Birth Order

Birth Order and Personality

Birth order can influence a child’s personality development.  The tendencies are not universal and may be altered by other family dynamics like family size and age separation among the siblings.  Knowledge of birth order tendencies may help you understand why your child is behaving a certain way.  A child’s position in the family, however, is NEVER an excuse for ignoring misbehavior or disrespectful behavior.

Here are some general observations of personality traits and birth order:

  • First-born tend to:
    • Be perfectionists
    • Be more conscientious
    • Be highly motivated to achieve
    • Take leadership roles
    • Be more responsible
  • Middle-born tend to:
    • Adapt easily to situations
    • Play the role of mediator and prefer compromise to conflict
    • Be more rebellious than siblings
    • Be independent
    • Be inventive
    • Develop skills not shared by other siblings
  • Last-born tend to:
    • Be outgoing
    • Be able to charm others
    • Be considered spoiled, demanding or impatient
    • Be most financially irresponsible
    • Feel inferior to older siblings
    • Develop skills that older siblings don’t have.
  • Only Child tends to be first-born magnified:
    • Very responsible
    • Even bigger perfectionist
    • Get along better with people older than themselves

Below are some links to articles of interest in this area of parenting: