There are a number of theories as to why this is the case. Most center around the fact that parents will raise their kids differently depending on their level of experience as parents. Couple that with the relationship to their other siblings, and it is clear to see that there is a science to the theory.
This also goes some way to explaining how siblings, who share all the same genes and the same parents, could grow up to have such wildly varying personalities.
So which child are you, and how well does the scientific theory describe your personality?
The first born child is almost like the parents’ “experiment”, they are still not entirely sure how to approach every scenario. Of course, they raise their child with nothing but love, but much of their raising is also trial and error. They might make a few mistakes but will likely approach most parenting decisions with caution.
Many parents tend to go overboard with their parenting, following every guide they can find and strictly enforcing rules, which may lead to a perfectionist child, eager to please their parents. The extended amount of time they spend in their parents’ presence might also explain why they often mature very quickly and easily win the hearts of other adults in their life.
First borns tend to be:
- Controlling or Bossy
These children can often grow up with a sense of not really knowing who they are. They aren’t the eldest or the youngest. They do, however, make their mark on their peers – parental attention seems to usually be devoted to the oldest or youngest siblings.
Middle children tend to grow up to have a more “go with the flow” attitude than older siblings and they are very good at negotiating, most likely from spending their childhood acting as the mediator between other siblings.
Generally, they seem to be:
- Thrive on friendships and have large friendship circles
- A little rebellious
The youngest child of the family will tend to be a lot more carefree, thanks to their parents’ now knowledgeable approach to raising them. By this point, their parents are likely to be a little looser with the rules, especially with older kids in the household, who may even on occasion take over some of the parental duties.
They also tend to be charming and likable, and are more likely to go on to work in a creative role.
The youngest kids tend to be:
- Followers rather than leaders
Only children find themselves in a rather unique position where they are the sole receiver of their parents’ attention. You could almost think of them as a “super first born” in that they get all of the same upbringings as a first born, but continue to receive it throughout their whole childhood. They are also more likely to emulate the actions of the parents leading to a structured environment.
In general, they dislike disorder and like to be in control.
They tend to be:
- Very confident
- Mature for their age
- Seek approval
There are some exceptions to the traditional family structure that can change the way in which a child might develop their personality. If you grew up outside of a traditional family structure, this could have had an impact on how your personality developed.
In cases of divorce and remarriage with stepchildren, you end up with a collision rather than a blending. The children won’t change their roles from the first family, unless very early in infancy. What this means, is you could end up with two dominant first-borns clashing, or seeing other power struggles between other children in the family.
The younger the child is at adoption, the more likely they are to adopt their position in the familial order. The biological birth of the child won’t affect their development, rather the order they find themselves in once in the new family will.
Which Are You?
Is the science right for you? How about for your siblings? Let us know in the comments, and share with your brothers and sisters for a good laugh!