Moms and dads spend more quality time with firstborn

Filed under: Preschoolers, Activities: Babies, Siblings, Development/Milestones: Babies, Day Care & Education

When my firstborn headed off to preschool this year, I looked forward to some one-on-one time with my two-year-old. Though we spend lots of quality time together as a family, before preschool, time alone with my baby was a rare occurrence. Those first few weeks were funny; she almost seemed surprised by the fact that she had me all to herself. Now that she's caught on, however, she's taking full advantage. I call her my little buddy, and those three mornings a week remind me of the years when my oldest was also my only.

New research has found that firstborn children get about 3,000 hours more quality time with their parents than children who come after. You'd think that a lot of those hours occur before siblings come along, but even after all children are present and accounted for, firstborns still get up to a half hour a day more than their sisters and brothers. Researchers say that this is why firstborns typically have slightly higher IQs and make more money as adults.

As much as I'd like to deny it, I recognize this in our own family. My older daughter is learning to read, loves to play sports, and it's exciting to teach her new things because it's new territory for us as parents. I like to think that we're very balanced in our attention to the two of them, but after reading this study I'm left wondering if I need to do more.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.