Does Birth Order Really Shape Our Personality or Is It An Assumption?


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You might have heard a parent commenting on their last-born, saying that he or she is too dependent. Or perhaps that the eldest child is quite dominating. Based on a study of a sample of US high school students, researchers believe birth order affects the way you turn out to be as a person; it might also affect your IQ.

Birth Order Theory

An Austrian psychiatrist, Alfred Adler (1870–1937), was one of the first to propose that the order in which a child is born leaves a lasting effect on the way they deal with life later on in regards to relationships, friendships, love, and work.

While the theory still raises some controversies in the realm of psychology, it remains an intriguing topic.

Scroll down to read more and see where or not your personality matches with your birth order.

The First-Born

The oldest child is the first child to have spent the most time with their parents, at least until the second child comes along. They are usually responsible and caring in nature because they help their parents take care of their younger siblings. Since the first child has been the only one to be around for a while, they tend to develop leadership qualities. They are often power-oriented and the first to take up an initiative.

First-borns are reliable, conscientious, structured, cautious, controlling and achievers.

The Middle Child

The middle child strives to surpass the elder sibling. They can be ambitious and are most likely to develop at a faster pace than the first-born; however, they can’t be termed as selfish. In fact, they are the ones to make peace in the family. They try to please everyone in their pursuit to gain popularity. The middle child knows how to make the best of life, even in adverse circumstances.

If you’re a middle child, you might be a people-pleaser who is slightly rebellious, thrives on friendships, is sociable with a large circle, and a peacemaker.

The Last Born

The youngest of the children is naturally pampered by both parents and siblings, which may be the reason they tend to be less independent; however, they definitely have the motivation to surpass their siblings in all fields. So, you may find the best performers are often the last born in their family. The baby of the family may tend to be a bit irresponsible as they’re used to somebody else taking over the reins.

The youngest child may be fun-loving, uncomplicated, manipulative, outgoing, an attention-seeker, and self-centered.

The Only Child

An only child tends to be selfish and self-centered as they have always been the center of attention in their family. They expect others to step aside and give way to their whims. The only child tends to be dependent and selfish. Being alone in the family, they may have difficulties mingling with others from the same age group.

An only child tends to mature early, be a perfectionist, conscientious, diligent, and a leader.

How does it affect IQ?

According to research conducted in the US, UK, and Germany, older children tend to perform better than younger siblings in intelligence tests; however, their birth order doesn’t affect their emotional stability and imagination. Additionally, these studies don’t take into account factors such as ethnicity, parents’ social standing, education, and relationships within the family.

In the end, the way in which parents interact with each of their children will ultimately have the greatest effect on the personality of that child. For example, even if the youngest one is the baby of the family and may not be responsible, if the parents had given him or her small tasks while growing up, the child can be quite responsible in the future. Alternatively, if parents are constantly comparing academic performance among their children, the first-born child will not be inclined to be as caring towards the younger siblings.

How do you agree or disagree with the birth order theory? We’d like to hear your views so please use the Comments section below.

While we’re talking about kids and parenting, you might like to check out a lighter-hearted moment with Top 25 Images Of Parenthood That Every Parent Can Relate To.


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