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older and Wiser oldest children in birth order People in the birth order of oldest children are probably among the most over- studied sibling groups in the world Researchers have shown great interest in oldest children for many years and there is general agreement among them about the characteristics that are commom to most oldest children From ancient times the oldest child has had a special significance in the family - and in the world This special significance has meant everything from inheriting the kingdom to being offered as a sacrifice in religious rites which is a good metaphor for the mixed blessings of the oldest Richardson 44 The oldest child- the first child- is like a first love The relationship between the first child and parents can never be duplicated It is a replete with the awe and wonder of having brought into the world this little being the focus of the parents dreams and hopes Sulloway 55 Even if later children become more favored by the parents the relationship is usually not as intense as with the first child Richardson 45 For the first few years oldest children receive the full undiluted force of their parents love fears and expectations The parents are usually very excited about the birth of the first child and look foward to it with eager anticipation mingled with fear Sulloway 56Even before the birth the first pregnancy elicits more excitement and more anxiety than later pregnancies Wallace 28 Prospective first parents usually worry at a minimum about the health of the mother and fetus what to expect during delivery whether the baby will be whole and normal at
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