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Are eldest children more successful?

(25 Posts)
minimo Fri 10-Mar-17 09:47:52

I read this today and usually I'd just dismiss it but then I realised this is the case in my family. My older brother is more successful than us younger two and of my children the eldest is the one who is more successful. I know success is a tricky one to determine but I mean the one who won the most awards, did well academically and achieved the most career-wise. The rest of us, bar one, is happy enough in life which is successful enough in my book! grin Was wondering if anyone noticed the same in your family?

Teetime Fri 10-Mar-17 09:52:32

My elder brother certainly had the things mentioned in the article...more attention, more love, more everything but he didn't do anything with them as he thought all he had to do was BE. I was second and then middles. My younger sister had the same as older brother as there was a 10 year gap and she was very cute and sweet. I think it made me determined and made me fight for everything and gave me a fierce work ethic so in academic and career terms I was the most successful but were all doing OK overall. DH is the youngest of 3 boys and he is the most successful but he is also the best looking and the cleverist (he says!!). smile

rosesarered Fri 10-Mar-17 09:54:17

No, it doesn't work out like that in my family at all.I think you would have to do a very wide sweeping analysis of families in this country to come up with any really true picture of success for the eldest sibling.It may be though, that the eldest is the one who pushes the boundaries ( with a parent) and therefore becomes more pushy generally in life, but there is also character to consider.

whitewave Fri 10-Mar-17 10:04:18

No, both my children are successful in their chosen scientific career. Both happy as individuals, which in my book is the most important, that and good health.

morethan2 Fri 10-Mar-17 10:08:54

Not in my family it isn't. My younger brother and my my own youngest son both had a competitive streak that increased because they pushed themselves to beat their older siblings. Well that's what I think, perhaps it would have happened what ever their position in the family.

M0nica Fri 10-Mar-17 10:31:08

It all depends on your definition of success. I do not mean the money v happiness question but, who is the more successful? The one with all the money or the one who reaches the highest point in a poorly paid profession?

I am the eldest, my salary exceeded my younger sister's, but I was a small cog in a big wheel and she was director of the heritage body that employed her. My youngest sister also had a successful career, until she decided to give it up and do something entirely different

DC present a similar problem. DS, the eldest, without doubt is doing better in all measures, money, seniority and professional acclaim, but DD, was doing well but then she consciously decided to opt out of the rat race and do her own thing. She has a job she enjoys and is one of the best paid in a job where pay is based on skill but it's main advantage to her is that it makes no demands on her outside working hours and she has quite a lot of control over them so that she can pursue her other interests. She could go for promotion and would probably get it, but she has chosen not to. She is single and childless by choice so balancing work and family do not come into it.

Seeing the demands placed on DS by his successful career, which he loves, great success comes at a price.

Luckygirl Fri 10-Mar-17 10:52:22

Doesn't apply in my life. Older brother dropped out of uni; my "baby" sister and I achieved more academically.

Of my 3 children you could not put a hair between them as regards achievement.

But of course success can be measured in many different ways.

goldengirl Fri 10-Mar-17 11:13:02

Doesn't apply in my family either - they each have their own skills. As an only child my parents I felt had high expectations of me but I trundled along and haven't done too badly in life.

JackyB Fri 10-Mar-17 11:47:01

I'm certainly not as successful career-wise as my younger sister.

My own children are all successful in their own way, but the eldest was far more focussed at getting where he wanted to be.

morethan2 Fri 10-Mar-17 12:34:18

I hope I'm never recognised but I just wanted to add that my youngest may have strived and has succeeded in his profession while my oldest has been happy to just coast. However my oldest is a much more successful husband, father and son. He has more time to devote to family. That's not a criticism of the youngest he's a wonderful man and a loving family man but he's never home. Everything comes with a cost even success or as the saying goes you can't have everything.

SueDonim Fri 10-Mar-17 12:53:23

All of my dc are pretty successful in their chosen areas. The youngest is still a student but she gained entry to a highly competitive course.

