There is a belief that the order you are born in influences your personality. The theory was advanced by a personality psychologist Alfred Adler. However, there are differences from one family to another.
Birth order is the sequence in which kids are born. If a family is made up of 3 children, the first child is called the firstborn, the next is the middle child, while the third is the last born.
Birth order isn’t the only factor that affects the personality of a child. Other aspects include social status, cultural environment, the structure of the family, and the physical environment that the child grows up in, among others.
What does the child order theory say about personality? Here are the important things that you need to know.
Complete Personality Trait of Firstborns
Parents are still inexperienced when they give birth to their firstborns. The children born as the first ones are often raised through trial-and-error methods. At this point, parents are usually cautious because they fear something may go wrong. Therefore, they are strict and follow every parenting rule that they are told to the latter.
Firstborns are known to be conservative people. They are natural leaders who believe that everyone should follow the stipulated rules. Their goal is to maintain their position in the hearts of their parents. Therefore, they tend to please the parents.
What are their most outstanding traits?
You will notice the following personality traits in firstborns:
- They like to control others
- Compliant with rules
- They are usually well-educated
What Strengths Do the Firstborns Possess?
Firstborns get used to attention because the parents may have stayed for long without giving birth to the next child. Consequently, whenever they want to do something, they’ll always be directed by the parents. As a result, they tend to achieve more when compared to other children.
What Challenges Do Firstborns Face in a Family?
Parents often expect a lot from firstborns. When the oldest kid makes mistakes, they face harsh judgments from the parents. Therefore, firstborns tend to be perfectionists who fear failure. They are more likely to suffer from depression as they are too hard on themselves.
How Parents Should Guide Their Firstborns
People do not have parenting skills when they give birth to their firstborns. Therefore, they do not know the best away to raise these children in some cases. Are you in such a position? Here are tips that can help you:
Allow Them to Make Their Choices in Life
You may have a feeling that your firstborn child is a talented singer. However, that does not mean that you should force them to follow that path even if they are likely to follow the rules you put in place. Introduce them to things but allow them to choose what works and what does not on their own.
Do Not Overwork Your Firstborn Child
It is common for parents to turn their firstborn children into babysitters. Although it is important to train them into responsible adults, that does not mean that you should turn them into mini-parents. Allow them to do things that other children are expected to do.
Help Then to Notice Other Things in Life
Firstborns tend to be perfectionists. They concentrate on one thing and expect it to work out regardless of how long it takes. As a parent, it is your responsibility to educate your firstborn on the need to identify other ideas that they can pursue if one thing fails.
Place Reasonable Focus on Your Firstborn
Parents often feel proud of their firstborns and are likely to show their pictures and achievements to people. That puts a lot of pressure on these children, and the firstborns feel bad when they make mistakes. Ensure that you do not overburden the child with your enthusiasm.
Train Them on the Importance of Patience
Firstborn always focus on fast results. Therefore, they become frustrated when they do not achieve their goals within the time they expected it. That can make them depressed. Train your child to be patient.
Apply Reasonable Punishments on Your Firstborns
Parents always want a child who complies with every rule. Therefore, they are likely to punish their firstborns in case of missteps heavily. While you should direct your firstborn child, do not go overboard. When your child is usually the one to cooperate in every situation, people may take advantage of them in the future.
Give Firstborns Attention Even When Other Children Arrive
It is common for parents to forget about firstborns when other children are born. The result is that the firstborn may view the other children as rivals. Distribute attention equally among the children.
Personality Traits of Middle Children
When couples give birth to their subsequent children, they are not as strict with raising them as they do with the firstborns. Because the middle children do not get the attention they need, they may turn into people pleasers. Given that they are not the youngest nor the eldest children, they often feel out of place.
What are the traits that you are likely to notice in middle children? Their personalities, according to the birth order theory, are as below:
- They tend to please people
- Are rebellious
- They are sociable and know how to make friendships
What Are the Strengths of Middle Children?
Middleborns are people who do everything to fit in. Therefore, they always know how to negotiate their positions in a group. Because they may not be receiving enough attention at home, they tend to have many friends.
Challenges That Middle Children Face
At some point, the second child was the youngest in the family. When another sibling comes, they are dethroned. They begin feeling like their needs are not taken care of. It is easy for such a child to join a bad company to get validation.
Personality Traits of the Youngest Child
As parents give birth to more children, they tend to operate on a free-wheeler when it comes to guiding them. Moreover, lastborns are pampered by their parents.
Here are the traits they develop as a result of that:
- They love engaging in fun activities
- Manipulate people to do what they want
- They are outgoing
- Attention seekers
Last-born children tend to be “street smart.” They often come up with new ways to attract attention. Such children like the art industry and are likely to become famous comedians. They prefer the spotlight because of their adventurous nature and are likely to participate in football.
Do they have any challenges? Lastborns feel like they don’t have anything new to offer to the family. Parents are never excited about their accomplishments, such as the ability to walk, talk, or read because they have watched the same from the other siblings. They are also likely to grow into irresponsible adults because parents feel that the youngest child should not work.
What Is the Best Way of Parenting Your Lastborn?
The youngest children often steal the shine from the other siblings. They like attention and are manipulative. How can you use their traits to guide them appropriately?
Direct Children with the Same Seriousness
When it comes to direction, parents tend to be hard on the other children as compared to the youngest one. It is important that you do not ignore this child. Correct them whenever they are wrong.
Give Them Tasks as Other Children Have
Your lastborn should grow into a responsible adult. Therefore, they should have chores just like the others. Additionally, preferential treatment makes the older children view the youngest one as a rival.
Know When to Protect the Youngest Child
When you have many kids, you act as a judge. Older children are known to bully the younger ones. As a parent, you should correct the older child with understanding while protecting the younger one.
Highlights of the Traits of the Only Child
An only child is always in a unique position. They receive all the attention from parents. Parents expect a lot from these children as they usually receive all the support.
The traits you notice in these children include:
- They behave more maturely as compared to other children of their age
- Have a perfectionist trait
- Like leadership positions
When raising these kids, there are specific things you should put into consideration. Encourage them to play with other children so that they do not feel lonely. You should make them responsible for issuing age-appropriate tasks.
Your personality has a bearing on your mental well-being. At times, you may feel depressed and need assistance from a professional. We are always available to assist you through your hard times.
The order in which kids are born determines how parents treat and view them. Consequently, it creates unique behaviors for children.
Here are the main traits for each kid:
- Firstborns are usually compliant with rules, cautious, and like to control others
- Second borns are rebellious, tend to please people, sociable, and peacemakers
- Last borns are attention seekers, outgoing, and self-centered
If you need any assistance or have some family issues, contact us. We are a company that cares about your interest and mental well-being. Our experts respond immediately, and they ensure that you get correct solutions to your challenges. Get started today!
Kate has a B.S. in Psychology and M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University and has worked in healthcare since 2017. She primarily treated depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, and grief, as well as identity, relationship and adjustment issues. Her clinical experience has focused on individual and group counseling, emergency counseling and outreach.Read more