What does birth order have to do with it?

u15583905If you’ve met me recently, chances are I’ve inquired about your birth order. In other words, are you the oldest child, somewhere in the middle or perhaps the baby of the family? I’ve become obsessed with the topic and am now micro-analyzing anyone that crosses my path. Unfortunately, that also included an intern I interviewed last week. (She ended up being the last born but had first born traits. More on that later).

Lisa and I are firm believers that the people you grew up with (your siblings) have a strong influence on who you become later in life. Part of that theory includes the sequence of how each member of the family popped out of the womb.  Do any of these descriptions match your own children? Below are  some quick tips on bringing out the best in your children (as it relates to birth order)

First, people tend to read birth order traits as a horoscope of sorts but other facts play a role like spacing, gender, physical make up and family circumstances.

As a side note, twins are an interesting mix of competitor and companion. The first born often takes the assertive role and the second born follows along. In a family constellation, twins are bound to cause pressures, especially on any kids born after them.

Only children tend to take on first born traits.

Traits

First born: perfectionist, reliable, list maker, well-organized – put lots of pressure on themselves

Used to being the only child for a period of time; strives to keep or regain parents’ attention through conformity and if that fails, chooses to misbehave

52 percent of U.S. presidents are first borns

Middle child: fewest pictures in the family photo album, avoids conflict, independent, seeks “family” outside of the traditional family – in other words, tends to have a lot of friends.

Never got parent’s full attention or resources, acts like they are in a race to catch up with the older sibling

Youngest child: charming, people person, precocious, sense of humor, likes to please and provoke

Behaves like an only child and expects other to do things and take responsibility

Mark Twain and Jonathan Swift are last borns

Making it work

Making the firstborn birth order work

Since they tend to be people pleasers,  teach them to say no and know their limits

Since they tend to take things to seriously, show them the funny side of life. Be silly!

Since they tend to be involved in too many things, role model and show them how to take time for themselves and relax

Making the second born birth order work

Since they tend to have great people skills, nurture that quality and create an environment that is social

Since they tend to feel like they are living in a shadow, celebrate their uniqueness and don’t compare them to their siblings

Since they tend to feel like they are living in a shadow, allow them to take the lead. Middle children often make excellent leaders.

Making the last born birth order work

Since they tend to be “baby-ed”, give them some responsibility. Too often they are denied that privelage

Since they love attention, teach them about sharing the limelight and playing well with others

There will be plenty more on birth order in the weeks to come, stay tuned.

– Heather

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