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Firstborn, Middle, Lastborn – Does It Really Matter?

Do you ever think about how being a first born is going to affect your oldest child, or how your youngest will react when they are no longer the baby of the family, but stuck in the middle?

Birth order is something that has always been fascinating to me. I studied psychology in college, so I like to learn about personality types, and I grew up in a family with three girls, I am the oldest, and each of us fits our birth order description pretty well.

I don’t know if it’s because we were all the same gender, and that there were exactly three of us – an oldest, a middle and a baby, that made our birth order characteristics more prominent.  But it makes me look at my kids now, and wonder if their personalities will be shaped by their birth order.

Especially when I see so much of myself in my daughter.  She is a little mini-me.  In some ways it is sweet and endearing, but in other ways it drives me absolutely crazy because she knows just how to push my buttons.  And I’m pretty sure she’s going to grow up to exhibit a lot of the first born qualities like being a leader, being responsible, and a perfectionist.

And then there’s my son, who I haven’t quite figured out yet.  He’s definitely the baby of the family for now, and I think that I am more lenient with him than I am with his sister.  He’s outgoing and loves all of the attention that he receives. We are planning to have more kids, so I wonder how, or if, his personality will change as he moves from the baby to the middle child.

I also wonder if there is a difference because they are different genders.  My daughter is the oldest, but my son is the first male in the family, I don’t know if that will make a difference in their personalities or not.

And I wonder if all this wondering is good for them as I seek to parent to each of their personalities strengths, or if it is harmful because I’m expecting them to be a certain way based on their birth order.

Or maybe it’s just all a bunch of bunk and birth order really has nothing to do with personality, or the type of people that our children will grow up to be?

What do you think?  Do you see distinct birth order characteristics in your children?  Does it affect the way that you parent them? Or do you think that birth order really has no affect on the personality outcome of a child?

Photo source: Beverly & Pack

Related: How different is the firstborn child from the baby?

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