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 Last-Born Child
Who among us hasn’t accused a younger sibling (or been accused as the youngest in the family) of getting away with murder? And as a parent, who hasn’t felt like a Calgon commercial and sacrificed discipline for a little peace and quiet (in other words, becoming lax on the rules when enforcing them becomes too much effort)? Well, there you have it—it’s not so hard to see why last-borns, commonly referred to as the babies of the family, are less bound by rules and regulations, turn out to be a little less responsible, and are seen as spoiled.
While being last-born may seem like a carefree position to hold, consider that this child has to compete more than any of the others for attention, has much less need (and therefore, ability) to be self-sufficient, and receives far less notice for accomplishments than when those feats were mastered by siblings. The result—a child who thrives on any praise tossed his way, and one who is likely to do anything to get attention.
Once again, before you start to fret that you are doomed to raise an irresponsible class clown, think about what you can do to change these natural tendencies. Take your youngest seriously, don’t let yourself trivialize his accomplishments just because you’ve been through them before with your older children, and make sure that you still set some expectations for your youngest to live up to so that he won’t fall short in learning to be responsible.
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