Decoding Myths about Birth Order

Have you noticed certain traits in one of your kids and not the other? The order they were born in could determine key personality traits.

Kerri R. lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is the proud mom to three little girls:  Clara (6), Sisi (4), and Lenie (2).  It is no great coincidence that as a youngest child of five kids herself that she loves working in sales!

Have you ever wondered why a firm “NO” elicits such different responses from your children?  In my household, the oldest will promptly behave, the middle will burst in to tears and the youngest will give me her cutest grin and start singing Disney tunes.

There is no doubt that birth order is definitely at play and it powerfully influences who we are, the job we choose,  who we marry, and even how we parent.  Dr. Kevin Leman, author of The Birth Order Book, provides an in-depth look at the characteristics of first, middle, last, and only children.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the dominant traits of people who are born in this order. Do you think he’s spot on when it comes to your own kids?

  • Firstborn children tend to be perfectionists, reliable, well organized, and overall people pleasers.  They are our CEO’s, presidents, and are likely to work in a science or engineering field.
  • Middle children are the hardest to define as they are influenced from all directions.  They may be described as the peacemakers and are very sociable as they look for friends outside the family. They are mentally tough and independent.
  • Youngest children, as you may have guessed, tend to love the limelight, and are often described as affectionate, engaging and tenacious.  Many salespeople and comedians are youngest children.
  • The ‘Lonely Only’ tends to have many traits similar to a firstborn, but with ‘super’ in front of them. They also tend to be creative, comfortable with adults at an early age, and possess strong language skills.

Although we can’t choose the order we’re born in, every child can break out of their birth order stereotype!

Source: The Birth Order Book by Dr. Kevin Leman

 Sibling smiles! Kerri and her girls at home.