How birth order affects personality

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

How birth order affects personality

Personality development is a complex process that is affected by lots of different variables. While its wrong to say that one factor is solely responsible for developing the personality of a child still you can confidently assume that some factors can affect the personality to a great extent provided that the other factors are constant.

In my last article How parents affect child development i explained how can the parenting style affect the child's personality, in this article i will explain how birth order affects personality.

Birth order and the child's personality

  • The first born, the oldest child: The first born is the one who learns how to take responsibility at an early age because he is usually asked to help his parents with the new born children. The first born usually develops Good leadership abilities and the role of the care taker. The first born also feels threatened by his new born brother because he losses a big part of the attention that he was getting before the arrival of the new child.
  • The youngest child: The youngest child usually competes with the first born on attention and this sometimes leads to an intensifying the rivalry between them. Sometimes the youngest child becomes a risk taker because he learns how to do anything to get attention even if it was dangerous. The Youngest child might also learn how to become a rebel because of the frustration he usually experiences when he fails to do the things that the oldest child is doing.
  • The middle child: The middle Child suffers the most because he is the one who gets the least attention. He finds himself stuck between the youngest and the oldest who get most of the attention and that's why he learns how to become diplomatic and calm. His role usually becomes the peace maker who maintains peace between the youngest and the oldest.

Siblings rivalry

Because of the battle for the attention siblings go through they sometimes turn into complete rivals who try to get that attention at any cost.

The biggest mistake a parent can do while raising children is to keep comparing them to each other because that would ignite their jealousy and intensify their rivalry.

Instead of doing that the parents must find out each child's unique talents and help him develop them. Buying three coloring books for the three children might be a bad idea while buying something special for each child that would help him develop his unique skills is a very wise decision.

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