A lot has been written about the effect of birth order child development. How does being the youngest or eldest affect a child's personality, his or hers propensity for risk taking? Does being the eldest make a child more intelligent? More socially dominant? More introverted or extrovert? A simple but fascinating study has been carried out at a University in Australia and has produced an interesting new piece of information on the subject. Before you read the final paragraph, try this out for yourself.
Go and put a mark on the wall for the height that you think corresponds to each of your children. Then get a tape measure, measure your children and see how near you the mark you are.
How did you do?
The Australian study results showed that the mums underestimated the height of their youngest child by an average of 7.5cm! However they were more or less spot on for the heights of their other children. Clearly mothers (and possibly fathers) see the youngest child as physically shorter than they actually are. The knowledge that the child is the youngest along with this perception that the child is physically smaller could be what leads to the 'babying effect.' So perhaps parents shouldn't be blamed for babying their youngest child, they simply can't see straight!