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Sibling Order Stereotypes Essay

1887 words - 8 pages

Growing up in my family I was the first born of two children. For me this meant that I was the ultimate guinea pig for my parents, and therefore how I was raised was much different from how my younger brother was raised. I notice, now that I am older, there were many differences on the parenting techniques that were used to raise us both as individuals. Ultimately this caused my brother and I to be totally opposites. To this day I feel like birth order plays a large role in my family, and sometimes it is hard to watch my brother get of easy when I am living a more difficult life.
Since I am interested in birth order, and the differences between my brother and I, I chose to read an article entitled What Parents Learn From Experience: The First Child as a First Draft? Shawn D. Whiteman wrote this article, with corresponding research by Susan M. McHale, and Ann C. Crouter. This particular article explains the differences in parenting between two children within the same family that are about two years apart in age. The words describe what many parents learn the first time around with their first-born child, and how their parenting styles change with the second child. Parents tend to be more easy going with the second child, and therefore discipline is seen less towards the younger child compared to the older child. Also, this article explains that most parents are less worried about the older child when they are out of the house, compared to the younger child one. Younger children tend to be checked up on more then the older kids, but older children tend to have less opportunities then the younger ones do.
Growing up in my family my parents tended to be a little bit harder on me because I was the first-born, and they were both just getting the hang of parenting. Also, I always had to be a role model towards my younger brother, so therefore any trouble that I got into was punished in an obvious way. Of course my parents learned many lessons while raising me, and in the article it reads, “Experiences with earlier-born adolescents will improve parents’ interactions with and parenting later-born adolescents” (Whiteman, McHale & Crouter 608). Now that I am older I can attest to this particular theory. My parents learned throughout my childhood that some of the punishments that I received were not always necessary in comparison to what I had done before hand. For example, I remember coming home from preschool one day and experimenting with my “bad words”. I said, “shut up” and “stupid” multiple times until my parents had enough. I was sent to my room for saying what I had said around the dinner table. However, when my brother started to experiment with those particular words my parents sat down with him at the table and explained why he could not utter those words. My punishment was much worse then his was, and not to mention traumatizing for a little kid. In comparison I learned most of my lessons the hard way, where as my...

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