Did You Know A Child's Place in the Family Can Affect Behavior?

June 04, 2014

birth order

Birth order affects a child’s “place” in the family and how children see themselves. Birth order affects what children believe is important, and how they think and act. A child may be an only child, the oldest, the second, the middle or the youngest.

**Quiz: What birth order makes the best “love relationship?” Is it, Oldest and Oldest, Youngest and Youngest, Oldest and Youngest, or Middle and Oldest?**

An Only Child

Only children grow up being the center of attention. Sometimes they may have trouble getting along with others as they tend to spend a lot of time alone, or with their parents. Sometimes they grow up too quickly, but can often times be highly creative.

An Oldest Child

An oldest child was once an only child, and giving up all the attention can be hard. Often, an oldest child wants to be the boss. Many oldest children also learn to be leaders and to cooperate. They often learn responsibility because the younger children may look to them for help.

A Second Child

A second child never has the parent’s full attention the way a first child once did. This child may work hard to keep up with or over-take the older sibling. Sometimes a second child decides to be the opposite of the older child. If the older child is usually “good,” the second may decide to be “bad.”

A Middle Child

A middle child often feels “squeezed” between the older and younger children. Some middle children are not as sure of themselves as only and older children. Many like things to be fair. Often middle children learn ways to get along with all kinds of people. Sometimes, though, they become “problem children” who misbehave to get attention.

A Youngest Child

Youngest children usually don’t have to do as much for themselves as older ones. These children can be bossy and demanding. Or they can be charming and friendly. Sometimes they use their charm to get help from other people. Some youngest children give up because they can’t yet do what older children can do. Others work hard to be more skillful than their brothers and sisters.