Despite being born to the same parents; psychologists say your birth order plays an important role in your personality development. Recent studies show that your birth order is as important as your gender, and even your genetics, in determining your personality.
Alfred Adler, a friend of Sigmund Freud, began the study into the impact of birth order over one hundred years ago. Today, Dr. Kevin Leman, psychologist and author of ‘The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are’ continues to research just how the order in which you are born shapes your personality. He stated “The one thing you can bet your paycheck on is the first-born and second-born in any given family are going to be different.”
Child and family therapist Meri Wallace explained, “Some of it has to do with the way the parent relates to the child in his spot, and some of it actually happens because of the spot itself. Each spot has unique challenges.”
The question remains, just how well can your birth order predict your personality?
The First-Born Child
The first born in the family are natural born leaders. Often finding themselves taking care of the other siblings in their family, the develop a strong sense of responsibility for others. They are reliable, structured, controlling and conscientious. They are the over achievers of the group. Basically, they are mini adults!
First born children seek approval. They are perfectionist, and can often be found working in the fields of law, medicine or business as a CEO.
The Middle Child
The middle child most often acts as the peacemaker of the family. Understanding, cooperative and flexible, the middle child has had to learn to keep the peace between their siblings. Often feeling as though they are receiving less attention at home, middle children create an intimate circle of friends who act as an extended family.
Some well known members of the ‘middle child club’ include John F. Kennedy, Bill Gates, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and Steve Forbes.
The Youngest Child
The youngest child in the family is often pampered, receiving more attention from their parents than any other child in the family. Having learned their way around the parenting game, parents are often more lenient, allowing the youngest child to get away with far more. Having grown up with less responsibilities and fewer rules, the youngest child is often creative, and the life of the party.
Youngest children most often find themselves in careers in the entertainment industry, such as actors, comedians, directors or writers.
The Only Child
Much like the youngest child, only children are often overly pampered. The difference is that their parents, with no other children to focus on, are also overly protective. As such, only children tend to be dependent and self-centered. They are used to their parents lavishing them with all their attention, and struggle to accept that they aren’t the center of the world for everyone else the encounter.
Having grown up surrounded by adults, they do mature rather quickly. They are creative, resourceful and highly intelligent.