If you happen to be a first born child, you can give up the game. Us younger siblings have put enough of your rubbish about being smarter because well, you just think you’re smarter. The fact is, just like a lot of things, you do better because mum and dad gave you more. More time that is.
Historically the assumption has been that first born children tend to be smarter than their younger siblings due to biological reasons but updated research presented recently at the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference suggests that this is actually incorrect.
While true that first born children may perform better academically than their siblings, the reason has more to do with the way they were raised, and their parents level of engagement in their education than anything genetically programmed.
According to this study, parents are far more likely to be involved in monitoring and assessing homework and are more likely to spent quality time with their children. Us subsequent kids tend to miss out on the interaction our first born siblings enjoyed, often simply because of the increased pressure on parents and their increased workload. Which, you know, makes sense.
"Researchers had not looked at health but had suggested firstborns were doing better in school because of biology. We have proven for the first time it isn't to do with biology. Therefore, if it's not due to health, then it must be down to something that happens after birth. For instance, children's interactions with their parents and how much quality time they spend with their children.” says Ramona Molitor, one of the researchers.