsequent children.

Well, hmm. I wouldn't say my 12-year-old daughter performs better in school than my 8-year-old son -- fortunately, they both do very well -- but there are a few things my daughter knew at my son's age  that he does not, yet, and I'm certain the reason why he doesn't know them yet is that because I'm not reading to or quizzing him about them like I did with his sister. Case in point: Spelling. Phonetic spelling be damned -- when my daughter was in first and second grades, I was a stickler about correcting her spelling whenever I helped her with homework or writing birthday cards or anything, anything at all. As a result, at 12, she rarely needs spell check. My son? The other day he asked me how to spell "doorbell." 'Nuff said.

It's just that sheesh!! The more kids you have, the less time you have. Sad but true. There are only so many hours in the day, kids. And it's not like you actually realize you're shortchanging your second (or third or whatever) kid(s), you're just trying to get through the damn day! And gawd, those days are long! Where's the coffee?!

I mean, I guess this firstborn/better in school thing doesn't HAVE to be true. Theoretically, if parents were conscious of this likeliood going into the whole childrearing thing, they could take active steps to make sure each kid got the flashcard treatment. But who reads these studies BEFORE they have kids?

And is it ever too late? Maybe I should go give my son a pop quiz right now ...

Do you think firstborn kids perform better in school?


Image via EMG Pics/Flickr

education, grades, in the news


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river... river_coal

My older sister was a "C" student all through school while my younger sister and I were straight "A's" My younger sister and I have both gone on to college, she is currently seeking her PHd. I believe a good portion of it has to do with the child, their drive, and learning style. I also have to say I am a mother and get so sick of hearing the "I'm so tired, there's just not enough time" excuses people throw out there. It's called lazy parenting and is one of the root causes of our children being so ignorant, lazy, and disrespectful now a days.

the4m... the4mutts

I think that in our family, that was not an issue until our 4th. I am just too god damned tired to care if he can write his name yet. (He just turned 4) all 3 of my other kids were reading by this age.

But, some of it is him. He learns differently than the others. He's very visual and verbal oriented, where my other 3 are hands-on learners.

My 4 yr old can SPELL his name, but can't/wont learn to write it. He doesnt have the patience to sit and have me hold his hand, or trace the letters. But he learns to spell words after only being told once or twice. Idk, Im still figuring him out, but Im also very tired and not too worried.

Freela Freela

I find for my kids that the defining trait seems to be school readiness/age in relation to the other kids in the class.  Both my son and daughter had birthdays putting them in the middle of the age bracket for that grade.  Both did quite well.  My youngest is born at the end of December... in our province, you start junior kindergarten if you turn 4 by December 31.  She's December 20.  She is significantly younger than my other kids in that grade, and they seemed to have a much easier time than she did.  I do see things clicking with her, but she seems to get by the end of the grade the things that my other kids had down by Christmas break.  I really wish we had the option to hold her back a year, but unfortunately, we don't. 

Candace Jennings

I take MOST studies with a grain of salt because no "expert" knows my kids like I do. This is one of those studies. My son is three years old and is developmentally delayed. I put him into Head Start because I want him to have a chance to succeed when he does start school. He's slow to catch on to things, but when he does catch on it's like you can't tell he is delayed. On the other hand, my daughter is a smart cookie. She is doing things at one that my son wasn't doing until he was almost three. For example, I started potty training my son when he turned two. A year and a half later, in August, he finally used the bathroom and in the two months since has had maybe five accidents. My daughter is already peeing in the toilet even though we haven't officially started training her. Don't let anyone tell you about your child.

LawNO... LawNOrderMommy

I think if we're giving credence to this study the gap between children should be taken into account. I am 6 years older than my next sibling. My mother was hard on me acedemically until I pushed back and did my own thing. My six year younger sister was treated as many families treat their oldest child. Now at 26 and 20 we're both college juniors, I took 5 years off of school to be in the military, with similar grade point averages. She has things she's better a (read: MATH) and I have my specialties but the beauty of that is we FaceTime and help each other with course work. 

Maeclark Maeclark

I am the oldest of four girls and I actually performed worst in school then any of my sister's.

ktobin2 ktobin2

Not in my family...

Daniel Faith

To be honest, I do not that knowledge is somehow related to the fact if the child was  the first or the second born in the family. As for me you are tired with the first child just the same as with the second one. It is all up to parents whether they help their children to study and learn new things. But I am talking from a point of view of an average person, possibly it was somehow proved by scientists...but I doubt that such things can be proved as too many factors have to involved.

Danny for MyEssayService website for College Students

Beth Santos

I like this article.The author's approach is practical and direct. Most articles about these are so scientific that it's less appealing. anyway, yeah i don't think the performance of kids at school is based on their birth order. perhaps one of the factors to consider is how much a parent spends time with their kids in study time. I should probably suggests this topic at essay writing for High School and College Students.

Alex Lex

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