I am of the opinion that “first born syndrome” comes directly from the parents who dote hand and foot on the first born. They don’t teach him to be a well behaved child and to obey his parents. The child is allowed to get away with behavior that is not tolerated when the child gets older.
Then, when the next child comes along, there is a sudden switch. The parents attention is now on the new born and the oldest is expected to behave but has never been corrected or taught to behave. The child develops a deep seated resentment, especially for being forced to grow up all of a sudden.
The corrective action is the rapid application of a switch anytime a tantrum starts, the kid acts out or disobeys. However, since the child was not taught discipline from the beginning, I doubt the parents will apply discipline now.
The symptoms described in the article are way beyond that sort of rivalry. These individuals are clearly dangerous now and more so later.
Many parents send their troublesome juniors into Boy Scouts (and other youth programs). I can put names on these guys ~ Hoon, .............. ~ dozens of them! One boy had an additional blood pressure problem and he'd have to run in place most of the time.
And I've seen them just "grow up".
Not once did we have a cutting.
My impression has been that these kids are all a problem to everybody in their growing years, but not necessarily so once they are adults ~ but some are. Paul Baker pops into my mind! And some others ~ mostly their parents ~ the interstate car thieves, the mobsters, the girls who ran away with the carnival.......
My aunt and uncle had two children; the oldest was the nicest person one could meet while the youngest was a terror diving into drugs and sex. Same environment with the same loving parents who never exhibited any different treatment for either of the kids. My aunt and uncle were constantly running off to see psychologists and therapists to no avail.
Sometimes it can be the parents but I’m convinced that sometimes it can just as easily be the mixture. Parents simply can’t be blamed for everything.
Back in the day it was worse being the firstborn, easier being second and third, we could watch and find out how the “game” is played to stay out of parents line of fire. The youngest was the spoiled “baby” of the family.
Little FYI, applying the switch at the slightest provocation can be bad for a child as well. My father would spank me (and I’m talking a volley of hard spanks meant to hurt for hours, not a simple swat) for the slightest cross (hell, he spanked me once because I was backing my tricycle into the drain pipe on our house. Please, explain to me what harm I was doing), and there was never any explanation of why what I had done was wrong or what harm it had caused.
Essentially, I grew up almost afraid of my own shadow, because I never knew what would get me spanked or yelled at due to never knowing what my father considered wrong, and while I wasn’t always scared of my father, I was never comfortable around him (part of the drive to get out on my own was to finally get out from under his control). I believe in discipling a child at an early age, but there has to be logic and reason behind it so the child understands what’s going on, and doesn’t end up scared to death of the very people who are supposed to protect him.
I so agree with that. Also, the "attachment parenting" movement should man up and accept a lot of the blame for creating these monsters.
One famous "attachment parenting expert" was so blind to what she had done she reported on her blog that her oldest was suffering from some (what seemed to me) shock like symptoms when she came home with his little sister! He cried and cried and didn't speak to her for several days, in fact, he seemed to have lost his ability to coherently speak for a few days.
Hey - I’m a first born. When the new borns came along, I was expected to be their babysitter. I was a built in nanny, cook, and housekeeper. I ended up raising my sisters and by the time I left the house, I didn’t want to get married because I’d already been a surrogate mother and wife.
However, meeting the right man, the baby of his family, a gentle, fun loving guy who was actually doted on by his family When his mother came to live with us, I found out just how spoiled he was.
We raised an “only”. She married a guy with lots of brothers and sisters. She’s part of a big family and it’s funny to hear her reactions to them. Her husband likes that she’s an only but said he can certainly tell.
Our son-in-law was talking about some virus he read about that attacks ants and makes them do it’s will. I’ve read that certain mental illnesses may actually be caused, at least in part, by virus or bacterial infection. Nurture has as roll in our outcome, but I believe that nature is probably a bigger part of that equation.
By the way, are you a middle kid? Just wondering.