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Old 10-09-2009, 04:14 AM
 
Location: In my skin
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I was an only child until the other 3 brats came along 9 + years later.

My parents were very strict with me. It was all about school and tons of dance classes as a kid. The emphasis on education is respectable, sure. But being kept at home all the time took a toll once I hit my teens. What I wasn't allowed to do after school and on the weekends, I did during school. I appreciate that my parents didn't want me to end up on the streets like most of the kids in my neighborhood, but it was excessive.

My younger siblings had a lot more freedom and were able to do a lot of things I wasn't allowed to. My mom was very involved with their extra curricular activities, like boy scouts & girl scouts. And she wasn't nearly as strict with them. We're all pretty much in the same place in life, though.


They owe me.
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Old 10-09-2009, 07:07 AM
 
Location: USA
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Try being a middle child.
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Old 10-09-2009, 05:03 PM
 
11,664 posts, read 13,567,877 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
Obviously, the curse works in reverse order as you've reported. Ideally, parenting skills and expectations will some day be taught far and wide so that the raising of healthy, fully functioning, outstanding citizens becomes commonplace.
I turned out really well, actually. I have faired much better in life than other people I know. And any dysfunction I have I will not blame on my parents. As an adult you can't walk around blaming your past for all your present mistakes.

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Old 08-12-2017, 12:29 PM
 
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Bringing one of my old threads up to date after 8 years....tempus fugit.

Seems there is also talk about a curse of the 2nd born child too. Article is backed up by a study from MIT.

Excerpts:

"If you have a son who’s the youngest or middle child, you’re going to want to watch them like a freakin’ hawk. Second-born sons are more likely to get suspended, become juvenile delinquents, and go to prison."

The article goes on to say this about first-borns: "Researchers have suggested for a while that first-borns do better in education, have higher IQs, and can earn higher wages, but this is one of the first major studies to point out that second-born children are in fact the troublemakers of the bunch." This sort of bears out my own contention that first borns are driven by their parents to be the successes they wanted themselves to be.

IMO a second born child sees the first one getting all the attention and starts to act out, thus the troublemaker.
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Old 08-12-2017, 12:56 PM
 
583 posts, read 228,599 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
The Curse of the First-Born Child is what I call the family dynamic where the first-born has all of the parents hopes and dreams heaped onto him or her. Often the parents live vicariously through this child, who really gets all sorts of attention, pressure and push to succeed, as if the parents get a merit badge for having high achieving kids.

I've seen many first-borns who are either big successes or big failures, rarely an average so-so outcome; usually either heroes or neurotics.

By the time there are 4 kids in the family the last one gets away with murder as the parents are exhausted and burned out on the first three. In my own family I've seen this repeated for two generations, and in related families.

It certainly doesn't happen in all families, but I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed this sort of family dynamic, or if it's recognized as such by family counseling professionals.
You've just described my husband to a tee. First born child, tons of expectations, went to college on a football scholarship, has done well for himself in life but also has the pressure of being the "successful one" who everyone turns to when there's a problem. I was the youngest out of three, and he always tells me I have no idea how easy I had it being the baby of the family.

That's so funny about the 2nd born sons, because my husband's younger brother was a bit of a troublemaker who got an "other than honorable" discharge from the Navy.
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:23 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
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Good thread. I am a first born, the second born is a crazy person, and the youngest is fun, cute, but somewhat irresponsible.

As the oldest, I was raised when my parents didn't have much money so I learned to do without. Later on I was pressured and told to be responsible and to "set a good example." There was no role model for me to look up to so I kind of floundered around trying to figure things out for myself. It wasn't fun being the oldest--it made me serious and responsible and somewhat confused because I had to figure things out for myself, there being no older sibling to copy.

The second child, 7 years younger, was a brat who could manipulate and figured out how to blame me for things that she did. For her first few years, I loved having a baby sister and getting to help my mother take care of a baby. But she developed into a clever, evil kid. My parents finally took her to a psychiatrist and got bad advice that made her worse.

She got everything given to her by throwing fits and tantrums, lying, being sneaky. To this day, she has never worked a day in her entire life, is mean but has a charismatic personality with which she manipulates people. She married a very nice man who waited on her. He finally divorced her and she went on disability for mental illness.

Youngest child is fine. I tried to protect her from the middle sister's demands and her desires to be waited on. Youngest is the typical, fun loving, carefree "cute" youngest child.

I read a book once about the Cinderella Syndrome and it said that the middle child is often jealous of the oldest child--for no reason. Imaginary reasons. My younger sister seemed to think that I had more toys (wrong), that I was smarter (wrong--we have exactly the same IQ), that I had everything better than she did. Delusional.
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:27 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
69,889 posts, read 60,970,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
Bringing one of my old threads up to date after 8 years....tempus fugit.

