When your children are born close in age, you may expect them to have a lot in common. While there is so much research on how birth order and sibling relationships shape personality development as our little ones grow, there's far less research on how siblings actually share similarities. I mean, the traits siblings close in age share has to go beyond just being around the same age, right?
I checked in with mom of twins and author of the book Twinsight: A Guide to Raising Emotionally Healthy Twins, Dara Lovitz, and Licensed Mental Health Counselor Lynn Berger to see what traits your kids may (or may not) share. Whether we realize it or not, sibling relationships and even birth order can impact your child's personality as well as their emotional development. In fact, each sibling will face their own advantages and challenges based on the order in which they are born.
An article featured in Psychology Today dove into each sibling's role and how it may impact their personality. For example, "The firstborn child basks in her parents' undivided love and attention for a period of time, and often benefits emotionally from this experience. She can emerge feeling loved with a sense of security and self-confidence. This will help her to go out into the world and become a responsible leader." While the secondborn will face their own unique advantages and challenges: "The secondborn child benefits from calmer, more self-confident parents and enjoys special attention as the baby. He also has the advantage of learning from, and modeling, his idolized older sibling. As a result, he may be able to read at an earlier age." (Do we even have to mention middle children? Just kidding... kind of.) But while birth order may make a difference in personality, there are some unique traits that children born close in age may share as well.
So many moms may notice their little ones mimicking each other's mannerisms. After all, your older child is still a role model to your younger one. But Berger says what she notices among children the most is that "certain mannerisms are the same between siblings that are close in age." Meaning kids born close together may share the same inflections, body language, and little quirky mannerisms.
2. Sense Of Humor
My brother and I are very different, but if there's one trait we share, it is without a doubt our sense of humor. Lovitz tells Romper that her twins show more different traits than similar, but they do share some similar traits like "sense of humor and empathy."
3. Academic Achievement
Siblings born close in age may feel an increased sense of competitive drive, according to an article in the New York Times. Meaning they may be more likely to compete with each other in academics, sports, and anything else that may win them parental approval.
4. They May Both Be Opinionated
Do you notice your kids often sparking debates with no sign either one will back down? Berger says, "Many times [children born close together] can result in enhanced opinions and different value systems to confirm one’s own stance and values."
5. Shared Interests
Parents of children born close together may notice their kids loving the same things. Lovitz interviewed dozens of twins and found that they can be both similar and different, but in some surprising ways. "I did find when interviewing identical twins that they were more likely to share similarities, but what was notable was that they were similar with regard to hobbies, interests, and academic abilities."
But when it comes to personality traits, Lovitz says that's far less likely. "In other words, for two individuals who look exactly alike and tend to like the same things, they differed in how they reacted to life, their attitudes, their feelings, etc."