Birth Order, what's the difference?


Can something as simple as birth order define who we are?

Firstborns are said to be the achievers, the reliable conscientious siblings of the bunch, the ones that strive to please their parents. Since they are the first child in the family they receive all the attention, well at least until the next sibling comes in. The youngest are the free-spirited and outgoing yet self-centered ones of the family. They tend to receive the most attention after the first born since they are seen as the "baby" of the family. The middle child is described as the friendly but rebellious one, the "black sheep". This is mostly due to not really getting as much attention as the other siblings since he/she doesn't get alone time with the parents and as result have to try harder.


These are the characteristics given to someone depending on their birth order, but how much of it is truth? While some of these characteristics might fit some people like a glove for others not so much. One reason for this is that there are many factors that come into play when it comes to someone's personality. Although birth order might be one of them, it is not the only one.

To read a bit more about birth order and personality click here.


I too have always been interested in birth order. However, I know many families, mine included, that do not fit into the birth order personality. Maybe it depends a lot of the number of kids a family has. If there are 2 children, what personalities do the eldest and the youngest take? Do they change? What about in large families of 5 or more children? I think this may apply to the "ideal" nuclear family, but are there many of those anymore?

In my family it is just me (the oldest) and my younger sister, Michelle. Personally, I do not fit into the birth order whatsoever. I am smart but rebellious, where as my sister strives to work hard to please my parents and is very conservative and quiet. We are complete opposites and totally defy the birth order. I think it is an interesting topic, though, and I also would like to learn more about how it can change depending on the number of children in a family.

I am the youngest in a family of 6 children, and this description loosely aligns with the personalities seen in myself & my siblings. My oldest brother is very "by the book," and I can definitely see myself as out-going. The middle four children have all had their rebellious stages (except one sister).
But that's about where the similarities end.
I agree, these characteristics might apply to some families, but are not cookie-cutter descriptions of families everywhere.

I can attest to this as my older brother seems to have a better work ethic than I. I could consider myself not really a free spirit but definitely more relaxed. This is very interesting.

As said in the previous comment, my older brother seems to have a better work ethic that I do as well. I believe that all information based on this is just a general assumption of what goes on in a family's birth order. Although there are studies done, there may have not been studies on your particular family so it is hard to determine if it the assertions stand true for all situations. As anything else, I think there are many exceptions and many variations to facts that have been studied.

My sister and I fit these characteristics pretty much like a glove! I work harder and generally strive more, while she is definitely more creative and free spirited. I think that these characteristics not only depend on the amount of attention each child gets, they're also formed because of expectations. As generalizations about birth order become more prevalent, more and more parents might expect their kids to fit into these molds, and might subconsciously push them into these molds. With these generalizations flying around, I think its definitely more important now than ever for parents to embrace treating their children equally!

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This page contains a single entry by garci494 published on April 26, 2012 9:20 PM.

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