Seems there is also talk about a curse of the 2nd born child too. Article is backed up by a study from MIT.

Excerpts:

"If you have a son who’s the youngest or middle child, you’re going to want to watch them like a freakin’ hawk. Second-born sons are more likely to get suspended, become juvenile delinquents, and go to prison."

The article goes on to say this about first-borns: "Researchers have suggested for a while that first-borns do better in education, have higher IQs, and can earn higher wages, but this is one of the first major studies to point out that second-born children are in fact the troublemakers of the bunch." This sort of bears out my own contention that first borns are driven by their parents to be the successes they wanted themselves to be.

IMO a second born child sees the first one getting all the attention and starts to act out, thus the troublemaker.
OP, I don't think one can generalize too much. First-borns, and also only-children, can buckle under the expectations of their parents. Some learn to deal with it by cheating on academic performance, and lying at home to maintain the image parents have of a well-behaved high-achieving child. If parents fall for this act early on, the first-born can grow up to be quite cynical. This can lead to delinquency, poor academic work, etc.

Regarding the theoretical benefits of providing expectant parents with child-rearing instruction, that would not overcome any personality disorders, inability to get along, and other issues parents may have. People who aren't psychologically equipped to be parents will not be "saved" by getting instruction in how to raise happy, balanced kids.
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:37 PM
 
20,027 posts, read 37,101,757 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
Good thread. I am a first born, the second born is a crazy person, and the youngest is fun, cute, but somewhat irresponsible. ... I had to figure things out for myself, there being no older sibling to copy.... didn't have much money so I learned to do without... snip ...
Sounds like my story in many ways.

I'm 3rd born, 4th was a girl, cutest one, apple of dad's eyes, had him wrapped around her finger, got away with everything, and to some extent made Mom's life difficult. Dad had a stroke in 1958, couldn't work, lost the house and had to move often. Poverty sucks, BTDT. Still running from poverty and Baltimore 60 years later....

I had no brothers to pattern on, dad was in the home but sat home every night smoking and drinking. Never got ANY education about the birds and bees, had to figure it out myself by buying books to read. By blind luck I never got anyone pregnant...

My older generation talked about how they valued people who were 'industrious' and made their way through life. I patterned on that rather thin advice. I read a lot of books in grade school about guys who worked hard and made good; I patterned on that too. When I worked for the Army, big as it is, I found that I was largely on my own; no one would help anyone but after writing a paper on some topic then they'd come out of the woodwork to point out all that was wrong with it. I learned to keep cranking up my game to do better, and I advanced up the ladder.

I've a loving wife of 43+ years, a lovely home, nice pension, nest egg, no debts, Medicare and health insurance. Life is good now.
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Old 08-12-2017, 02:57 PM
 
807 posts, read 329,939 times
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Interesting thread.


I'm the third, with the forth (and last) close to me in age. The two older were 3 and 5 years older. They hung out together and I hung out with the baby.


But that is not what I wanted to post. The first two were not successful, in any way. Me and baby were. I always thought it was bc our parents left us alone (which they did)


Parents are not always cut out for the job. I count my lucky stars that I was left to my own devices and made some good choices.
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Old 08-12-2017, 03:42 PM
 
20,027 posts, read 37,101,757 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyMae521 View Post
Interesting thread.


I'm the third, with the forth (and last) close to me in age. The two older were 3 and 5 years older. They hung out together and I hung out with the baby.


But that is not what I wanted to post. The first two were not successful, in any way. Me and baby were. I always thought it was bc our parents left us alone (which they did)


Parents are not always cut out for the job. I count my lucky stars that I was left to my own devices and made some good choices.
A lot of the same here. Mom was a farm girl from WV who came to Baltimore in 1941 to work in a war plant; met the man who became her husband and my father. She never went back to WV save for a few visits. Dad was a railroad shop foreman, hard drinker, screamer. Neither got beyond the 8th grade. Not exactly what we'd call good parent material though they both had ethics, morality and desire to do the right thing; but like millions of parents they just didn't really know what was the right thing (aka blind spots). My parents were typical of millions of parents in that era, and many parents were far far worse.

The two older girls were 4 and 5 years older than me and both got lots of oversight from our father. His idea of discipline was a razor strap to the back of their legs. Mom said they'd go to school with welts from the strap. That would be child abuse these days. Both girls tried to excel but both got sidetracked by early marriages to lousy husbands. They were in a hurry to get sex every night and get out of our parent's house. Oldest one did okay, 2nd oldest fared poorly and now lives in the tiny basement of a home she sold to her daughter. The older two were always at war with each other over their creepy husbands; what a mess.

Myself (3rd) and little sister (4th) did better.
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Last edited by Mike from back east; 08-12-2017 at 04:03 PM..
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