"Don't take up a man's time talking about the smartness of you children; he wants to talk to you about the smartness of his children."

Are first-born children more intelligent? Behind the viral headlines

Parenting multiple children of different ages isn't easy. Your firstborn is going to have different strengths and challenges than your youngest or your middle child—and not just because they are older, but because they are the oldest.

Recently, a 2016 study resurfaced online and went viral. It suggests that first-borns are more intelligent than their younger siblings—but despite the snappy headlines, it's not so simple.

That study, published in The Journal of Human Resources, suggests there is a cognitive gap related to birth order, as younger kids score lower on assessments than their older siblings as early as 12 months old.

The researchers believe that "broad shifts in parental behavior from first to later-born children is a plausible explanation for the observed birth order differences in education and labor market outcomes."

In layman's terms: Parents are often more mindful about pursuing enriching activities the first time around, and we tend to relax as parents (and get busier) by the time our second child is in the picture.

Our younger children will have different early experiences than a first-born but don't feel guilty, mama. There are so many things you can do to boost...

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