Having children means increased responsibilities, increased happiness, more time spent home etc. I think that the number of parents who tend to give birth to only one child is increasing, especially in the developed countries. This is happening for different reasons, like dedicating more time for education and growth of the child, not having enough free time for more than one child and so on. But nevertheless, we are going to focus only on those families with more than one children. Apparently, according to some statistical monitorings, the second-born children are more predisposed to become criminals.
As a matter of fact, a 2015 study conducted by researchers from the University of Leipzig discovered that children who were born appeared to have a higher IQ. Even though this is not the case, intelligence is surely related to criminality. “Birth Order and Delinquency: Evidence from Denmark and Florida” is a study from 2017, accessible here and conducted by researchers from the University of Florida, MIT and other universities. Researchers analyzed data from The Florida Departments of Education and Health, a survey tracking data for children born between the year 1992 and 2010, and from the Danish Birth Register which tracked data for children born between 1960 and 2010.
Even though Denmark and Florida are far away and have a different cultural background, the findings didn’t show differences in results. Researchers were able to discover that later-borns were more destined to be the troublemakers. They showed a 20% to 40% higher risk of going to prison, committing childish delinquency and also to leave or excluded from school. Even though it does, it shouldn’t sound too alarming because statistically, only 5 to 10% of children get into problems during their adolescent days. At least, this is what Shankar Vedantam told for the online HiddenBrain. Furthermore, these statistics represent more the male adolescents since they are more predisposed to get in trouble, compared to girls.
You might imagine that the main reasons for children getting in trouble are their parents. I think this is undoubtedly true. One thing is the belief that the attention of parents is more directed towards the firstborn children. First love, right? Now try to imagine the situation in which the secondborn children finds him/herself. You may be mature now but, what would you do to gain your parent’s attention? And how would you feel when they mostly pay attention to your bigger brother or sister? You would probably cause trouble so your parents will pay attention to you, right? It is understandable that your firstborn child will see you and your partner as his/her idol. But this doesn’t always happen with your secondborn child. He or she will also see their younger brother/sister as their idols. But the problem is that your firstborn child is too young to be considered as an idol and he or she is probably rational enough for their age.
Keep in mind that these studies do not represent the situations in all the families but it is just a statistical view. By this, please understand that second-born children are not naturally predisposed to become criminals. In contrary, their growth process and circumstances are more determinative in their behaviours in the future. Please, try to spend more time with your children and love them the same, no matter what.