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