Wherever you landed on your family tree has affected you in countless ways. No greater influence exists during your growing up years than your family. Your parents as well as your siblings make such a powerful impact on you that this affects your forever.
The relationship dynamics of a family depend in large part on order of birth. Every time a child is born the family environment changes. How parents interact with each new family member affects not only that child, but also the other siblings.
Principles of birth order are not simplistic. For example, if you have two children in a family (a girl and a boy), each is considered a First Born since each is the first of that sex; however, the boy is also a Last Born. So the two dynamics are blended. If there is a gap in a family of 6 or more years, the first child of the second set is considered a blend of a First Born as well as a Middle Born.
Here are a few very interesting ideas about birth order characteristics of children based on research:
- First Borns: Take charge (may be overbearing); command respect (may focus on goals rather than feelings); do things right (may criticize self and others); have things under control (may be less flexible); conscientious and strong-willed (sometimes stubborn).
- Middle Borns: Often are mediators (want everyone to get along); act realistic (sometimes don’t expect as much of self or others); relationships important (may be too influenced by friends); feel invisible (may stay in background or be rebellious); get along well (may want peace at any price and so let others take advantage); can be trusted (may fail to admit when they need help).
- Last Borns: Are likeable, fun, easy (may appear less disciplined); caring (can be gullible); humorous (may not be serious when need to be); relaxed (may not be focused); persistent (may see things only their way).
- Only Child: Might be self-focused (didn’t have to compete with other children); trust self (may even be too independent in relationship); also often has characteristics of First Born (above).
Did you know the birth order of the following famous people?
First Borns: Bill Cosby, Harrison Ford, Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie, Oprah Winfrey
Middle Borns: JFK, Princess Diana, Jennifer Lopez, Bill Gates
Last Borns: Whoopi Goldberg, Drew Carey, Jim Carrey, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Ellen DeGeneres, Jon Stewart.
Every birth order has inherent strengths and challenges, and no birth order is better than another. Of course, many variables contribute to one’s overall personality and success in life. Perhaps, simply knowing these ideas might allow a person to step back and take a different perspective on family dynamics.