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Bigger baby gap, clever kid

An ideal gap of two years between siblings improves academic achievements.

sibling gap

Ever sat fretting about what the ideal gap is between your first and second child? Well, a professor has released findings that a gap of two years has a measurably positive effect when it comes to the older sibling’s academic achievements.

His results make good sense: The longer a child is an only child, the more attention he will have from his parents, Time magazine has said.
Kasey Buckles found that the older siblings of kids born more than two years apart score higher on math and reading tests than children born closer together.

Conflicting advice
All you have to do is mention you're considering having another baby, and the advice starts pouring in: some people recommend having kids close together so they can be playmates; others suggest spacing them out so that the older child is more independent and able to pitch in and help by the time an infant arrives on the scene.

"There's a lot of conventional wisdom out there about what is best, but there's not a lot of actual evidence about what is good for either parents or children," says Buckles. "This is a first piece of evidence that suggests a benefit to increasing the spacing between the siblings."

One conclusive finding was that older children who have siblings spaced less than two years apart are read to less, and spend more time watching TV.

How miscarriage can change things
Further evidence to back up Buckles’ theory is that when miscarriage interrupts the introduction of a sibling, the increased gap also benefits the firstborn child.

That’s right: The study says that there’s only an added benefit for the older sibling- the younger child isn’t affected at all.

Just in case you were wondering: Buckles is an economist, and undertook the research as part of a study into the ways in which people make decisions, and how the decisions they make affect their lives and the lives of others. He has two kids, born two years, two months and two weeks apart...

What do you think is the biggest influence when it comes to gap between siblings?

By: Scott Dunlop

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