Growing up, I always felt like my younger sister Janelle got the brains of the family. Sure, I had my smarts, but she was a genius in my book. She scored off the charts on standardized tests. She read the classics and philosophy books for fun. And she was practically fluent in Spanish overnight — OK, not really true, but it seemed like it.
But! The Atlantic just released the results of a new study that maintains the opposite is true: First-born children are smarter than their siblings. The study, conducted by economists V. Joseph Hotz and Juan Pantano, found that first-borns have higher IQs, perform better in school, and are considered more accomplished by their parents. Why? Simple, say the researchers. Parents tend to go easier on their later-born kids. The first time around, moms and dads put their tough foot forward, establishing strict rules and making sure they’re intimately involved in their child’s academic life. With subsequent children, parents have noticeably chilled out and tend to adopt a more hand-off approach to child rearing.
Isn’t that interesting? Were you raised differently than your siblings, friends? Are you the oldest? Youngest? Somewhere in the middle? How have you raised your own kids, if you have them? xoxo
[Photo by Charles Gullung]