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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.