What is Birth Order, and does it really matter?
Birth order refers to the order a child is born in their family; first-born and second-born are examples. But what does it all mean?
Are you an Older sister?
Or are you a Younger brother?
Maybe you’re the Middle child?
These are labels that people have in a family; but some psychologists say that birth order has an effect on all aspects of a child’s personality.
First born children are born as natural leaders. They also tend to be perfectionists, reliable and conscientious people.
By virtue of being the first child, a firstborn will be a sort of experiment for the new parents, a mixture of instinct, willingly seeking out and taking advice from family and friends, and of course trial-and-error. This may cause the new parents to do things by-the-book, and be extremely attentive and possibly overly neurotic about the smallest details. This may cause the first born to become a perfectionist.
First born children do not react well to surprises and can be aggressive, however are often people pleasers. Children who are first born have a strong need for approval by others. Examples of first born children include Oprah Winfrey, Peter Jennings, Rush Limbaugh and over half of all U.S.A presidents.
Only children are similar to first born children. The characteristics in an only child however are typically three fold. They are even bigger perfectionists, are more responsible and tend to get along better with older people than individuals there own age. Examples of only children are Robin Williams, Natalie Portman, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Frank Sinatra and Lauren Bacall.
The middle child is often the most difficult to stereotype. They are almost always guaranteed to be the opposite of their older sibling, but this can manifest in a variety of ways.
Parents may raise their second-born/middle child with less of a ‘by-the-book’ attitude due to their experiences with their firstborn. Additionally, as there’s another child competing for attention, Parents might also be less attentive to the second-born/middle child. This may cause the second-born/middle child to be less of a perfectionist but more of a people-pleaser due to the lack of attention that they may get in comparison to the older sister/brother.
Middle children typically feel as though their older sibling stole the spotlight from them, while their younger siblings could get away with murder. They tend to be secretive, more withdrawn and not prone to talk about their emotions. Since middle children feel as though they were overlook by their family they grow stronger connections with peers and are excellent people readers and peacemakers.
The children who are born last tend to be outgoing, social butterflies. They are also the most financially unstable of all the other siblings since their primary interest is in having a good time. The youngest children of the family are often very charming, but can also be manipulative and spoiled. Examples of some babies of the family are Billy Crystal, Goldie Hawn, Drew Carey, Jim Carey and Steve Martin.
While these are typically characteristics of birth order, there are some exceptions such as a larger space between the children may allow for some crossing over of characteristics or if the first born is a girl and the next child is a boy he will have some first sibling characteristics since he was the first male child in the family. Deaths, adoptions and blended families can also have an effect on these characteristics.
Does this ring true for you and your brothers/sisters?
Is this true for your kids?
I’m interested to know if its true for most families, and if some children have broken these stereotypes, so please leave a quick comment below.