If you’ve always felt like your second-born kid was more of a troublemaker than your first, you’re not just imagining it. Science has your back on this one, mamas. According to a recent study, there’s evidence that second kids really are harder.
MIT economist Joseph Doyle led a group of researchers who analyzed info from thousands of families in Florida and Denmark, comparing siblings’ “chances of delinquency” over a period of years. And what they found was actually a little disturbing.
It turns out, in families with two or more kids, the second-born is 25 to 40% more likely than their older brother or sister to end up in trouble at school, end up in the juvenile justice system, and even end up serving time in prison!
So why do researchers think this happens to second kids so much more? One theory is about parental attention - basically that the second kid gets a lot less attention than the first one did. And that makes sense because you just can’t give two kids your undivided attention at the same time.
Experts also suggest that it has to do with first kids learning most of their behavior from mom and dad and second children learning more from their older sibling. Since parents know how to behave properly and kids don’t always choose to, they’re not always the best role models. But it does seem like a huge jump to go from jumping on the bed to being a juvenile delinquent, even for those mischief making second-born kids.
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