- Family and Parenting
Firstborns - the parent's treasure child
The firstborns or otherwise the eldest child is the first child born to a couple. They are considered to be the favorites and receive more affection than their siblings.Studies indicate firstborns tend to have a higher IQ and are mostly successful in their career. They are considered to be smarter, faster and stronger individuals.
Some speculate since they are born first, they receive greater attention and care, thus enhancing a stronger and healthier brain development. After the parents, the family matters rests upon the shoulders of the elder child. Most firstborns are taught to look after their younger siblings in order to teach them the importance of responsibility.
My life as the firstborn
Being the oldest among the three, I always hated the idea of being the firstborn. Maybe because I never liked responsibilities. Ever since I started school, I was given the responsibility of looking after my siblings. It was always " Chippy, did you do this and did you do that". The chores, due to my short attention lifespan, I often left them half undone. I would run to the living room, sit cross-legged in front of the TV, watching mickey mouse. To add to Mom's troubles, I would pull my sister along with me and get her into mischief.
After a few years, along came my brother and the sense of a superior sibling and responsibility grew in me. I would constantly check up on him. Sometimes I found him standing in the cradle looking for someone to take him into their arms. During those days, I learned certain tricks to stop him from crying. Tricks like calling 'Mom' , the very word which would suddenly make him stop screeching. Then he would start over and I would yell 'Mom' again.This would go on for over half an hour or until I got tired of it.To this day I still remember how his face used to crease.
Getting him to sleep was another huge task. He loved the cold air from the air conditioner and would hold him near to it so he could sleep.
These were the things I remember doing as an older sibling.
Fame- The first in series
Characters firstborns tend to display
As firstborns, they often tend to display behavioral characteristics like being:
3) Care givers for younger siblings
6) Mentally strong
8) Sense of superiority
Why parents are more affectionate towards the elder child?
So why do parents give more attention to the oldest child?
Firstly some say since the firstborns are born first in the family, they receive more love and affection,though it cannot be said in all the cases and I am pretty sure there would be some who would disagree with me.
Secondly, after the birth of the second child, the older child may sometimes feel left out. This could lead to sibling rivalry in the long run. Knowing this,most of the parents provide more attention to the first child and give him the small responsibility of looking out for the younger sibling which helps in the development of bond between the siblings.
Thirdly, studies have reported that more the attention provided to a child, more the chances they may show self-confidence,accept greater responsibility, excel in academics and may have higher IQ than the younger siblings.
The second series
Being an only child
Being an only child is a unique position in the family. Without siblings,the parent's affection and focus would be on the only child. The child enjoys the benefits of being the single child and enjoys the support given by his/her parents.These children tend to display:
4) higher academic performance
6) More organised
But there are some parents who spoil their only child and in some cases, these children earn the name " spoiled brat". They display characteristics like selfishness, impatience,lack of mannerisms and are very demanding. Temper tantrums are common in such cases.
Parenting an only child has its difficulties especially when the child is used to getting his /her way.Problems begin when the child shows a bloated up ego and lacks in discipline. If the child becomes critical of others,refuses to share, displays pride and bullying behavior, nip it in the bud as soon as possible.
From the time we are born till the time we die, life teaches so many lessons in every phase. A child learns to walk from the age of one . He crawls, tries to stand up, tries to walk but flops back onto the floor. He tries again and again till he learns to balance on his legs. All this time, his mother would be watching him. She knows that even with a little bump and fall, he should learn. However difficult it may be, he should do this on his own.
Similarly, like the proverb goes,"Spare the rod and spoil the child". It is better to use the word "NO" and be firm in areas where the child is very demanding rather than having a child grow up to be a public nuisance.Some cultures and families use cane to discipline their kids.Teach them to handle disappointments and life's many defeating situations, so that they may know how to handle it in adulthood. Most importantly give them their space to make their own mistakes and to learn how to fix issues on their own.
The relationships that the oldest have with their other siblings have a much bigger influence in what they are able to achieve later in life. Be it firstborns, middle or last, what matters most is how parents treat their children and how each child is viewed by the other siblings.
After all, how many offspring there may be, all are equally loved and protected by their parents.
© 2016 Stephy Varghese