“ Birth Order and Personality
Birth Order + Parenting =
Your birth order, whether you’re a first-, middle-,last-born, or only child and how your parents treat their child has a great influence on the personality.
Psychologists have determined that a 7 years gap in-between age will separate whether children will interact with each other on a close sibling interaction.
0-7 years, 8-14 years, 15-21 years
Simply by virtue of being a couple’s first child, a firstborn will naturally be a sort of experiment for the new parents, a mixture of instinct and trial-and-error.
This will cause the parents to become by-the-book caregivers who are extremely attentive, stringent with rules, and overly neurotic about everyday activities. This in turn may cause the child to become a perfectionist, always striving to please his parents.
In contrast, if the couple decides to have a second child, they might raise their second-born with less of an iron first due to their experiences raising their firstborn.
They might also be less attentive to the second-born since there’s another child competing for attention, and they probably will be less inclined to impulsively dial 911 every time the child breaks a sweat.
This may cause the second-born to be less of a perfectionist but more of a people-pleaser due to the lack of attention he gets in comparison to his older sibling.
It is not a fact that a child is physically born first, but rather it is a fact that the parents raised him as a firstborn.
As the leader of the pack, firstborns often tend to be:
Firstborns bask in their parents’ presence, which may explain why they sometimes act like mini-adults. They excel at winning the hearts of their elders.
- Firstborns as Children
- They prefer the company of adults or younger children compared to that of their peers.
- They do not like to share toys, affections, food, resources with their siblings.
- Grown-Up Firstborn
- As they grow up, they want to be the best dressed, the over achiever, the sexiest and the smartest. They tend to participate in single sports rather than team sports.
- They tend to have higher stress in academic achievement and get good grades.
- They tend to become professionals in their work field.
- They tend to attend post graduate studies.
- Universities reported that the majority of their Summa Cum Laude graduates are Firstborn or only child.
- Middle Child
“Wednesday’s Child” The middle child often feels left out and a sense of,
“Well, I’m not the oldest.
I’m not the youngest.
Who am I?”
They tend to make their mark among their peers, since parental attention is usually devoted to the beloved firstborn or baby of the family.
Middle children tend to possess the following characteristics:
- Somewhat rebellious
- Thrives on friendships
- Has large social circle
- Middle Kids as Children
Parents tend to describe them as an attention-getter with mildly rebellious streaks.
- They tend to say “NO” more often.
- They tend to argue more with parents.
- They are the “runaway” child.
- Last Born
These are sometime the second child of only two or the baby of the family.
Youngest children tend to be the most free-spirited due to their parents’ increasingly easy attitude towards parenting the second (or third, or fourth, or fifth…) time around.
They tend to be:
- Parents describe them as loving the spotlight and will wrestle it away from others, if need be.
- Happy-go-lucky life style
- Looks at life on the bright side.
- Only Child
Being the only child is a unique position in a family. Without any siblings to compete with, the only child monopolizes his parents’ attention and resources, not just for a short period of time like a firstborn, but forever.
- This makes an only child something like a “super-firstborn”.
- Only child have the privilege (and the burden) of having all their parents’ support and expectations on their shoulders.
Only child tend to be:
- Mature for their age
- Level of language, sense of humor and cognition is developed faster.
- Able to understand adult communication.
- Executive or nothing.
- Exception to Traditional Birth Order
There are certain factors that cause exceptionality to children birth order.
- Blended Families
- These are cases of divorce, remarriage, and the melding of stepchildren.
- Many psychologists say that “blended families don’t blend; they collide.”
Firstborn children who used to be the leader of the pack may find themselves unceremoniously thrown off the top of the hill by an older stepsibling, and the youngest of the family may suddenly have to deal with all the attention that’s he has to give up to the “new baby”.
- Families Within Families
In cases such as with twins, you have a family within a family. A unit that operates independently of birth order.
A twin will never act like a middle-born; he will always act like a firstborn or a baby.
Since twins are perceived as a single unit, likely even referred to as “the twins”, they separate themselves from the traditional family and revel in their special position.
- Gap Children
If you have a gap of at least 7 years in between births, another family begins in the birth order structure.
Example; a 2 year old boy with a newborn brother and an 8 year old sister is not going to adopt middle-child traits, but rather those of a firstborn.
The age at which the child is adopted is a key factor in which traits the child is most likely to exhibit.
The younger the child is at adoption, the more time he will spend under the adoptive parents’ care and adopt his position in the existing family tree.
For instance, if a firstborn 1 year old is adopted by a family with a 4 year old child, the adopted child will likely fall into the role of the baby, despite the fact that he is biologically a firstborn child.
However, if a firstborn child is 7 years old when he is adopted into a family with a 10 year old child, the adopted child will still act like a firstborn even though he has an older brother. “You don’t give up being a firstborn; you take the birth order with you”.