The order in which you are born in your family can play an important role in shaping your personality. For instance, the eldest child will potentially learn to become more responsible over the years, while the youngest may continue to remain playful.
While statements such as these may have been treated as societal legends of the yore, science is now backing these assessments.
Researchers claim that certain birth order characteristics dependant on the order in which you arrive in your family.
Birth Order Characteristics You Need To Be Aware Of
Dr Kevin Leman, Founder of Leman Academy of Excellence, US, and a renowned psychologist believes that the secret to sibling personality differences lies in birth order—whether you’re the youngest, middle, oldest, or only child.
Here are certain distinct birth order characteristics that can help parents learn more about their children based on the order in which they were born.
Traits Of The Firstborn
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When you are a firstborn, you know you have been raised with a mixture of trial and error and also instinct. Since it’s your parent’s first time being parents, they are sometimes extra caring and often overprotective.
They tend to dole out all the attention to you. You actually are the centre of all their time- from bumps to bruises, they are near you to attend to your problems.
According to studies, when you’re the eldest child, you tend to demonstrate good leadership skills. You may also be very diligent and have an urge to excel in all the things that you do.
A first-born child often tends to be:
When you are the eldest in your family, it can also get quite tough. For instance, your parents expect a lot from you and they want you to deliver.
They may be strict with you and want you to set an example for your younger siblings. This can become a burden and add to your stress levels.
You may dread experimenting in the fear of taking the wrong step. As a result, may just stick to the straight and the narrow path. This may result in frustration and dissatisfaction with what you are doing.
Traits Of The Middle Born
When a couple becomes parents for the second time, they may raise their second-born child with less of an iron fist. Also, this time around they can be less attentive to their child’s needs.
So it often happens that the middle born children are usually the people pleasers due to the lack of attention they get in comparison to their older and younger siblings.
Middle children may exhibit some of these birth order characteristics.
- May have a large social circle
- Lives on friendships
When you are a middle-born, you try to carve a niche for yourself in the family dynamics. You tend to enjoy your role as a peacemaker and may bond well with different ages with ease.
As a middle-born can, you can also be quite competitive with your older sibling. You can do this in a positive way, for instance, working hard to match up to your sibling’s good grades or you can behave more like a rebel.
Middle children once enjoyed life as the youngest baby of the family, until they were dethroned by a new one. It’s easy for them to feel left out and a little less loved. After all, you can’t blame them.
According to a survey by TheBabyWebsite.com, a third of parents with three children admit to giving their middle child far less attention than they give the other two children.
Traits Of The Youngest Child
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The youngest born kids are often the most free-spirited in the family due to less interference by the parents towards them.
The youngest child may have the following birth order characteristics:
Adler explains that when you are the baby of the family, you tend to take one of two paths when developing your personality. The first path involves a clear journey to success, where you try to excel in every way.
In this case, you are often the go-to person in the family. On the other hand, as the youngest one, you can also become avoidant if you have a lack of confidence or drive to excel.
You can often become quite rebellious because you know your place in the family and the kind of freehand your parents have given you.
As a youngest born, you may also feel that “Nothing I do is important to my family.” Your parents have taught your other siblings how to ride a bicycle and have spent way more time capturing their moments than you.
In most cases, you may also be handed over their outgrown clothes or used items. Last borns are also very good when it comes to manipulating others to get their way. So, it is natural, that they are also often the less disciplined of the lot.
Traits Of An Only Child
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You have received your parent’s undivided attention, not just for a short period of time, but almost all the time. You don’t have any siblings to compete with so the only child gets to monopolise his or her parent’s undivided attention and love.
Thus, only children tend to be:
- Mature for their age
As the only child, you are often surrounded by adults since birth. This doesn’t mean that you haven’t socialised enough with children, but during your time at home, you often interacted with your parents and other adults.
As you are an only child, your parents can be very overprotective of you, thus leading you to become dependant on your parents for support.
Growing up without siblings can often make you less competitive and bossy. You can also become quite selfish because you are not in the habit of sharing things with others.
Birth Order And Intelligence: The Interesting Connection
Some older theories claimed that firstborns are more intelligent and had a higher IQ than their other siblings. But a recent study shows that firstborns actually hold a 1-point IQ advantage on average over their siblings.
This is potentially because the firstborns might actually benefit from always being surrounded by their parents in their first years. They absorb the way, their parents talk and are also more exposed to the less developed ways their siblings speak.
Another study highlighted that second-born kids, especially boys, are more likely to misbehave, and sometimes with serious consequences.
While being aware of these traits can come in handy for parents to know their children better, let’s not forget that every child is different. Your child will have a distinct personality of his or her own, no matter their order of birth.