It’s a proven fact that birth order significantly influences the development of a child. How parents tend to raise each kid differently poses some pros and cons. Read on to know how your birth order actually affects your personality.
Eldest Children are Born Leaders
Firstborns are usually natural born leaders who are driven and ambitious. Since they get a lot of attention and focus, they receive all the wisdom from their parents, which allows them to feel confident and secure. They are also the ones who are tasked to help with their younger siblings, and in doing advanced chores, they learn the value of responsibility and nurturing.
Eldest Children are Smarter
A recent study conducted by The University of Edinburgh shows that the eldest sibling usually has a higher IQ than their younger counterparts. It could be the mental stimulation they receive from their parents, which are focused only on them. There are higher chances of parents reading a book to their first child and explaining trivial things to them.
Parents also tend to talk to their oldest children more. Asking them questions on what they think about develops their conceptual and analytic thinking skills. Statistics show that 21 out of the first 23 astronauts from NASA were firstborns. The downside to this is that they become perfectionists, and would feel insecure that they’re not valuable and lovable if things are not perfect.
Middle Children are Creative
The middle child usually gets lost in the shuffle, as the needs of the eldest and youngest preoccupy the attention of parents. They may feel clueless about what to do next, since everything that they do, the eldest child has already done before. They usually don’t have a clear sense of self-identity. But the constant companionship of their siblings might be the reason why they are less likely to experience emotional disorders.
They would usually branch out and become more creative without the high expectations from parents that the eldest typically deal with. Middle children get creative in attracting the attention of their parents. It is why they are often linked to being jokesters or artists.
Middle children are excellent negotiators
Middle children are often the peacemakers between their siblings, making them great candidates for leadership roles. They have been called upon their lives to compromise and negotiate, hence their skill in the craft. They are known to react well in group situations and can understand things from both angles. As they hold fairness and justice in high esteem, middles tend to lead happier marriages.
Youngest Children Often Become Entrepreneurs
The youngest children often feel left out despite getting all the attention of their parents, especially when their older siblings can handle their own. They’d still think “Hey, how come my brother can do this? How come my sister can do that?” They may feel inadequate and flawed since they don’t understand the difference between them and their older counterparts. They also tend to be manipulative as a reaction towards them feeling like no one takes them seriously. Since they have to find a way to blaze their trail, last-borns are most likely to grow up being entrepreneurs.
Youngest Children Tend to be More Relaxed
Parents tend to be uptight towards their eldest because they are unpracticed. By the time they get to their youngest, mom and dad already know what they’re doing, and this makes them way calmer than they were the first time. Adding the fact that the parents’ attention is divided at this point, the youngest kids are more relaxed. It is why the youngest are the most charming and humorous.
Only Children Act Like Both an Eldest and Youngest
The only child gets all the attention from their parents for life, which is simultaneously good and bad. They are like little adults, since everyone around them are adults. Studies show that they are also happier because there’s no sibling rivalry. They develop social skills later than most kids, and the resources that they get from their parents usually elevates them to success.
Family Size Affects Middle Kids Most
The studies stated above can only be applied to three children, but when there’s more than that, the middle child tends to get affected out of everyone. Their trouble in establishing identity and getting attention is doubled.
Mind the Gap—in Siblings’ Ages, That is
Kids closer in age tend to be more competitive. A study shows that it is rooted in evolution, where siblings compete for survival. That is why most twins are very competitive. The ideal age gap between siblings is between four to five years, as the birth order “resets” and the children can get traits outside of their birth orders.
Why You May Not Identify With Your Birth Order
Only 60 percent of all people agree that they identify with their psychological birth order. These things might occur if the eldest sibling is unable or unwilling to take up the reigns as the leader, in which case, the middle child will be the firstborn by default.
Gender Can Throw Birth Order Traits Off
Birth order traits are significantly affected by culture and traditions, too. If a second-born who’s a male is valued more because of tradition, then he might be the one to take on the reigns of the firstborn. If there’s only one gender out of four siblings, they might get special treatment from their parents, but may still feel that they don’t belong because the others don’t identify with them.
Your Parents’ Birth Order Affects Yours, Too
Humans tend to gravitate on how they were raised, but due to self-awareness, they try to correct it. But it can be hard to notice what trait is winning out. Firstborn parents might identify with their firstborn more; the same goes with other birth orders.