Who’s the smartest: Youngest, middle or eldest child

For all those parents who have two or more than two children, surely you’ve silently thought about it: “Who’s the smartest of them?” Well, wonder no more. Turns out that your eldest child is the smartest — and guess what — it’s because of you.

The reason for the higher IQ in eldest children, researchers say, is because parents tend to take more time developing the child’s thinking skills but then become more laid-back with other children once they feel they have the hang of parenting.

“As the household gets bigger, time has to be split with younger children so they miss out on the advantage of being an only child for a time,” says lead author Dr. Ana Nuevo-Chiquero. “It doesn’t mean first-borns get more love, that stays the same. But they get more attention, especially in those important formative years.”

Not only do parents appear to offer less mental stimulation to their younger kids, but also take part in fewer activities with them, like reading, crafts and playing musical instruments. They also show a more relaxed attitude to smoking and drinking during second or third pregnancy. The findings could help explain the “birth order effect” – when children born earlier in families earn better wages and are more educated later in life – the study says.

According to Canadian parenting expert Alyson Schafer, “In cultures where gender differences are culturally entrenched, you may have a first-born female but the second-born male is treated specially as the first-born male heir for example.”

Curated: Globalnews