Thursday, March 4, 2010

Birth Order

The following characteristics will not apply to all children in every family. Typical characteristics, however, can be identified:
  • Child Pampered and spoiled.

  • Feels incompetent because adults are more capable.

  • Is center of attention; often enjoys position. May feel special.

  • Self-centered.

  • Relies on service from others rather than own efforts

  • Feels unfairly treated when doesn't get own way. 

  •  May refuse to cooperate

  • Plays "divide and conquer" to get own way


First Child
  • Is only child for period of time; used to being center

  • of attention.

  • Believes must gain and hold superiority over other children.

  • Being right, controlling often important.

  • May respond to birth of second child by feeling unloved and neglected.

  • Strives to keep or regain parents' attention through conformity. If this failed, chooses to misbehave.

  • May develop competent, responsible behavior or become very discouraged.

  • Sometime strives to protect and help others. 

  • Strives to please 

Second Child
  • Never has parents' undivided attention.

  • Always has sibling ahead who's more advanced.

  • Acts as if in race, trying to catch up or overtake first child.

  • If first child is "good," second may become "bad." Develops abilities first child doesn't exhibit. If first child successful, may feel uncertain of self and abilities.

  • May be rebel.

  • Often doesn't like position.

  • Feels "squeezed" if third child is born.

  • May push down other siblings.

Middle Child of Three
  • Has neither rights of oldest nor privileges of youngest.

  • Feels life is unfair.

  • Feels unloved, left out, "squeezed."

  • Feels doesn't have place in family.

  • Becomes discouraged and "problem child" or elevates self by pushing down other siblings.

  • Is adaptable.

  • Learns to deal with both oldest and youngest sibling.

Youngest Child
  • Behaves like only child.

  • Feels every one bigger and more capable.

  • Expects others to do things, make decisions, take responsibility.

  • Feels smallest and weakest. May not be taken seriously.

  • Becomes boss of family in getting service and own way.

  • Develops feelings of inferiority or becomes "speeder" and  overtakes older siblings.

  • Remains "The Baby." Places others in service. 

  • If youngest of three, often allies with oldest child against middle child.