1,2 or 3 siblings are not the same! - Firstborn, sandwich child and baby nestling

in steemiteducation •  25 days ago

1,2 or 3 siblings are not the same! - Firstborn, sandwich child and baby nestling

Quite a few parents are surprised after the birth of their second child, how strongly the characteristics of the siblings differ from each other. Calm and calm one child - wild and fierce the other sprout. How can that be?

Science today largely agrees that both the genome and the environment, especially the sibling precedence, shape the children from birth and have a decisive influence on the development of their respective characteristics. The interaction of these two factors is very different.


The genes

All children receive half of their genetic material from the father and mother. However, the passed on part of each child is different and explains so in part the differences in siblings. Theoretically, it is even possible that siblings differ in all essential genetic traits. However, this happens very rarely. The mean of the genetic similarity is about 50 percent.

The sibling ranking

Various studies have examined whether the position in the sibling series influences the personal development of the children. And it is actually like this:
It plays an essential role, whether a child as first, second or third child of a family sees the light of the world.
Of course, family life is no longer the same when siblings join a single child.
In addition, however, that the ranking of the siblings, as well as the respective stage of development determines their actions and thus causes different reactions of the parents.
As a result, each child develops different strategies to assert themselves and build their own identity.


The pole position

The first-born child is initially in the "pole position" not only because of his position in the sibling ranking. Especially at the beginning of his life, he receives a lot of love and affection and grows as the center of family activities. First-time babies are often given more parenting guidance and support, and are usually better accepted by adults because they are more in line with social expectations than their (future) siblings.
According to a Norwegian educational study, first-born children are generally more successful later than their younger siblings. This may be because the eldest child often acts as a "teacher" to the younger siblings, learning (playfully) how to share or organize information with others. This gift can help the elders in the school and later on the job market to a head start.
The financial resources also play an important role in this context. If the parents have little money at their disposal, they are most likely to invest it in the oldest child.

But where there is light is also shadow. This is especially true when the new parents are still too inexperienced in dealing with a child.
Oversized affection, combined with fears and high expectations can put a strain on a child at an early age. Precisely because of their inexperience, many parents tend to intervene more in the development of their ancestor than in their later-born children.
Many of the first-born children are also disturbed by the further offspring of their parents. In this context is often spoken of "dethronement".
It is favorable if a child has only 2-3 years alone with the parents, before a new sibling enriches the family life.

What should be considered when dealing with the firstborn?

First things first: Spend a lot of time with the Elder whenever you can. Especially first-born respond extremely positively to being with adults.
Please take care not to overburden your oldest child with duties and tasks.

The younger children should also make their contribution and be involved in everyday family life.
And one more thing: privileges are very important to your oldest child. A later bedtime, a television program intended only for the elders - may sound banal to you, but that's especially important to your child!


The middle child

For the middle child - also, little affectionately, called sandwich child - it is perfectly normal to have to share the parents with the siblings. This often results in lightheartedness and less fear of losing the affection of the parents.

At the same time, the middle child is also in a difficult position because it has neither the rights of the elders nor can enjoy the benefits of the younger.
Characteristic for the sandwich child is the experience of prevailing against both in order to assert oneself. As a result, it is precisely these children who develop good diplomatic skills and negotiating skills. They are used to fully exploiting their potential and can usually handle other people very well.
However, it becomes problematic when these children are given too little attention, because the parents pay too much attention to the first-born or the baby.
Hypersensitivity to ill treatment or injustice is often the result. A strong need for attention is often associated with it.
Usually it is the middle children, whose later detachment from home easier - also a consequence of missing attention.

For dealing with sandwich children the following is advisable:

Give the middle child special privileges, such as a trip only with you or the exclusive visit to the grandparents.
Sandwich children especially need the feeling of being something "special".
Therefore, you should duly honor and praise your accomplishments, whether at school or in sport.
Some middle-aged children tend to identify a lot with themselves to avoid conflict. Be vigilant and seek the four-eyes conversation when such a situation arises.


The youngest

The youngest has the reputation of being particularly spoiled and served by the parents. And now comes the surprise: that's usually true.
The youngest child often enjoys more freedom and benefits from the experiences parents have with older siblings. This is nice for the child, but also carries a lot of dangers in itself. The envy of the older siblings is not lacking and thus inevitably leads to conflicts that can make life difficult for the youngest member of the family. The elders like to command the little ones or annoy them in other ways. This, in turn, can lead to the youngest developing into sensitive and irritable children. These children then often strike one of two typical directions. Either they develop a special ambition to catch up with the elders, or they behave passively and get discouraged from any task.
It has often been observed in studies that the youngest children develop into a kind of clown, in order to make the elders laugh, in order to gain the necessary recognition of the older siblings.

For the handling of your youngest the following is recommended:

Even the youngest member of the family must adhere to the established family rules. Make sure that it takes responsibility and, for example, does age-related household tasks.
It is also important to ask for Nesthäkchen, as these are usually not very ambitious and thus lag behind their possibilities.
Of course, even the youngest child needs the feeling of being something "special".
Therefore, also highlight his achievements, especially if they were associated with a little effort and effort.


No matter if firstborn, sandwich child or baby nestling - from any position within the family, it can be said that she is the better.
Each child experiences specific advantages and disadvantages through his rank in the family.
For you, as a parent, this means defining clear rules of the game and at the same time ensuring that they are respected.
Do not compare your offspring with each other, but see a unique personality in each child.

And the most important:

Pay just as much attention to each child - but do not treat them all the same, because children are different.
And that's just as well.


Did I forget something? Can you think of any more points?
I´m looking forward to your experiences and additions.



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As a middle child I support this post.

We have three kids. 2 are twins, yet we still have a sandwich child and a baby. Funny even though they were born 2 minutes apart

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