Blame Your Parents: Apparently First-Born Children Are More Intelligent

It's all your mum's fault

Blame Your Parents: Apparently First-Born Children Are More Intelligent

by Alyss Bowen |
Published on

As the youngest sibling in my clan of three, I like to think I’m the more intelligent one. Perhaps not in the same ‘I have a science degree’ as my brother, or my ‘manages her own team,’ sister kind of way – but I do have an MA and I don’t see that on either of their LinkedIn profiles so…

Apparently that’s all BS though, according to this University of Edinburgh study. Economists discovered that first-borns achieve higher IQ test scores from as young as 1.

This has a little something to do with them receiving more mental stimulation in their early years. According to the study, which examined data from 5, 000 children, first-borns were given more support with tasks that involved thinking – and they then went on to score better in the tests. It was proven that all children received a similar amount of emotional support, but parents took less time to partake in stimulating activities such as reading or music with their youngest.

So what, my mum spent more time ‘mentally stimulating,’ my sisters brain with thought inducing tasks like puzzles and reading? Prepping her for whatever fresh hell the world throws as her. Then along came my brother and he got some mental stimulation, but not as much as my smug sister. And then I came into the world, child number 3. Ready for all the mental stimulation I could get. But nope. Narda. Niente.

This does actually fall quite close to home – not because my mum didn’t give me enough attention, believe me I demanded attention (youngest child syndrome), but because I played games and did puzzles with my siblings. They were my teachers, prepping me for life, preparing me for the big wide world. So I’d like to take this moment to thank my elder siblings for taking the time out of their busy, probably messy, toddler years to teach me some valuable life lessons. If I ever win a BAFTA or do a TED talk, I’ll dedicate it to you guys.

*I’d like to take this opportunity to apologise for using the phrase ‘mental stimulation,’ so much. It creeps me out, and I hope you can forgive me. *

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**Follow Alyss on Instagram @alyssbowen **

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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