First-born children do better in school and have higher IQs – because their parents make them work harder, a new study reveals.
Hmmm, I'm not sure my three younger brothers – the brain surgeon, the judge and the rocket scientist - would agree!*
But who are we to question a survey? According to the latest research, first-borns tend to be considered more accomplished by their parents - and it's being linked to the fact that they are brought up more strictly than their younger siblings.
The study found that 33.8 per cent of mothers claim their first-born is 'one of the best students in the class' - and only 1.8 per cent put their children at the bottom.
With each successive sibling, the bragging fell, with more mothers considering their second or third born children less intelligent.
According to the NBER paper 'Strategic Parenting, Birth Order and School Performance' parents are more likely to bring up their first children strictly, while younger children are less likely to be punished if they get bad marks.
Study authors, V. Joseph Hotz and Juan Pantano, found that parents are more involved in the academic performance of first-borns; they're also more likely to enforce strict rules and punishments.
It could be the case that parents are more relaxed with their later-born children because they are exhausted and less anxious about policing their children's behaviour.
*Not really. They're all painters & decorators, and they all worked a damn sight harder than I've ever done!
More on Parentdish: Second child syndrome
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