If you're a first-born child, you likely find that you gravitate to other first-borns, and there seems to be more similarities than just being able to complain about being the guinea pig child. There are a number of interesting oldest child traits that all first-born children have in common, and it turns out, being the first-born child is not all that bad. Sure, you have to put up with stricter rules and pave the path for the siblings that come after you, but experts seem to think all this trailblazing actually leads to some pretty good habits down the line.
"First-born children are typically associated with leadership attributes, and can have strong personalities," psychologist Dr. Seda Gragossian tells Bustle. A pretty determined bunch, first-borns take charge and tend to be more conscientious, Gragossian explains.
There is still some disagreement in psychology over the significance of birth order, but there seems to be extensive research that shows common traits between those who are born first and those who come later. Of course not every first-born will act the same, but many tend to have a lot in common.
If you're the eldest in your family, you might be interested to know these seven interesting habits some first-born children may have in common.
1. They're More Independent
First-borns tend to have no problem navigating the world on their own. "Growing up with one or more younger siblings often means parents are focused elsewhere, leaving first-borns to amuse or entertain themselves," Kryss Shane, BS, MS, MSW, LSW, LMSW tells Bustle.
2. They Care For Others
Eldest siblings can be nurturing and tend to others when they need them. "Growing up with one or more younger siblings means they have spent much of their lives in the company of smaller siblings who may have looked to them for comfort or who may have needed protection or assistance," says Shane.
3. They Are Leaders
The eldest child is often the one who takes charge. One large review of studies from the University of Georgia found that first-borns are more likely to hold leadership roles. In fact, the majority of US presidents were first-born children, as well as many astronauts and CEOS.
4. They Work Hard
Firstborn children tend to be very achievement-oriented. "With younger siblings, it can be tougher to get parental attention, so first-borns often work harder to make sure to please or impress their parents," says Shane.
5. They're More Likely To Take Direction
Part of this success in work or school can be attributed to first-borns being more willing to do as their told by parents or other authority figures. A study published in the journal Child Development found that first-born children are more likely to conform. They are less likely to be rebellious than second-born children, who tend to be more adventurous.
6. They're Better At Picking Up A Second Language
It might be surprising, but birth order may affect how well someone can pick up a second language. A study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that in bilingual families, first-born children showed better second language skills than their siblings born later.
7. They're Less Likely To Engage In Risky Behaviors
First-borns can sometimes be the more well-behaved ones during their teen years. A study from the journal Economic Inquiry found that first-borns are much less likely to use substances and be sexually active than they're middle-born and last born counterparts.
Not every firstborn is the same, but if you're the oldest in your family, experts say you're likely to demonstrate a lot of hardworking, independent qualities.