However, I have big age gaps between all of mine and I understand that wipes out the effects of oldest/middle/youngest child.

ninathenana Fri 10-Mar-17 13:27:19

My older brother has been very successful career wise but is divorced and has had several relationships since. His two sons have good careers but one is unmarried.
I didn't have "a career" but was never out of work and have been happily married for 42 yrs in April. It would be unfare to compare my two due to S (younger) ASD.
So you tell me how we fit in grin

harrysgran Sat 11-Mar-17 09:28:29

Haven't given it much thought before but yes my sister is the eldest of three and she has always had a good lifestyle mainly as she married well my own daughter the eldest of three has also been the most successful so maybe there is some truth in it

ajanela Sat 11-Mar-17 09:38:17

I thought research showed the younger children were more successful education wise as they learn from the older children. Also their parents are more experienced and often a bit more reasonable in their parenting.

chrissie13 Sat 11-Mar-17 09:57:02

No, it's the opposite in our family

Yorkshiregel Sat 11-Mar-17 10:00:22

It is exactly the opposite in my family, my youngest just got his PhD, He is a Senior Bioinfomatician; second son has a BA but chose the wrong career and is now doing really well having changed course. He now loves his 'new' job which he has settled in to over the last 3 years. Works for the NHS. My oldest son has an MSc in Molecular and Cellular Biology. All of them went to the same schools. As did my nephew and now my 2 x Grandsons.

I do not believe in comparing children. They will all try to do the best they can and that is all anyone can ask of them.

Yorkshiregel Sat 11-Mar-17 10:02:26

Thinking about my own family, my younger brother has done better than all of us, he also is a scientist, so both examples turn that generalisation on its head.

HildaW Sat 11-Mar-17 10:19:53

Hmmmm.....what do these people mean by 'successful'?. Many people's lives can appear very successful from the outside if you judge on terms of income and education.....but scratch the surface and there can be many tensions and dissatisfactions. My ambitious younger sister is very job orientated....went to University and yet she looks at my laid back lifestyle (early retirement from a series of PT 'jobs' but still with a decent income) with envy on many occasion! Other younger sibling was so ambitious they never got around to having children and seem to regret that now....hey ho!

vampirequeen Sat 11-Mar-17 11:15:44

Depends what you define as successful. If it's financial then my younger sister is far more successful than me but if it's about being content with life then it's me.

Marnie Sat 11-Mar-17 11:33:19

Males in my family came first
. Females were just there. No encouragement. What we made of ourselves is down to us. None of the spoilt males amounted to much. Females wanted it worked for it and are more successful. My children treated and encouraged equally all successful in their own fields.

dirgni Sat 11-Mar-17 12:25:15

Both my sons are extremely success however the younger one is more academic and did much better at school and university.

Aslemma Sat 11-Mar-17 14:19:59

I don't think this applies to my own children but it seems to be the case for my DD's 3 boys. The eldest has worked off shore for a while,, as an engineer on an oil rig, enabling him to get some money behind him. This has helped him through Uni where he has been studying Japanese. On completion of his degree later this year he will be returning to Japan where he hopes to get a job. He doesn't expect that to be a problem as he was offered one when he was over there last year. His brother, on the other hand, didn't go to Uni but did an apprenticeship in iT. He is working but the money isn't very good, so he and his lovely GF are finding it hard to save to buy a house.

henetha Sat 11-Mar-17 14:25:46

This doesn't apply in my family. Both my sons are equally, moderately, successful. One is more practical than the other more academic one, but both are doing well in their own way.
I tend not to believe in generalisations anyway.

PamelaJ1 Sat 11-Mar-17 15:06:57

I'm the eldest in my family, the one with the least academic qualifications.
I concentrated my energies on enjoying myself when I should have been studying but was very successful in ensuring that my parents were delighted with the other 3!
Now I would say that I had the most successful career but my youngest sister is the wealthiest as she married a very wealthy man so her lifestyle is much more luxurious than ours. She is on her third marriage so has had quite a bit of unhappiness on the way whereas we are all with our first husbands which makes it easier family wise.
So, no idea which one is the most successful but we all love and like each other most of the time so we're all winners.

Greyduster Sat 11-Mar-17 15:13:46

I don't really think it applies in my family. Both DS and DD have had relatively successful careers, despite one having a degree and the other not. In my own family, there was more than a decade of difference between my three siblings and me. Of the three of them, I achieved more academically, but unlike them I didn't lack educational opportunities or have to live and work through a war. My brother went on to run his own garage business after he finished his National Service in the REME, so I suppose the eldest was the most successful.