Birth order and Awesomeness


| 5 Comments

I'm a psychology major and recently learned that birth order has an affect on a child's overall upbringing. After being fed only one Powerpoint slide-worth of information, I still wanted to know more. I'm the oldest child of two, and, in all honesty, I find myself to be much more cooperative and respectful than my younger sister. However, I always figured this was just due to her lack of maturity, and that with time, those gaps would fill out just as they did with me.

However, after researching a bit, I now understand! This website explains it all.

A couple's first child becomes a "trial and error". Couples have the tendency to be strict, assertive, and attentive to this child, being that it is their first. However, when having their second, parents tend to become more lenient and less reactive. This may seem like no big deal to them, and many may believe that since the first child turned out fine, the second will simply follow in those footsteps. However, that is clearly not the case. Firstborns normally take on characteristics such as cautiousness, control, and reliability. They tend to be a bit more driven due to their upbringing. Last born children, however, inherit different traits. They tend to be more manipulative, fun-loving, and attention-seeking. This describes my younger sister and I perfectly. I don't think she is in anyway rebellious or disrespectful, but I am clearly the overly-cautious while she is clearly the free-spirit.

I continued to research this topic and found an informative video breaking down the roles of each child. 

I also found an article  on CBS news's website that shows how birth order could potentially affect relationships. This is fascinating to me, but I cannot say I'm too surprised. The article and video go into detail of the best and worst "matches" as well as prime examples. Take a look!

My concern is, even if parents tend to be less restrictive, if a younger sibling has older siblings that can guide them, do the younger siblings still embody those traits? For example, I try to help my sister as much as possible in all aspects of her life. I motivate her to do well in school and sports, I make sure I'm available when she needs to talk, and I try to set good examples for her to follow and demonstrate her right from wrong. Although I am not actually her parent, would these guidelines and protective manners help avoid the negative characteristics that younger children are in a sense "prone" to? 

IMG_4241.jpg

^^ My not-so-little sister & I 

5 Comments

I've always been really interested in this topic. It's pretty common to hear that the older sibling is more reserved, while the younger sibling tends to be more outgoing. I have an older sister and growing up, I was always much more crazy than she was. Like you said, my sister has also always been very protective over me and I think it would only make sense for that "extra parenting" to make a positive difference in the young siblings life growing up. Another common thing I hear when it comes to sibling relationships, is that the parents always favor the youngest child. I constantly give my sister a hard time that my parents love me more than her, but obviously I'm only joking. However, an article I posted the link to below has scientific studies that show parents really do favor the younger child more. The article also goes into detail about how older and younger siblings compare when it comes to confiding in parents. Parents will always love their children equally, but for any of you younger siblings out there, do you feel like you get special treatment? How about you older siblings, do you guys feel like you always get the bad end of the deal? I wouldn't take either of those too personally, it sounds like science makes the call as who is the "favorite"

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/mother-tongue/8889472/Parents-favour-their-youngest-child.html

Wow! I have never thought that birth order had that much of an affect on a child's upbringing until now! It makes perfect sense, considering the whole "trial and error" aspect with the first-born. I always viewed it as the oldest child feeling the need to look after their younger siblings simply because they are older. Because of their age, they are also used to more attention being focused on the younger siblings because of their age and vulnerability. I, on the other hand, am the youngest of 3 and can't help but feel that the roles have been somewhat reversed. Maybe my parents were too lenient on my older sisters therefore they felt the need to be more stern with me? Either way I have found my maturity to be sometimes beyond my older siblings' years and at times feel the need to "look after" them instead of it being the other way around. I think I may be just a special case because after some research, I have yet to find studies supporting this theory. So here is an article that goes more in depth with the youngest child's personality traits!

http://westcoastwellnessgroup.org/counsellor-corner/2011/04/the-youngest-child-birth-order-characteristics/

I always had some intuition that birth order has affected my sister and I's personalities. I would definitely say I am more responsible than my sister as we have grown older. I am the first child and she is three years younger than me. Since I have left for college, I know that it hasn't been easy for my sister to get along with my parents. She's much for defiant and I acted as a buffer most of high school for her. My mom will tell my sister one thing, and won't listen. However, when I tell her that same piece of advice, she listens. Its a strange thing to think about when your parents try to teach you as total equals.. but is your mentality that way too? I found this article http://www.ivillage.com/sibling-effect-why-birth-order-matters/6-a-383052 regarding some stats about the "sibling effect." Check it out!

I defintely agree that birth order can have an effect on a child and the way their parents treat them. I am a twin, so I was born at the same time as my sister so this does not pertain to me. Although, I notice with my friends that the last child is looked at a lot more leniantly. This is because they already had the experience with the other children. I think it is crazy that birth order can potentially affect relationships. I feel this gives a child an unfair advantage.
Here is another article on birth order: http://www.psychologies.co.uk/family/the-birth-order-effect.html

I find this topic so interesting! As a middle child my parents and siblings always say that I am the classic middle child. I always accepted that but as I got older I wondered what that actually meant. Theres actually a class at Penn State on birth order http://bulletins.psu.edu/undergrad/courses/S/SOC/030/200203SP it has nothing to do with my major, but I really want to take it!

I watched the video link on your blog post and I found I agreed with most of it! The only thing I did not find that seemed right was the youngest being hard-working. I find this funny because I think due to them being spoiled and the baby they are the least hard working, almost lazy. What do you think?

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