They say that order of the birth of children creates certain personality traits, while the eldest are perfectionist, the youngest usually are sociable and outgoing leaving those in the middle feeling a little forgotten. Read on for a look into the birth order effect and whether or not there are any truths to middle child syndrome.
The First Born
First borns are known to be perfectionists; they strive for unrealistic goals, don’t deal well with criticism and are devastated by failure. First time parents tend to become by-the-book caregivers who are extremely attentive, stringent with rules, and overly neurotic about their child. This in turn may cause the above traits. It has been shown that first borns talk and walk before children who are born later. They get higher grades in school and have higher leadership and achievement traits. Naturally first borns are leaders, they are typically aggressive, but many are also people pleasers. Studies have shown the children born first tend to pursue traditionally “intellectual” careers such as medicine, engineering and law. Famous first borns include: Beyoncé, Barack Obama, John Lennon, Oprah Winfrey Hillary Clinton and J K Rowling.
The Middle Child (or Second Born)
As each child is born, the disciplinary rules of the family are relaxed—as well as the expectations and pressure put on those born later. Middle children are generally free-spirited, independent and sometimes rebellious. They are guaranteed to be opposite of their older sibling, they, after all, have to carve out his or her own distinct identity. They often feel like their older brother gets all the glory while their younger sister escapes all discipline. Second borns or middle children are often very sociable and they become good mediators. They can usually read people well, they are peacemakers who see all sides of a situation, they are independent and inventive. Middle children are often the innovators and creative one’s of the family; If a firstborn is a company's CEO, the middle child is the entrepreneur. Famous second borns or middle children are: Martin Luther King, Princess Dianna, Madonna, Bill Gates and Jennifer Lopez.
The Last Born
By the time the last child is born, the parents often let the child's development proceed with more of a hands-off approach. Frequently the older brothers and sisters involve themselves in the child-rearing process—which means that the last born gets an abundance of attention. While lastborns may be charming, they also have the potential to be manipulative, spoiled or babied to the point of helplessness. Babies of the family are social and outgoing, they are the most financially irresponsible of all birth orders. They just want to have a good time. Last-born individuals are very good in sales and vocations that involve high interactions with others. Artistic career interest runs high for the last-born such as in acting or working as a comedian. They tend to like public roles where they can gain attention. Famous last borns include: Danny DeVito, Ellen DeGeneres, Cameron Diaz, Prince Harry and Eddie Murphy.
The Only Child
Only children can carry the characteristics of both first borns and last borns. As a result of gaining undivided attention from parents, only children are often considered to be self-centered. As they never had to learn to share or overcome conflicts with brothers or sisters, they are often described as selfish and not easily forgiving of themselves or others. Think of the characteristics of the first born and then magnify them. They grow up surrounded by adults, and therefore are more verbal and often more mature. This allows for gains in intelligence that exceed other birth order differences. Having spent so much time alone, only childs are resourceful, creative and confident in their independence. More than half the US Presidents, every US astronaut and most Nobel prize-winners have been either first born or an only child. Typical professions are law, politics, science and accountancy. Famous only children are: Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra, Tiger Woods, Charlize Theron and Leonardo Di Caprio.