Are you the apple of everyone’s eyes in your family or the child who is always scolded? Or
the child who is ignored? According to psychology behind personality, your behaviour and world
view is affected by the order of your birth. Birth order is considered as an influential factor added
to other factors like genetics, parenting style and attachment, gender and temperament.
According to renowned personality psychologist Alfred Adler, during the period of child
development, the environmental factors shape his or her thoughts and behaviour. Birth order
theory is relevant throughout decades as children’s lives are shaped by their family at first. It
deals with four main classifications – eldest child, middle child, youngest child and only child:
- The eldest child: The eldest child tends to be conservative. They have dispositions to be
a leader as they are power oriented. One can call them natural leaders too. They usually
take responsibility of their younger siblings. They take initiatives. They are more caring
and willing to be parents. They are punctual of time. They are always on their journey to
achievements. Hence, theybare high achievers. They follow rules and obligations
wholeheartedly and without any mistake. They have constant feelings of responsibility
and hence, attempts to set an example. They develop leadership qualities because they
juggle with anxiety created due to birth of younger siblings or they experience anxiety
due to perceived threat of being dethroned by the next child. They often become strict
- The middle child: The middle child is has tendency of go with the flow. They negotiate
and compromise to fit in the family. They are inclined on agreeableness than their elder
and younger siblings. They receive less attention in their home and family than the elder
and younger siblings so they develop strong bond with their friends and acquaintances.
Also, they often find I difficult to identify themselves as elder or younger. They are less
attentive too since there are other kids at home. They are difficult to pin down. They have
large social circle. They are peacemakers in the social circle and rebellious in the family.
As middle born doesn’t get attention at home, they develop tendency of people-pleasing.
- The youngest child: The youngest child is the apple of everyone’s eye in their home.
They are more free-spirited as their parents are less strict with them as compared to their
elder siblings. They are uncomplicated. They are manipulative and attention seekers as
everyone love them. They are fun loving and outgoing. They sometimes become self-
centered. Though they are not the smartest in the room the develop tendency to get
attention. Also, the last born are unconventional in their choice. They are laid back. They
are least likely to be disciplined.
- The only child: being the only child has its own perks and dark sides. As there is no
sibling they have all their parents’ attention, care and resources. They are privileged to have their parents’ support and they shoulder responsibilities at young age. They become mature at young age. They are perfectionist. They are diligent. They are conscientious.
- They have good leadership qualities. They are non-judgmental. They might have introverted personality as there is absence of sibling. They want someone to accompanyt them. They are high on understanding.
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