There’s a lot of scientific evidence to suggest that birth order impacts our children’s personalities and more.
Firstborns are meant to be the goal-driven perfectionists, the independent leaders, and the bossy boots of the family.
Middle children are meant to be the creative competitors, the jokesters and the social butterflies.
And what about the youngest child?
According to science, the youngest children are the cheeky, chilled-out, risk-taking wild ones in the household. They are the children that bring the most excitement, joy, and fun to the wonderful world of parenting. In fact, they are considered “the most fun” to parent and it actually makes a lot of sense why.
The lastborn baby means the most fun. Here are 5 reasons why:
1. We learn to be less crazy
One of the reasons the youngest children are considered the most fun is because of us. As parents, we change a lot from the first to the third, fourth, or fifth child.
We become less uptight and realise that it actually doesn’t matter if you’re raising a child who sometimes eats dirt and likes to use his penis as a sword. In the grand scheme of things, it’s totally cool.
It’s like this with basically everything.
When your firstborn cries at daycare drop-off, it’s literally the end of the world. It feels like the guilt is going to encapsulate you. By the third child, you’re tougher, you’re stronger and you’re totally capable of walking back to the car without collapsing into a puddle of mum guilt.
2. We know how quickly it can go
Another thing about raising our lastborns is that we often know it’s our last. We want to ‘soak’ up that sweetness as much as we can because we know what’s waiting for us on the other side – teenagers.
In an attempt to slow down time and soak up all their littleness, we may be more present when we are with our youngest. Our quality one-on-one time may be less than with our middle children, but this quality time is much more appreciated as we know how fleeting it is.
3. Fewer rules means more fun
With this more laidback style of parenting also comes fewer rules. When it comes to disciplining our youngest children, we’re kind of out of parenting juice. It’s almost easier to just let them get away with a lot more things your eldest would NEVER get away with.
We’re less worried about what the world thinks about our parenting, and less anxious about screwing up as mums. This, in turn, makes for a more relaxing parenting experience for us.
And, for our lucky youngest too – they get the chilled-out mum. The poor firstborns get the overbearing first-time mums.
4. The easy-going last child
Another reason why younger children are said to be the most fun out of the bunch is because they are programmed to be agreeable and flexible. They kind of have to be.
There’s a pecking order, after all, and, well, sorry kids, you’re at the bottom. Youngest children are often dragged here there and everywhere, learning to nap in prams on the soccer field sidelines and eating dinner based on what sporting activities the older kids have on that night.
There’s less routine from day one and many studies suggest this is why younger children tend to be flexible and easy-going.
As a parent, it’s easy to see why this would be considered “more fun” to raise a child who is perfectly content eating cheese and crackers for dinner at 8pm, especially when compared to our fussy firstborns who we’d spend hours chopping up fruit into hearts for, only to be told they wanted triangles.
5. Attention-seeking makes for funny times
It’s no secret that things get busier the more kids we add to the household and the youngest children often need to compete with several other siblings. Studies suggest that lastborns are also meant to be so “starved” for attention that they rely on their humour to gain attention.
They also tend to be more outgoing and social with basically anyone who will have a yarn to them. They are charming and cheeky and this can be a pretty fun thing to experience as a parent and makes for a lot of hilarious moments.
Is it true? Are your lastborns the most fun?
From a personal perspective, I tend to agree that parenting my lastborn has been an absolute joy. But it’s mainly because of me. My firstborn got Crazy Mum. My secondborn got Chaos Mum. And my third born gets Chilled Out Mum.
With each child, I’ve become more confident and less anxious and this, in turn, makes everything easier. A tantrum in Kmart isn’t the end of the world anymore and a rare day when it’s just me and my youngest for one-on-one time, is so incredibly special.
There are more hands to help (hello older kids) and less fear about pretty much everything. I’ve been there, done that, dialed 000 numerous times and, as my older kids have taught me, I can handle it all. I’ve seen how quickly they go from babies to teenagers and I’ve learned what matters and what doesn’t.
So, are lastborns really the most fun? No. All my kids are fun. It just took me until my lastborn to become the fun mum that I needed to be to realise this.