Birth order characteristics can help you understand how to live your best life! A child is the product of the environment in which he is raised. Since the order of birth is a part of that environment, it may cause certain character traits to evolve in the child. Birth order is not the sole influence on child development. It is, however, a major contributing factor. Birth order changes as siblings are born. An only child may suddenly become the oldest child. A youngest child may become the middle child and so on. When children are born close together, the effect is minimal. When they are born further apart, there is a bigger change in environment.
Let me use myself as an example. I was the youngest child in a family of 6 siblings. Then, since all my siblings were older by at least 5 years, they all left home before me, leaving me as an only child. When I was 13, my surprise little sister came along. This put me in the role of oldest child. All these circumstances gave me the characteristics of several birth orders.
Birth order traits give us insight into one factor of our development. There are many other factors. It is interesting to note the birth order character traits for your own birth order. Many people find it helpful in understanding themselves.
Following is a list of birth orders and the traits that define them, based on some of my research. You may find that you have all traits in common with your birth order. You may find just a few similar traits. This is dependent on the other factors present in your environment.
Traits of the only child:
The only child is brought up in a relatively adult world. He prefers the company and language of adults but at the same time feels inadequate compared to them. He enjoys being the center of adult attention because he seeks their approval. He often gets into a pattern of being served by others because he is the center of his parents' world. He sometimes plays his parents against each other to get what he wants. He is not accustomed to sharing and therefore has difficulty doing so. He is used to his privacy and places great value on it. He is a demanding but dependable leader.
Traits of the oldest (first) child
Once the second child is born, the only child becomes the oldest child. He brings with him his only child traits and becomes the leader of the siblings. As a leader he is strict, organized and bossy. He is a stickler for the rules. He is a high achiever who likes to please others. He may resent the fact that he is no longer the only child and seek attention from his father. He may believe he is superior to the other children because he was there first.
Traits of the second child
The second child is always trying to catch up to the first child. He is very competitive and this trait may become a rivalry between the two. He is rebellious and develops unique talents the older sibling does not share.
Traits of the middle child
When the third child is born, the second child becomes the middle child. He often feels left out and often is. He tries not to make waves and is easy going and even tempered. He is artistically inclined and introverted. He often feels life is unfair and thus fights against injustice. He is kind, helpful, and generous to others.
Traits of the youngest child
The youngest child gets accustomed to being pampered and expects service from others. He becomes an expert at getting what he wants. He is on a fast track to overtake his siblings. They are parent figures to him and he looks up to them. He may not be taken seriously and becomes a force to be reckoned with. He is creative and a risk taker. He often makes huge plans that do not work out because he is easily bored. He has a good sense of humor.
Please note: The author is not a licensed medical professional. This article is based on research and personal observation. It's not intended to replace a professional patient analysis.
This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.