By Katie Moosbrugger

If you are pregnant with your first or second child – and do not know the sex of your unborn child – today’s post might pique your interest. Have you ever wondered whether it’s better to have a boy or a girl as your first born? If you have several children, is it better to have boys as the oldest? Or is it better to have  girls as the oldest? Are there pros or cons with either scenario? Should we even care to discuss this?

We’ve written about The Effects of Birth Order: Fact or Theory, but never about the effects of having a boy (or boys) as the the oldest or youngest in a family, and vice versa with girls. Believe it or not, I actually wonder about this a lot and am curious to know what you think.

To give you a little background on my perspective, I am the youngest of two. I have an older brother who is five years my senior. Growing up we rarely played with each other. Actually, he pretty much ignored me (and I don’t blame him!). When I was in 8th grade, he left for college. When I was starting college, he was already climbing ladders in his career. At the time, our worlds rarely collided. When we did connect he would ask me about school or my job – or give me advice on managing my money or dealing with our parents – as if he was my second father. And all that was OK with me. After all, he was my much older brother who I looked up to (and still do!).

I recognize our age difference played a big part in how we interacted, but I also know families who have children our same ages – just opposite genders – yet the sibling relationships were just the contrary. The older daughter played often with her younger brother, they stayed in touch even if the older sister was in college or working in another city, and they interacted with one another as if they were the same age – on the same level – despite the age difference.

Fast forward to today. My daughter is about three years older than her brother. They play together all the time  – and often as equals. Sure, they are young (ages 8 and 5) and they may quickly grow out of this sooner than later. But I can’t help wonder if first born daughters encourage closeness in sibling relationships and if this will continue.

So I’ve been asking friends this same question to see how it plays out in their families – both with their siblings and with their children. As a result, a lot of perceived “pros” and “cons” came out in conversation. Some are obvious but others are up for debate.

Based on experiences with your own siblings and children, do you think these pros and cons add up? Or is all just a bunch of baloney?

Perceived Pros of Having Boy Before Girl
Stronger
Decision maker
Protective
Experiences all the “firsts” for parents (ie: driving, dating, college, etc)

Perceived Cons of Having Boy Before Girl
Less likely to play with little sister
Can be a bully
Tends to ignore his younger sister

Perceived Pros of Having Girl Before Boy
Can be Mommy’s little helper
Has more patience
Is more apt to play with little brother
Is more mature (girls mature faster)

Perceived Cons of Having Girl Before Boy
Experiences all the “firsts” for parents (ie: driving, dating, college, etc)
Can be a bossy to the younger brother
Matures too fast

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Photo Credit: Ashley Billings Photography