Is the Second Kid Naughtier?

I was the older of two kids and grew up with the label of being mature, quiet and reserved. My younger brother grew up with the label of being naughty, a maverick and a lone fox (because of his desire of going exploring onto the street, under cars, sometimes cows on his own). Now when I see my one and half year old grow and learn. I realize he is copying me and considers whatever I do fun. When I cook he loves to play with the pots and pans hence once cooking is done the counter and the floor both are a mess. He loves to pretend to be watering plants like I do. The other day he insisted on taking out clothes from his cupboard and laying them on the bed as I was folding clothes from the hamper and putting them on the bed. So after this process we had a pile of folded clothes and a fresh pile of baby clothes to be folded. He was very pleased with himself that day for having helped.


During Holi, I took my kid to the play area in the building where he watched all the older kids run, scream, hop and skip while playing with colors. He was so excited that day that the kid who was just learning to walk insisted on skipping that day. The day he spent some time with my niece his naughty quotient went up a few points because now he had a new role model to emulate. As the first child, they see the parents doing work and other things around the house and that is what they observe and copy. From things like how to wear clothes, pick a glass, strum a guitar or wearing shoes. All the activities my son does are extensions of what he sees me, hubby and the other grown-ups doing. Maybe that is where the concept that the elder one is mature comes about. The younger one has a step up as he/ she has an older sibling to learn all the child play and naughtiness from.


We cannot discount the fact that the older kid has more parental attention as a baby and the younger one soon learns to make demands. Some mothers can say that the older kid becomes more responsible because of the younger one and also because the parents will start giving the older child more responsibilities once the second one comes around. Maybe I am mature because of my brother and my brother is naughty because of me. This is a thought that I had recently when I observed my friend’s two children at play. I on the other hand have one kid and am in the process of wondering how people manage with two kids. Till recently I wondered why new mothers don’t like people ringing the doorbell in the evening, after my baby this mystery has been solved.

This article was originally published by Indian Moms Connect and has been cross posted here. 

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2 thoughts on “Is the Second Kid Naughtier?

  1. I am a first-born with 5 siblings. There is a 10-yr. gap between myself and youngest. Parents do have to make conscious effort not to be overly lenient with the younger ones and cultivate responsible independence in younger ones,

    I have met several first borns. My partner is a first-born and have observed the behaviour of nieces and nephews who are first-borns. I would not say that first borns are more responsible all the time, but there might be a tendency. More importantly first borns tend to be more independent as children and can find things to amuse by themselves if there aren’t other children around.


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