Does Birth Order Matter?
Whether they're first born, in the middle, the youngest, or the one and only, children all have personality characteristics associated with their birth order.
The Firstborn Child
While only some of you played the role of firstborn, all of you, as parents, have experienced the arrival of your firstborn child. From either vantage point, it will likely make sense that this position of distinction in any family has benefits and challenges. After all, being the sole recipient of a parent’s undivided attention and devotion can make a child feel particularly special. At the same time, this attention can also come in the form of closer scrutiny and higher expectations, including setting a good example for younger siblings. For these reasons, firstborn children are typically perfectionists—not only from a lifetime of trying to meet expectations but also from having only adult role models during their childhoods.
Firstborns tend to grow up to be mature, organized, and responsible adults, many of whom end up in leadership roles, but who also run the risk of being controlling, strict, and overly hard on themselves (and others).
All that said, if you happen to be looking at your firstborn infant and wondering what all this means for his future, take heart in knowing that you can, in fact, raise a well-adjusted child—even if he was born first! Remember to routinely examine your expectations and don’t always look for perfection—a recommendation that will serve parents well in their approach to all children, but firstborns in particular.
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