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Q&A:
Will my 2-year-old behave in a certain way because of birth order?

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Will my 2-year-old behave in a certain way because of birth order?

Answer


Although there's been a lot written in magazines and popular books about birth order's alleged influence on personality, actual research into the topic shows little to no effect compared with such other important matters as temperament and environment. So I wouldn't expect to see your second-born to be "just like" millions of other second-born children.

However, the fact that you write about an "almost newborn" tells me that it's highly likely that your two older children will soon start to act differently — if they haven't started already. Don't be surprised, as your pregnancy progresses and after you give birth, if your 2-year-old becomes much more demanding and your 4-year-old starts to regress a bit as well.

Becoming an older sibling is very stressful for most children. It means they have to share your love and attention with a stranger — a new rival. Their change in behavior — it may even seem like a change in personality — is a way for them to test whether this new baby is replacing them in your family, and whether they can still count on your love and protection.

The best way to handle this is for you and your spouse to spend extra one-on-one time with each of them, especially during the last few months of pregnancy and the first few months after the birth. Even a few minutes a day will help them feel more secure and ease the demands they'll make for your attention.  
 
 
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