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Does Birth Order Influence A Childs Personality ?

Does Birth Order Influence A Childs Personality ?

Do gender and birth order affect one's personality? | by Annie Zhang |  Medium

When it comes to birth order, consider where you fit in. Did you grow up as an only child, with only your parents as your close family? Or was your situation the polar opposite, and you had a plethora of siblings to play with within your roof?

Psychologists believe that the sequence in which you were born determines your overall personality, regardless of your circumstances. In fact, being the oldest kid, middle child, the youngest child, or only child all have distinct birth order characteristics, many of which you’ve probably heard before.

What effect does sibling birth order have on personality?

Because parents occasionally treat children differently based on their birth position (and a boatload of other circumstances, such as the child’s age, etc.), some personality traits become more common in eldest, middle, youngest, and only children as a result.

Birth Order Traits of the Oldest Child (Firstborn)

“Firstborn children can be goal-oriented, vocal, headstrong, independent, and perfectionistic,” Smelser adds, and it’s easy to see why when you look at how they’re raised. “Parents’ interactions with their children frequently reinforce these qualities,” she explains.

Firstborn children are distinct from other children since their parents are fresh to the job and are learning as they go. As a result, they are more severe, have higher expectations, and are more worried about their oldest child than with any other children they may have later in life.

When extra siblings are added to the mix, the oldest child often acts as a second parent to their younger sister or brother. “Firstborns tend to score high on conscientiousness because of their surrogate parent role in the family and the obligations that come with that,” Dr. Salmon adds. They end up helping out by feeding them bottles, playing with them, and even feeling protective of them, making them someone their sibling looks up to and admires.

Characteristics of firstborn children based on birth order:



the role model


Follower of the rules

Dedicated worker



Characteristics of the Middle Child Birth Order

“Middle children tend to stand out slightly in agreeableness and openness to experience,” adds Dr. Salmon, and she should know! Her book is all about middle school children’s behaviour and personality qualities.

“They have a strong interest in getting along with others—they have experience bargaining for what they need within the family and always have to share divided parental investment.” They never know what it’s like to have 100% of their parents’ attention because they share everything with their older sister from the minute they are born.

According to Smelser, this can have an impact on the development of their underlying personality traits. “Middle children can be diplomatic, nurturing, introspective, tentative, and have a proclivity for peacekeeping.” If these characteristics are already present, having a middle child can accelerate their development since “these tendencies are commonly reinforced by parents and siblings through familial connection,” according to Smelser.

As a second-born child’s family grows and that youngster becomes an older sibling, their function in the family shifts to that of the middle child. This can result in a condition known as “middle child syndrome.” If this happens, they may resist or try to grab people’s attention in other ways, such as by being hilarious.

However, claiming the position of middle kid provides a number of advantages. Being the middle kid in your sibling’s birth order indicates you’re probably more creative since you’ve had to teach yourself how to deal with boredom, and you’re probably super-flexible and can adjust to changing situations.

Characteristics of middle children based on birth order:


Butterfly of socialization






Funny and skilled negotiator

Characteristics of the Youngest Child in the Birth Order

When it comes to rearing their youngest child—the so-called “baby” of the family—parents with several children are more relaxed and indulgent. This is why the youngest children tend to have a more upbeat demeanor. And, as the youngest born’s other siblings become older and less reliant on their parents, the baby of the family receives extra attention, which can sometimes prevent them from being completely self-sufficient.

“In general, younger children have high agreeableness, extraversion (the social component), and openness, and occasionally low conscientiousness due to a lack of responsibilities and parental indulgence over expectations,” Dr. Salmon explains. As a result, they tend to succeed in areas with a social dimension, but they may always be perceived (or perceive themselves to be) as the ‘baby.'”

 birth order characteristics of the youngest children:










Only Child Birth Order Characteristics

“Only children have distinct influences, no sibling rivalry, and are the exclusive focus of parental investment,” Dr. Salmon explains. “As a result, parental expectations and pressure can be strong, leading to traits shared with firstborns.” Some of characteristics, according to Smelser, include being ambitious, independent, domineering, and strong-willed.

Only children, on the other hand, maybe less competitive because they do not have other siblings to play with or compete against as they grow up. On the other hand, only children can be independent and mature because they are generally surrounded by more adults than children.

Characteristics of only children based on birth order:









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