Is your younger son definitely naughtier than his older siblings? According to scientific research, this is completely normal. Find out why older children tend to be calmer.

According to studies conducted by Northwestern University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), there is a relationship between the birth order of children and the possibility of the child becoming a delinquent.

The research was conducted and observed in thousands of sibling groups from Florida families and other Danish families. Despite the considerable cultural difference, the results are similar.


Why does the second child tend to be naughtier?

There has always been this cliché related to the second child, considered as the “ugly duckling” and the mischievous of the family , the work of the researchers has precisely wanted to go to the bottom of what until today was considered only as a popular belief. Professor Jospeh Doyle (MIT) and his team found that in families with two or more children, second boys are 20-40% more likely to have disciplinary problems in school and problems with the law in adulthood than their siblings. greater.

According to the researchers, this difference in behavior between siblings is due to the different attention that there would be between the first and the second child. It is precisely this lack of attention that causes abnormal attitudes in children who seek to attract the attention of their parents.

When the first child is born into a family, the father and mother will necessarily have much more free time and will be able to concentrate more on the child, due to the inexperience one has in raising a newborn child.

When a second child is born, you are better prepared than before. You spend less time with your child and you work more than when you had your first baby. If the former had all the parents’ time to himself, the latter will have to share it with his brother. This figure could be taken as a reference by the child, which is why, according to studies, the second may not grow well and become more naughty .

A sibling problem

The first child has as inspiration and reference to the parents, he learns with them to behave responsibly as quickly as possible. The second child is known more as the older brother or sister, and will try to copy him, but to no avail .

Therefore, according to studies, the first child will be more likely to be successful in the future, while the second child may have behavior problems related to delinquency and self-esteem.

For Shankar Vedantam, social science correspondent at National Public Radio, you don’t have to worry about the results of this research. Of the 20-40% of second-generation children who are at risk for crime, only a fraction will have trouble with the law in the future.

Obviously, this is only the result of an investigation, it does not necessarily have to happen to you. The order of birth could lead to imbalances in the child and make him more mischievous, as long as we do not pay the attention and time that has been given to others.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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