A new research finding from the Leipzig University, suggests that first-borns are significantly smarter than their siblings as a result of the solely undivided care they get from their own parents. They also go further to claim that first-born children also get a boost to their intellect, due to the fact that first-born children get to teach their younger siblings the workings of life (as they know it) at a very young age.
Quite naturally, this study tends to believe that this gap in intelligence could be a direct result of the pressure of upbringing. They are expected to take care of themselves and their smaller siblings. Also, bear in mind that their parents are usually first-time parents with all the accompanying anxiety and pressure of grooming their child to become a responsible human being in society. This uptight home training tends to loosen up with the kids that follow as the parents get familiar with the child training process and find it hard to concentrate all their efforts on one kid. Knowingly or unknowingly, these parents also encourage their first-borns to take care of their little brother(s)or sister(s) – hoping they develop a sense of leadership and responsibility from such activities.
This research finding goes further to state that there was as much as a 1.5 intelligence quotient gap from child to child. But the study also suggests that in families of only the first and second child, those differences don’t always play out. The younger siblings also had a significant chance of overtaking the elder one.
Also, apart from the IQ gap, it was observed that first-born kids had a heightened believe in their ability to do tasks that required a considerable amount of mental work. They believed in their smartness. This came from a study of personality tests conducted in three different times across different countries. In fact, one of those focused on the United Kingdom – with over 18,000 volunteers involved as a population sample for the study.
Dr. Julia Rohrer brought a unique and interesting perspective to the cause of this phenomenon. Speaking to the Daily Mail, he says ”One theory is those following children ”dilute” the resources of their parents.”
“While the firstborn gets full parental attention, at least for some months or years, late-borns will have to share from the beginning.”
“Another possible factor is described by the tutoring hypothesis: A firstborn can “tutor” their younger siblings, explaining to them how the world works and so on.”
“Teaching other people has high cognitive demands – the children need to recall their own knowledge, structure it and think of a good way to explain it to younger siblings, which could provide a boost to intelligence for some firstborns.”
What do you think of these scientific findings and what steps would you take to ensure that your late borns get as much resources – in care and attention, from you the parent.