Kids have long argued that their parents treat one sibling better than the other, whether it comes to doling out compliments or settling arguments in the backseat of the car.
And if you’re a first-born child, we’ve got good news for you: it’s you who’s likely to get the preferential treatment from your mum and dad, rather than your younger siblings.
All part of the perks of being first, right?
This is all according to a study, which asked pairs of teenage siblings no more than four years apart in age how they felt their parents treated them.
The teens were asked if they sensed differential treatment between them and their siblings, and how that has affected their confidence.
Researchers found that 74 percent of mums and 70 percent of dads confessed to liking one of their kids more than another, although they didn’t say which one they liked most. Probably wise.
But when the teens themselves were interviewed, the results showed that younger siblings often felt that their parents were biased towards the first-born, thereby knocking their self-esteem.
The researchers found that because they were first to reach vital life stages, the elder siblings tended to feel more confident and assertive.
The study of 384 families, which was published in the Journal of Family Psychology, had actually set out to prove that first-borns were the ones who felt hard done by.
However, it turned out to be the older child who felt their parents like them more, likely because they’d been first to succeed at school or at a sport.
Professor Katherine Conger, one of the University of California research team who conducted the study, said: “I was a little surprised. Our hypothesis was that older, earlier-born children would be more affected by perceptions of differential treatment due to their status as the older child in the family.”
If you’re a younger sibling, though, rest assured that you’re not doomed to feel small for the rest of your life. It turns out there are also upsides to having an older brother or sister.
A previous study conducted by the University of Toronto found that having an older sibling could help to boost your intelligence.
Separate research from Ohio State University found that growing up with brothers or sisters may also make you less likely to eventually get divorced.
So, baby siblings of the world, don’t lose heart – you may not be the first to succeed, but you’ll benefit from not being first to fuck up.
Source: Daily Mail