As an older brother in a family with two boys, I have always been fascinated by birth order stories. Which child you were certainly influences how you relate to others.
Here is my understanding of birth order. As a first born, I related initially up to parents and adults. So, I have been respectful of authority. My brother, as a second born, initially related across to his sibling. So, he tended to be less concerned about authority figures. First borns generally follow the rules while second borns tend to be more rebellious. Many of the great discoveries were made by second born children, like Darwin and Pasteur.
Here is what Wikipedia has to say about birth order: “Birth order refers to the order a child is born in their family; first-born and second-born are examples. Birth order is often believed to have a profound and lasting effect on psychological development. This assertion has been repeatedly challenged. Recent research has consistently found that earlier born children score slightly higher on average on measures of intelligence, but has found zero, or almost zero, robust effect of birth order on personality. Nevertheless, the notion that birth-order significantly influences personality continues to have a strong presence in pop psychology and popular culture.”
Web Md has a neat quiz on it. Here is the first question:
Can birth order affect your job choice?
Answer: A first-born or only child may be more likely to become a doctor or lawyer. Younger siblings more often turn to the arts or the outdoors. In part, you can credit parenting. Parents may over-protect oldests or onlies. So they tend to follow more brain-based interests. When later children show up, parents can be more relaxed and hands-off.
I hope you enjoy the quiz no matter where you fall in your family’s order.