What’s the birth order effect?

birth order

Ever wonder why your children are so different even though you raise them all the same way? The birth order effect changes the way your child experiences the world and therefore the personality they develop.

Many parents are surprised that their children can be so different when they believe that they raised each of them the same way. Research supports what many other parents have observed: There is a birth order effect that causes you to treat each child differently based on who was born when, and how many other children are competing for your attention.

Of course, not every family fits the mold, but here are the generalizations:

The First Born gets more attention, and therefore tends to be more reliable, conscientious, structured, cautious, controlling, and a higher achiever. They often are perfectionists with a competitive mindset.

The Middle Child gets less attention, as you have at least one other child to attend to, and you are a little more confident that you know what you are doing. They tend to be people pleasers, somewhat rebellious, thrive on friendship, large social circles, and to be peacemakers. Sometimes the First Girl can get the extra attention to give her more firstborn characteristics.

The Last Born (the baby) tends to be more free spirited, as the parents have loosened the discipline. They are generally fun-loving, uncomplicated, manipulative, outgoing, attention-seekers, and self-centered.

If you have an Only Child, she has no competition, so she gets all the attention all the time. They tend to be super firstborns, more mature than other kids their age, and leaders.

Of course, blended families, adoptions, and large age differences upset the “norms” and create birth order exceptions.

Learn more about how your child’s personality develops (and how you can affect it) in Raising 4 Dimensional Children in a 2 Dimensional World . Just click here to see your options.

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