Birth Order

10 Apr

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So, I know I know I am behind on my blog posting; this whole Salmonella thing really threw me for a loop (stay away from Panera’s Caesar salad, the dressing is made with raw eggs). Been working frantically to catch up on schoolwork as finals quickly approach.  Still in shock that it’s April, where has this year gone??

 Anyway in my many psychology classes a topic I always loved learning about was birth order. This is no surprise as I am the quintessential Eldest Child, it always amuses me to hear a dead ringer description for my personality based on the sole fact that I have a younger sibling/ am the oldest of my family. I thought that maybe you all would be interested to see where you fall and whether or not that also was a good descriptor of who you are.

 Firstborn

As the leader of the pack, firstborns often tend to be:

            Reliable

            Conscientious

            Structured

            Cautious

            Controlling

            Achievers

Firstborns bask in their parents’ presence, which may explain why they sometimes act like mini-adults. Firstborns are diligent and want to be the best at everything they do. They excel at winning the hearts of their elders. Eldest children are socially dominant, highly intellectual, and extremely conscientious. Unfortunately, they’re also less open to new ideas, and prone to perfectionism and people pleasing – the result of losing both parents’ undivided attention at an early age, and working throughout their lives to get it back.

Middle 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?'” says therapist Meri Wallace. This sort of hierarchical floundering leads middle children to make their mark among their peers, since parental attention is usually devoted to the beloved firstborn or baby of the family.

In general, middle children tend to possess the following characteristics:

            People-pleasers

            Somewhat rebellious

            Thrives on friendships

            Has large social circle

            Peacemaker

Middle children, sandwiched between older and younger siblings, often develop a competitive nature – making them natural entrepreneurs later in life. They tend to be the most diplomatic and flexible members of the family and often, eager for parental praise, develop musical or academic gifts.

 Last Born

Youngest children tend to be the most free-spirited due to their parents’ increasingly laissez-faire attitude towards parenting the second (or third, or fourth, or fifth…) time around. The baby of the family tends to be.

            Fun-loving

            Uncomplicated

            Manipulative

            Outgoing

            Attention-seeker

            Self-centered

 

Youngest children, according to birth order theory, tend to be dependent and selfish – as they’re used to others providing for them. But despite the negatives, they’re also quite often the life of the party – fun, confident, and comfortable entertaining others.

 Only Children

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. In effect, this makes an only child something like a “super-firstborn”: only children have the privilege (and the burden) of having all their parents’ support and expectations on their shoulders. Thus, only children tend to be:

            Mature for their age

            Perfectionists

            Conscientious

            Diligent

            Leaders

 And only children? Like last borns, they are regularly spoiled, according to Adler, and have a hard time when they don’t get their own way. School can be a particularly difficult transition, as they’re used to being the center of the familial universe. But all that parental focus pays off. Only children are often mature for their age. They wow people with their vocabularies, and their comfort in adult circles. Plus, all that self-entertaining fosters creativity.

Now none of this is set in stone and oftentimes people don’t fit their typology. But its always fun to read up about other first borns and their personality traits. 

Peace out, 

Sara 

 

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