Parenting a perfectionist
“We did become stricter with Joshua after Justin was born,” says Ken Jones, father to the Jones boys — Joshua is 13, and Justin is 11. “I think I was a bit rougher on Joshua. He had to do things more perfectly.”
As the Jones family, who lives in Corona, Calif., has found, and the new research confirms, being a little tougher on the oldest kid in the family often turns out a kid like Joshua — the stereotypical rule-abiding, responsible first-born.
The study showed that older siblings were much less likely to drop out of school or, in the case of girls, get pregnant, than the youngest in the family, perhaps because they’ve had a lifetime of being held to higher standards.
That stricter parenting style often shapes the first-born kid into a play-by-the rules perfectionist, so parents tend to rely more on their oldest child than the younger kids, says Kevin Leman, a Tucson, Ariz., psychologist and author of “The Birth Order Book.”
“When a job needs to get done, it’s the habit of the parent to call on the first-born, because they’re the most reliable and conscientious,” Leman says. But it's no accident that the oldest has become a responsible wonder child; it's the parenting strategy that made them that way.
I have 3 younger siblings, no wonder I'm so perfect! Thanks Mom and Dad. Click here for the rest of the story.