Originally Posted by cjam
Having a baby changed who I was. Consequently I was a different parent to my second. I couldn't have have parented my second exactly the same as my first unless I ignored everything that I learned with the first. I think it's somewhat inevitable that parents learn, grow and change their parenting with each child.
Well said. You can not help but to learn from the first. It is one of the drawbacks of firstborns I suppose. It made me more relaxed with the second - "oh, we are going through this phase again" - and made me more confident and comfortable in that phase. I think that confidence must rub off on the kids in some ways, yk?
The first was alone with you - which means he / she had 1 on 1 time. But it also means he/she missed out on a constant playmate. Works both ways.
Plus, one is going to be older, and that means have different needs than the younger. You can't avoid this. The oldest will be first to go to school, first to experience so much. The younger will then see some of that experience, and it can then be easier for them on some levels. And even basic things are different. For example unless you are wealthy, there will be some hand-me-downs, be that clothes and toys or bikes and footballs.
Originally Posted by mamazee
There's only so much we have control over. I try to remember the serenity prayer. "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the thing I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." I think at least most of this is outside your control.
This is so useful for so many things in life!
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree
First, I'm sure that individual personality and other factors like coping with unusual talents or disabilities can make a big difference in whether a child develops according to birth order stereotypes. I think there may be patterns or trends when you look at a group of people from a particular birth order demographic, but I don't think birth order inevitably guarantees a certain personality type.
From a parent's perspective, I think you can try to avoid some of the potential pitfalls of birth order. For example, you don't have to rely on the eldest to be a mini-parent, responsible for the others. You can try to give the middle child the same amount of attention and time as the other children. The youngest can be held to the same standards as the firstborn. I don't think it will be enough though.
Not all of the characteristics are solely due to parental behaviour and influence. The siblings create their own relationships and model behaviour to each other and it can result in some of the birth order stereotypes. You'll have to police sibling relationships too, and possibly that isn't going to be very healthy - or effective.
Bolding mine. Agreed. You don't have to make the oldest one be the designated babysitter. But it would also be unfair to make him or her go to bed 2 hours early, when not tired, just because the youngest is tired. Let them find their own relationship - naturally. Some stereotypes may appear. But it does not mean you forced it on them, kwim? My DD is 4 and wants to only wear dresses. And they must be pink or purple. I am not a girly-girl, and wear dresses 10 times a year, tops. I didn't force the stereotype at all, but she fits it - right now anyway. Your kids will fit some of the stereotypes at some points in their lives, and as long as everyone accepts it, it will be ok.