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Birth Order

Birth order does not tell you who you are or who you will become.  Instead, it gives you some insight into how you tick.  Taking a closer look may help you to better parent your children and even better understand your husband!

[10 Reasons Why Birth Order Matters]

 The Firstborn

  • Firstborn children are often high achievers, organized and detail-oriented.
  • There are two main types of firstborns.  The compliant nurturer and caregiver is a people-pleaser and needs a sense of approval.  The aggressive mover and shaker is very driven with high goals and is often uptight.
  • Other characteristics of the oldest child include perfectionism, reliability, list maker, critical, scholarly, self-sacrificing, conservative, supporter of law and order, legalistic, and self-reliant. 
  • They are natural leaders because more is expected from them and they receive larger amounts of pressure from their parents. In turn, they expect more from themselves and are driven towards success. 
  • Their largest weakness is perfection and the constant strive for it.  The traits and talents that enable firstborns to be leaders and to be successful often work against them in close personal relationships.

The Only Child

  • Only children are like super-versions of oldest children.  Without any sibling rivalry, an only child gains the benefits of both the eldest as well as the   youngest.
  • Since they are not raised with other children, they often do not get along well with children of their own age and prefer, instead, older classmates or even adults as friends. Only children usually mature faster and are generally high achievers. 
  • Other characteristics of only children include confidence, perfectionism, organized, driver, list maker, logical, and scholarly.
  • There are two types of only children.  The “special jewel” only child means that the parents wanted to have more children and could not.  These only children can tend to be the more self-centered group. The “parental plan” only child occurs when parents plan for only one child.  These children can often be pressured to behave maturely and are seen as mini-adults.
  •  Weaknesses of an only child can be their perfectionism‒ they are extremely hard on themselves‒ and a risk for selfishness and self-centeredness.

The Middle Child

  • The middle child is usually the most forgotten or ignored; they may even feel like the odd one out in the family.  They are constantly trying to live up to their older sibling and compete with the magic charm of the youngest.
  • Out of all positions in the birth order, the middle child is the hardest to define. 
  • Middle children are usually the most influenced by their older sibling and it is not uncommon for the middle child to be very different from the eldest in order to find their own way to stand out. 
  • The characteristics of a middle child contradict one another. They include quiet, shy, impatient, very competitive, rebellious, aggressive, avoid conflict,  peacemaker, easygoing, laid-back, outgoing, and sociable. 
  • In order to understand a middle child, you often have to look at the whole family.  Typically, the forgotten middle child looks outside the home for a close group. They are usually the child who spends more time with a close group of friends.
  • In life, middle children are the most mentally tough and most likely to make a faithful marriage partner. 
  • A weakness they have is fear of confrontation, which is why they are known as peacemakers.

The Youngest Child

  • The youngest child is known to be the one to be the most spoiled and be able to “get away with murder.” 
  • Youngest children are charming, adore being the center of attention, outgoing, affectionate, great with people, and uncomplicated.
  • However, the youngest can also be rebellious, temperamental, manipulative,  spoiled, impatient, and impulsive.
  • Because of the shadows cast by older siblings and not being taken seriously, the youngest often feels as if they have something to prove. 
  • To win attention, last borns often assume the role of the family clown or  entertainer. 
  • A weakness of the youngest child is that they may be self-centered and constantly want things to be about them.

Taken with permission from Birth Order Book, The: Why You Are the Way You Are by Dr. Kevin Leman.


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